If you are like many people, your sleep habits and sleep quality could both use a boost. Here are seven ways you can help make that happen.
1. Avoid caffeine close to bedtime
Do you like going to sleep with a racing heart? We didn’t think so, but too much caffeine, especially in the evening can give you just that. Try switching to decaf or to water after the sun goes down. Save the coffee and tea for morning or afternoon slumps.
2. Exercise early in the evening
Maybe your mind is tired, but your body is still telling you it has plenty of juice. Correct that problem by getting rid of excess energy through exercise. Just avoid doing it too soon before trying to sleep.
3. Don’t bring your tablet or laptop to bed
Working in bed sets a bad precedent for your body, but working electronic devices is a double-whammy. The combination of light pollution and preoccupation can become toxic to sleep quality. These two factors can definitely make it more difficult to fall asleep and may damage sleep quality too.
4. No television in the bedroom
Television viewing may be more passive than the above, but your body should associate the bed with sleep, not with zombies, car-chases, or even the nightly news. Watch your prime time favorites in the living room instead to wind down. Use the bedroom for its intended purpose.
5. Switch to a low-light environment
Since ancient times, humans have used the darkness of night to signal when to sleep. Today, we have brightly illuminated homes that may make us feel as though it’s always daytime. This can be a bad thing. Switch to a lower, yellow-amber glow before bed to simulate sunset and prep the body and mind for sleep.
6. Adjust the temperature for sleeping
Science has taught us in recent years that we sleep better when our body temperature drops one to two degrees. To help this process along, consider making seasonally appropriate adjustments to the thermostat during the overnight hours.
7. Use a progressive alarm clock
Alarm clocks that start very quiet and gradually grow louder are called progressive alarms. These allow for easing into wakefulness instead of bolting upright in bed.
These daily changes can make all the difference in terms of improving sleep habits and can lead to improved sleep quality.
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