It can be difficult to make time for all of your priorities. There are the obvious ones: work, bills, taking care of your home, family and friends. Managing all of these responsibilities can be difficult. So it’s easy to see why many people forget one of the most important priorities of all: good sleep habits.
It may be strange to think of sleep as a priority. After all, it’s wasted time you could have used to take care of all of life’s responsibilities and surprises. But, sleep is important. Like diet and exercise, good sleep is one of the basics of good health.
As with all of your other responsibilities, you need to make time for sleep and start adopting good sleep habits. Doing so will give your body the rest it needs, help you better manage your stress, and allow you to feel more energized during the day. Sleep can also benefit your heart, weight and mind. So develop some good sleep habits now! You’ll be glad you did.
6 Good Sleep Habits You Should Develop NOW
1. Turn Off the Lights
As you get nearer to your bedtime, dim the lights and put away electronic devices with back-lights. Turning off or dimming the lights will boost your body’s melatonin production, making it easier for you to fall asleep.
Lying awake with stressful thoughts can affect your quality of sleep. Write down your deadlines and reminders to keep them from keeping you up at night. Or if you’re worrying about something less concrete, you can try a few simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditating, or visualizing a peaceful place. It may also help to engage in a relaxing activity, such as reading an hour before bed to help yourself wind down.
You’ll fall asleep more easily if you exercise in the mornings or early afternoons. Just don’t exercise too close to your bedtime or it will have the opposite effect.
4. Make Your Room a Sleep Oasis
Make up your bed with soft, cozy blankets, shut the blinds, turn on some soft music, and turn on your fan. A cool dark room will make sleeping much easier. You should also try to avoid using your room or bed as a workspace, since this could send your body mixed signals.
5. Set a Regular Sleep Schedule
Play with different lengths of sleep: 6, 7, or 8 hours to see which amount makes you feel the most rested. Once you find your magic number, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. It may take some practice, but the more you stick with it, the easier it will get.
6. Avoid Coffee
And alcohol, and nicotine, and some pain relievers. Taking these close to bedtime will keep you up at night.
Night should be about allowing your body to relax. Let your worries and your work wait until morning. If you have developed above-mentioned good sleep habits and you still have trouble falling asleep, make sure you talk to your doctor to figure out the root of the problem.
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The article is provided by SunState Medical Associates – your trusted partner if you are looking for a Central Florida internist.
Photo: Lauren Treece