How many hours of sleep are you getting each night? Chances are you’re not getting enough. According to the Center for Disease Control, 35% of adults don’t get enough sleep. Although the ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, most adults need between seven to nine hours each night.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep can lead to a variety of positive health benefits including:
Reduced risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Healthy weight maintenance.
Increased energy, focus, and alertness throughout the day.
On the flip side, not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on your overall health and well-being. This unfortunate issue can bring about adverse health effects like chronic fatigue, moodiness, and increased cravings.
Thankfully, there are several simple lifestyle changes that you can make to improve the quality of your sleep. Keep reading to learn five easy tips for better sleep!
Stay Consistent with Your Workout Regimen
It’s no secret that maintaining a consistent fitness routine can improve your health. Exercising regularly is a great way to release the excess stress and energy that keeps you awake at night. One study found that engaging in moderately intense exercise on a routine basis can reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep by up to 50%. This study also found that its participants who exercised consistently got an average of 41 extra minutes of sleep at night.
If you plan to put this tip into practice, be sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime. Engaging in exercise causes your body to release hormones like adrenaline and epinephrine which can keep you awake at night.
Spend More Time Outdoors During the Day
Whether it comes from natural sunlight or artificial lighting, exposing yourself to plenty of bright light during the day can help you sleep better at night.
The reason for this is that bright light exposure helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm. This is an internal clock that lets your body know when it’s time to sleep and wake up. Daily bright light exposure has been shown to increase your energy throughout the day, and it can also significantly reduce the amount of time that it takes you to fall asleep at night.
Limit Your Usage of Blue Light Emitting Devices Before Bed
Blue light is emitted by the sun and electronic devices like TVs, laptops, and cell phones. This type of lighting can improve your energy and regulate your circadian rhythm during the day. But, exposing yourself to too much blue light at night can confuse your body’s internal clock. Late night blue light exposure can also reduce the amount of melatonin in your body. This hormone is needed to help your body relax and prepare for sleep.
If you’re someone who can’t resist scrolling through your social media feeds before bed, there are quite a few blue light blocking apps available for both Apple and Android devices. Or, you can replace television and social media with a relaxing activity such as reading before bed.
Avoid Drinking Caffeine After 3pm
Most people enjoy a cup of coffee or two throughout the day to boost their energy and focus. However, if you’re indulging in caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime, then you may be negatively affecting the quality of your sleep.
The energy boosting effects of caffeine can last for up to six hours, and keep you alert well into the night. As a general rule, it’s best to set a cut-off time for caffeinated beverages that’s at least five to six hours before your usual bedtime.
Set a Regular Sleep Schedule and Stick to It
Humans are creatures of habit. When your body becomes accustomed to waking up and going to bed at consistent times, your circadian rhythm adjusts, making it easier to fall asleep on time. Setting a regular bedtime has also been shown to improve your metabolism, which can assist with your weight loss and fitness goals. It’s best to stick to your sleep schedule on both weekdays and on weekends so that you won’t have to reset your internal clock every week. Many people find that they no longer need their alarm clocks after a few weeks of sticking to a consistent sleep schedule.
As you can see, getting enough sleep is just as important for your overall well-being as eating nutritiously and working out consistently. If you struggle to get a good night’s rest on a regular basis, try implementing a few of these tips!