Just knowing how much you need sleep may not be enough for you to get the rest you need. Today’s world is fast-paced and full of technological advances that add convenience but create barriers to a good night’s rest. Sleep can be changed through your environment and personal behaviors. We suggest:
1. Making Your Bedroom a Sleep Haven
The bedroom should serve only two purposes – sleep and sex. The human brain recognizes routines and patterns. When you avoid using the bedroom as a multipurpose room (home office or gym), your brain can relax and calm the body accordingly. You can further help by creating an uncluttered bedroom environment that’s cool, dark, and quiet at night, the fewer distractions the better.
2. Turn Off Screens
Screen time can delay the onset of sleep. Many electronic devices, including cell phones and televisions, emit a bright blue light that suppresses sleep hormones. Try turning them off two to three hours before bed to keep your sleep schedule on track. If they prove to be a distraction during the night, consider removing them from the bedroom completely.
3. Follow a Routine and Go to Bed on Time
The human body craves a good routine. A relaxing bedtime routine helps signal the brain that it’s time for sleep while giving you a chance to relieve stress before bed. Make sure you start it in time to get in bed at the same time every day. And remember, a consistent bedtime allows the body to correctly time the release of sleep hormones.
Sleep acts as the foundation upon which you can build good food choices. The effects of better (and more) sleep can sometimes be immediate. Though it may take time to develop the habits that support good sleep, it’s worth the effort to live a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle.