Starting Healthy Sleep Habits
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Sleep plays an essential role in our mental and physical health. Even if you have adopted a healthy dietary habit and regular exercise in your daily life but it is not followed by adequate sleep, it will be in vain. When you have a good quality night’s sleep, you will perform better, feel more alert, optimistic, and get along with people better. On the other hand, not getting enough sleep can be bad for your health in several ways. You may also find it difficult to concentrate and remember things. Your brain struggles to perform basic functions and your risk goes up for several illnesses such as diabetes, heart diseases, and mental health disorders.
Getting enough sleep is not only about total hours of sleep. Sleep quantity and quality are two different things. Quantity is the duration of your sleep, while quality is how well you sleep at night. In some ways, improving how long you sleep is easier than improving how well you sleep. In order to increase the quantity of sleep you just need to go to bed early or wake up later in the morning. To improve the quality of your sleep, you should focus on some nighttime routines and remove things that can disturb your nightly sleep.
However, sleep quality can be improved by changing some habits or activities before sleeping. To optimize your healthy sleep, you need to strike the right balance between how well and how long you sleep. You can adopt habits that encourage better sleep, start with these simple tips:
- Limit your napping time
To have a better night’s sleep, it’s important to limit your napping time. If you napping too long or too late in the day, it can throw off your sleep schedule and make it harder to go to sleep at night. The best time to nap is shortly after lunch in the early afternoon and is not more than 30 minutes each day.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
Setting a consistent sleep schedule is one of the essential parts in starting healthy sleep habits. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day—even on the weekends. A consistent sleep routine helps productivity and improves your biological, mental, and emotional health.
- Have a comfortable bedroom
To help you fall asleep quickly and easily is to make your bedroom a space of comfort. Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or a TV in the bedroom. Also, keeping the temperature in your bedroom on your ideal set can help you sleep better.
- Set up a night routine
Take time to unwind. Do the same thing every night before bedtime, like take a warm bath, read some book or listen to your favorite music. Your pre-sleep activity should be relaxing so your body knows when it’s time to go to sleep.
- No coffee or soda after 4 to 6 hours before bedtime
Drinking soda or coffee before bed is like a double whammy for your sleep. Sodas and coffees are loaded with caffeine and lots of sugar. The caffeine can make it hard to fall asleep, and the sugar may affect your ability to stay asleep.
- No screen time 30 minutes before bed
Blue light from your screen devices affects the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep and regulates the sleep cycle. Moving graphics and seemingly endless entertainment you get from your screen will make it harder for you to fall asleep. As much as possible, try to disconnect your phone or tablet for 30 minutes or more before bed.
- Seek help from professionals if needed
Talk with your health care provider if you are often tired during the day, or lack of sleep makes it hard to do daily activities. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.
Berger, F., Zieve, D., & Conway, B. (2020, August 4). Sleep and Your Health. MedLine Plus.
Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000871.htm
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). (2011, September). In Brief: Your Guide to
Healthy Sleep. Retrieved June 15, 2020, from
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