Americans are more tired than ever; 20% of Americans admit to getting less than six hours of sleep per night on average. A good night’s sleep is sometimes hard to come by, with other priorities taking precedence over our slumber. Getting enough sleep doesn’t just improve our personal comfort; it also is a vital aspect for good health.
Sleep deprivation causes numerous problems, and it can be a very serious concern particularly for extended periods of time. It causes anxiety, fuels memory loss, impairs judgment, and raises our risk of death. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. So why are we so willing to compromise time in between the sheets.
A good night’s sleep helps us wake feeling refreshed, setting the mood for the rest of our day. It can improve our physical health, help our immune system fight diseases/illnesses, and even encourages weight loss. There’s a reason why they call it “beauty sleep”, studies show people who get more sleep are considered more attractive.
So how do you improve your quality of sleep? Here are six tips for getting a better nights sleep to help you wake up feeling more refreshed.
Get a quality mattress. We spend upwards of a third of our lives asleep! So why are you still sleeping on that old lumpy mattress? Finding a comfortable mattress that suits your body can lead to better quality sleep, help you fall asleep faster and prevent you from getting up during the middle of the night.
Get physical. Regular physical activity promotes better sleep – it’s that simple. Aim for at least 20-30 minutes a day of physical activity, whether it’s walking, hitting the gym, or participating in some yoga – all of it will have your body craving some rest at the end of a long day. If you are an athlete, getting enough sleep is essential for maximizing your performance – helping you recover quicker and decreasing the likelihood of an injury.
Watch what you eat and drink. Having a poor diet will affect your sleep. Consuming unhealthy food or drinks increases your restlessness, making it harder to fall asleep at night. Drinking caffeine late in the day might help you stay up if you need it, but it will also keep you from falling asleep when your body wants.
Minimize blue light exposure. We are more attached to our personal media devices then ever before, at times it’s as if our faces are glued to the screen. Although these keep us entertained, the can disrupt our body’s natural processes. Many of these devices emit blue light, which stimulates our body to stay awake. This is the same effect that you’ll notice if you’ve ever been camping; you wake up early and go to bed when the sun is setting. Our bodies are conditioned to stay awake when exposed to blue light. Keep the iPad out of the bed, if you use it to read – trade it for a good ol’ fashioned book or a Kindle, which filters the blue light out to help us fall asleep naturally.
Get enough sleep. Doctors recommend the average adult needs to get at least 6 hours of sleep a night, and depending on your lifestyle you may need even more than that. Aim for 7.5-9 hours of sleep per night.
Establish a sleep schedule. Establishing a sleep schedule is a great way to make sure you are getting enough beauty rest. Try and fall asleep and wake up about the same time every night, timing it with your sleep cycles. What is a sleep cycle? It’s the time it takes our body to go through the five stages of sleep, which is about 90 minutes. By setting your schedule to your sleep cycle, you will wake up feeling much more rested.
Getting sleep is vital to our well-being. Start making sleep a priority today. Do you have any special tips or routines you do which help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer? Tell us below.