It’s National Sleep Awareness Week and Daylight Saving Time is this Sunday March 11th, so I figured now more than ever I should recap some of the most important sleep tips so that you can learn how to get quality sleep. Especially since we’ll be losing an hour of precious sleep this Sunday, getting enough shut eye will be an issue for all of us.
Let’s start with the basics. A dark, cool and quiet bedroom is the perfect environment that will promote quality sleep. The darker the room, the better; room darkening shades can help you achieve optimal darkness. And if you’re on the go, an eye mask will also help simulate a dark room. It is recommended to keep your room between 60 degrees and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If that sounds too cold to you, then bring extra blankets to bed so that you will feel warmer. It’s beneficial to sleep in a cool room because it becomes easier to reach deep sleep when our core body temperature drops a little bit. So although you may be wrapped up in your comforter, your head is still exposed and that’s enough to lower your temperature.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, don’t hit the snooze button! Hitting the snooze button every 10 or so minutes for the half hour to hour before you officially wake up, isn’t helping you at all. If you set your alarm for the time you actually get out of bed, you will have longer uninterrupted sleep, therefore you will wake up feeling more rested and ready to take on your day!
Ritualize your bedtime routine. Completing a few relaxing tasks each night before bed will ease your body into a relaxed state and will be easier to fall asleep. Whether you take a hot bath, wash your face or read a book, just make sure your bedtime routine doesn’t involve your electronics. No TV, cell phones, tablets or computers at least two hours before bed. The light your electronics emit ceases melatonin production, so you won’t feel tired and ready for bed if you’re checking your emails right before bed.
I also put two sleep tips to the test to see how effective they really are. My first sleep tip experiment tested if exercising too close to bedtime would keep you up all night. I found that when it comes to exercising affecting sleep, it really depends on the person. I was fine with exercising late at night, but for other people it doesn’t work well for them. My second sleep tip experiment was going without coffee for a week. The results from this experiment proved to me that eliminating my regular coffee consumption helped me sleep even better! I definitely believe that avoiding caffeine in the afternoon will help anyone sleep better.
What is your favorite sleep tip? Do any sleep tips work for you? How about, what sleep tips don’t work for you? Tell me your sleep tip trials and tribulations in the comment section below so that we can get a conversation going!
Contributor: Emily Barrett
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