As discussed in last week’s blog post, getting your ZZZ’s is essential to your overall health and wellness. Knowing that quality sleep is important, is one thing, getting a good night’s rest is quite another. For many individuals, going to sleep and staying asleep is difficult. According to www.healthline.com, here are some tips for getting a good night’s rest:
1) Increase bright light exposure during the day. Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps improve daytime energy as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration.
2) Reduce blue light exposure in the evening. Blue light from electronic devices stimulates the brain. Stop watching TV and turn off bright lights 2 hours prior to bedtime. You can install an app on your smartphone that blocks blue light.
3) Don't consume caffeine late in the day. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. You may feel tired, but your brain remains active.
4) Reduce irregular or long daytime naps. If you're not a napper, taking a nap during the day can disrupt your nighttime sleep. If your body is acclimated to short power naps during the day, not to worry.
5) Try to sleep and wake at consistent times. Set a sleep schedule. Irregular sleeping patterns lead to poor quality sleep.
6) Don't drink alcohol prior to sleeping. Although you may feel sleepy, alcohol is known to cause or increase the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring. Normal sleeping rhythms are impacted. You may fall asleep quickly, but your quality of sleep will be impacted.
7) Optimize your bedroom environment. Your bedrooms should be quiet, dark, and cool.
8) Eating late in the evening can negatively impact your sleep. Eating a heavy meal right before bedtime can lead to indigestion and poor sleep quality.
9) Relax and clear your mind prior to sleeping. Turn off the news or anything that can over stimulate you. Take a warm bath or shower, listen to relaxing music, read a book, meditate or practice deep breathing.
10) Get a comfortable bed, mattress, and pillow. If you awake in the morning with aches and pains, especially in your neck and back, there is a strong possibility that you need a new pillow or mattress.