We’ve all heard it before…
Get good sleep.
Are you getting good rest?
Quality sleep is so important.
But, too often, we don’t know how to go about getting good rest…or just how important it is for our health. According to the CDC, the average adult should get 7 hours or more of sleep each night, yet 40% of Americans report getting less than that, and it turns out the effects of a lack of sleep can be devastating. The CDC reports that insufficient sleep has been linked to a number of chronic illnesses including type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, and cardiovascular disease.
Thankfully, we’ve gathered our top 3 tips to help you get better sleep and take better care of your health in the long run. Let’s dive in!
Consistency is Key
It may seem easier said than done, but one of the best things you can do to get better sleep is to set…and stick to…a consistent bedtime schedule. Going to sleep at the same every night and waking up at the same time each morning gets your body into a healthy habit and ensures you’ll get those coveted 7+ hours of zzz’s.
Also, we know what you’re thinking…and, yes, that includes days off, holidays, and weekends (we know, we know…adulting can be rough).
Wake With the Sun
No, “circadian rhythms” isn’t the name of a local jazz band, and, yes, they do exist. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural biological clock. It’s the one prehistoric man used…before cell phone alarms…to tell him when to wake and when to sleep. Unfortunately, many of us live in urban areas with street lights streaming into our bedrooms, making it hard for our biological clocks to work properly.
If possible, allow yourself to wake naturally with the sun. This means ditching the blackout curtains in your bedroom. If your job requires you to wake before the sun rises, consider investing in a sunrise alarm clock. These high-tech clocks mimic the natural sunset and sunrise, helping you feel sleepy as the light slowly dims and wake naturally to a gradually increasing glow. Prices on these gadgets can run the gamut. This version offers plenty of bang for your buck, while those looking for a higher-end model can’t go wrong with this beauty.
Make Your Bedroom a Haven for Sleep
Try to make your bedroom a space exclusive for sleep. If you work out of your bedroom, consider moving your “office” to another location. Same goes for electronic devices, laptops, and televisions…get them out of there. As you do, your body will begin to associate the bedroom with rest.
That doesn’t mean you can’t help “set the mood”. Be sure to turn the lights down in your room before bed. You may want to create a more relaxing environment by diffusing lavender oil. And don’t forget to lower the thermostat—according to the Sleep Foundation, the optimum temperature for sleeping is around 65°F or 18°C…brrr!
Getting good rest shouldn’t be a casual goal. We need to prioritize our sleep just as we prioritize our physical health…because it’s just that important.