You know you’re supposed to get a good night’s sleep every night, but do you?
Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and wellbeing. While you may think sleep deprivation is something you can deal with if you have to, the truth is, it can have negative effects on your health. From drowsy driving car accidents to weight gain to heart disease and an increased risk for developing dementia, a chronic lack of sleep can be incredibly dangerous.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 7 to 8 hours of sleep is necessary each night for adults to maintain good health.
Are you shaking your head right now, worried because you rarely, if ever, get that much sleep each night? Fear not. While it may seem that a restful night’s sleep is unattainable, there are some simple, yet very effective, tactics you can use to get a good night’s sleep. Incorporating one or all of these into your daily routine can make a world of difference.
1. Set an Alarm To Go To Bed
Are you one of those people who promises each night you’ll go to bed at a decent hour? Then before you know it, it’s midnight or later and you’re cursing yourself and dragging around the next day? Here’s what you do: set an alarm to GO to bed. Going to bed at a set time, early enough to get those 7 or 8 hours, is essential. So, set an alarm and when that bell goes off – HIT THE HAY!
2. Stop Snoozing
I know it’s tempting to hit that snooze button every morning, sometimes multiple times, but snoozing disrupts REM sleep and can make us feel groggier than had we gotten up when the alarm first sounded.
3. Forego the Nightcap
People who have trouble falling asleep often resort to having a glass or two of alcohol before bed to help them fall off. And while a nightcap (or two) can make it easier to fall asleep, alcohol actually causes us to wake up frequently during the night.
4. Keep Your Dogs Warm
I don’t mean your Shih Tzu or Great Dane, although I’m sure they would like to be warm throughout the night as well. No, I’m talking about your feet. Some people go through life with hands and feet that never seem to get or stay warm. While they may indeed have warm hearts, studies have found that cold extremities interrupt our sleep cycles. If you want to fall asleep faster and stay asleep, slip on a pair of socks.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Humans tend to need a pitch black room to really get some shut eye. Even the most inconspicuous glow — like that from a digital alarm clock — can disrupt your sleep cycle. And that street light pouring in from outside? Forget about it, that light will seriously damage your ability to get some shut eye. Consider using an eye-mask or black-out curtains.
6. Keep Cool
While your feet need to be warm, your bedroom should be comfortably cool. A room that is too hot or too cold can mess with your circadian rhythms. Like Goldilocks, you want a temperature that’s just right. Aim for somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Put the Electronics Away
The blue light that is emitted from our laptops, tablets, TVs and smartphones signals to our brain to stay awake. An hour before bedtime, power down and read a book or listen to music or a book on tape. You’ll fall asleep much easier.
8. Cut Out Caffeine Early
While it’s fine to have a cup or two of coffee in the morning, experts recommend laying off the caffeine by early afternoon as it can stay in your system longer than you think.
9. Exercise Regularly
In the National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 “Sleep in America” survey, those respondents who got regular, vigorous exercise reported getting the best sleep. That’s good news. The even better news is, it doesn’t really have to be that vigorous. Adding just 15 to 20 minutes of physical activity to your day can have a positive dramatic effect on your sleep cycle.
Note: Just make sure you don’t exercise too closely to bedtime or you’ll risk revving your engine.
10. Check That Mattress
The amount of tossing and turning you do each night might have less to do with you and more to do with what you’re sleeping on. Is your mattress old and lumpy? Is it too firm or too soft? According to Consumer Reports, people should replace their mattress every five to 10 years.
11. Lose the Stress and Relax
Does this sound familiar:
You lie in bed at night thinking about your awful day at work or the horrible commute you’ll have to face AGAIN in the morning, or worrying and wondering how you’re going to save enough money to put your kids through college?
Stress is one of the biggest inhibitors of a good night’s sleep. It’s important that you learn to turn your mind off and relax, really relax.
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I have GREAT news.
We’ve developed a brand new NATURAL sleep aid which allows you to:
- Relax your mind and “set” your natural sleep cycle
- Sleep throughout the night
You’ll fall asleep faster, stay asleep for longer, and wake up ready to tackle your day! It’s as simple as that.