Getting good quality consistent sleep in important for your health. Quality sleep improves memory, decreases stress, and increases creativity and energy levels. So, what are some things you can do to get better sleep?
1. Do something physical every day. Walking, exercising or just moving regularly throughout your day benefits your sleep. Research has shown physical activity helps people fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep. If you exercise, don’t do it close to bedtime though, as it makes some people too energized to fall asleep.
2. Create a good sleep environment. Have a comfortable mattress and pillow as they can reduce back and neck pain. Keep your bedroom dark and have a pleasant room temperature and maybe having a soothing sound with soft music or a fan running, which can also help improve sleep.
3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sleeping pills. While alcohol can make you fall asleep faster, it disrupts sleep cycles, causing lesser quality of sleep. The stimulating effects of caffeine will either prevent you from falling asleep, or entering into deep sleep. Sleeping pills initially can help people sleep, however, over time, many people need higher and higher doses, and drowsiness can carry over into the next day.
4. Relax prior to sleep. Relaxation before bed has been shown to improve sleep quality. Reading something light, listening to relaxing music, or taking a bath might be helpful. The bottom line is to clear your mind from all of the days clutter, and let your brain wind down.
5. Make your bed a place for sleep only. Don’t sit in bed and watch tv, get work done or surf the net. Your bed should be a place for relaxation, not a desk, or a couch.
6. Have a regular sleep wake cycle. This will help improve the quality of your sleep, and also signal your brain when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up. This will also get your body in a natural rhythm and increase your energy.
7. Limit naps. Napping has been shown to have some benefits, but limit them to 15 to 20 minutes. Anything longer can disrupt your natural sleep wake cycle.