Most adults dream about curling up in bed after a long day, but many times, you’ll have a hard time falling asleep or wake up feeling less than refreshed. All of this has to do with what experts call your “sleep hygiene,” or the practices and environmental influences relating to a person’s sleep quality. Here are 5 smart and easy ways to improve your sleep hygiene this year.
- Set a bedtime. Create a reasonable bedtime that will give you a full night’s rest, and stick to it. Training your body to go to bed at the same time each night is essential if you want to fall asleep easily and get the best sleep possible.
- Exercise. If you want to tire yourself out and release tension, exercise later in the afternoon. That way, when it’s time for bed, you’ll feel ready for rest.
- Change your diet. Stick to a diet that is full of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Cut out fatty foods or foods that are high in sugar, as these can keep you up at night.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. While these two substances have very different effects on the body, they both have one thing in common: they have a negative effect on your sleep hygiene.
- Make your bedroom a space for relaxation. Remove all electronics from the bedroom before going to bed to create a peaceful resting place free of distractions. Top your bed with sheets and bedding that doesn’t leave you feeling too hot or too cold, and be sure to adjust the thermostat before bed to a few degrees cooler than you set it during the day. You can also invest in blackout curtains or a sleep mask to keep light away from the eyes, as this disturbs a human’s circadian rhythm.
- Keep your bed cool. Research suggests that people sleep better when they are cool. Keep your thermostat set to 65F and use cooling sheets, cooling pillows and cooing blankets to help keep your bed temperature cool and comfortable. Avoid foam mattresses since they tend to stay hot.