Most Americans are not getting enough sleep, and this is not even a secret. There was a recent study done across the nation by Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, and it showed that over a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep regularly.
The theme for this year’s World Sleep Day was “Good Sleep is a Reachable Dream”, but you should make it a priority to get enough sleep every day of the year. The World Sleep Day is on March 18. Sleep experts reiterate it is important to be taking steps that will help you get a night of healthier sleep. Here are seven tips that will go a long way in helping you get good sleep on a consistent basis;
Recognizing That Regularly Getting Enough Sleep is Hard
It is not easy to get enough sleep every single night. Work and active lifestyle will have a big impact on your sleep, and there are other things like a busy schedule that can easily end up forcing you to go to bed late than usual. It is important to acknowledge that you have a problem before you can start working to improve your sleeping habits.
Understanding Your Sleep Habits so You Improve
You should have a better understanding of the different factors that might be causing you to have inadequate or unhealthy sleep. You should consider having a sleep diary where you track your sleep habits for a week or two. You might be able to learn a lot about your sleep habits and patterns that affect your sleep that you were not able to see before. Some of them can include habits such as watching TV or drinking alcohol before going to bed. When you know your sleep habits, you are in a better position to deal with it and get quality sleep. You might be able to know stress triggers that keep you up when you get into bed, and you will find a solution to the problem.
Preparing Yourself for Sleep
You should also take a couple of steps when preparing to go to bed. Wind down an hour or two before bedtime. This time is not for worrying about your fears, exercising, or getting into arguments. The mediation will go a long way in helping you calm your mind, and doing relaxation exercises are going to calm the body.
Taking Control of Your Sleep Space
Technology has had an impact on most aspects of our lives, and this applies to areas such as sleep. Devices such as laptops, tablets, televisions, PCs, smartphones, and gaming systems have had some impact in the bedroom, and it can easily take up the time that was supposed to be used for resting your body. You should be trying your best to cut out such devices when bedtime is close. Your bedroom should be used for only sleep, recovery from illness, or sex, and not for activities such as watching your favourite shows, going on social media, or playing games. You should be creating an ideal environment that will make it easy to fall asleep. Some of the things you can do are keep the quiet, dark, and at a temperature that is comfortable.
Making Sleep your Priority
You should make sleep a priority in your life and also encouraging people around you to do the same. Promoting the importance of sleep with your friends is a good idea. You can even go the extra step of starting a conversation about quality sleep where you work. You can have a talk on quality sleep and healthy habits with your friends and family. This will help you in exploring ways of protecting against interruptions to your schedule, and this includes things such as messages and calls during bedtime, and morning or late activities that can wait.
Consulting an Expert
If you find yourself having a hard time falling or staying asleep or both, or sleeping too much during the day, it could be a sign of sleep disorder. Such conditions should be dealt with as soon as possible because if left not treated, it could lead to more serious consequences such as an increase in risk for comorbid conditions and cardiovascular challenges. If you are taking medications, check to see if they have listed insomnia as one of the side effects. If this is the case, have a talk with your physician so they can see whether there are other options that don’t affect your sleep. The health care professional will be the one determining whether the medication is causing your lack of sleep.
Getting Started Tonight
There are a number of things that you can get started with tonight that are going to help in improving your sleep. You should keep a schedule where you record times you wake up and go to sleep. Exercising during the day can help you wind down at night. You should also get rid of any activities that are not helping you with your sleep, such as taking long naps during the days or stimulating activities close to bedtime, with some common activities being drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or drinking caffeinated beverages. Using these tips will go a long way in helping you get quality sleep.