Sleep is one of the most important factors to overall good health. A full night of rest can improve your productivity, increase your brain function, make you feel happier and less stressed out, and lower your risk for any number of serious health problems. And that’s not to mention how great it feels to wake up, refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle whatever a day holds.
The only problem is that good sleep is hard to come by for many people. If you are like the majority of modern-day Americans, you don’t get enough of this. For many people, this is because sleeping isn’t a priority, or at least not as high of a priority as say work, family, or television time. For others, getting to sleep is all but impossible. And then there are those who wake often during the night and sleep too lightly to get the full benefits of the eight hours that they are in bed.
Luckily, there are a number of easy solutions to sleep problems, no matter what yours is. The five keys to better sleep discussed below will help in almost every situation. Try these out and you’re likely to experience improved sleep.
Create a Routine
Having an established sleep routine is the first key to sleeping better at night. Human bodies run on cycles and it is important to have a predictable one, especially during the work week. Pencil in your sleep each night – the recommended amount for most people is 8 hours – and stick to it. If it’s bedtime, go to bed. Finish up whatever you were doing the next day.
Over consumption of caffeine is one of the major contributing factors to poor sleep. Though the recommendations vary widely and there is still much research to be done, most experts caution against having caffeine any time after eight hours before your scheduled bedtime.
Oversleeping might be a pleasurable thing – especially on the weekends – but it isn’t good for your body. A lot of people think that you can catch up on missed sleep when, in reality, you can’t. Your body will actually function poorly with too much sleep, so make sure that you cut yourself off from sleeping in and get a full night’s rest each and every night.
Make a Comfortable Sleeping Space
Perhaps the most effective key to a better night’s sleep is to create a comfortable sleeping space. Your bedroom should be absolutely free of light – many people even find that dimming clocks can help. It should also be a comfortable temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, and, obviously, your bed should be comfortable. You should make sure to use the bathroom before heading to bed as well to prevent any late-night wake-ups.
Settle Down at Night
In today’s fast-paced and hectic world, it is all too easy to attempt to squeeze in a workout or some other form of exercise just before bedtime. Don’t do it! As important as exercise is to your overall health, exercising too close to your bedtime will keep you awake at night. It wakes your body up and makes it much harder to fall asleep. Plan your workouts at least two hours before your scheduled bedtime.
Sleep is a very important factor to a healthy lifestyle and it is important to treat it as such. Make getting 8 hours of sleep – or your personal healthy amount – a priority. The five key tips discussed above will put you well on your way to getting a better night’s sleep.