21 August 2018

Improving Your Sleep

Do you feel foggy or groggy most mornings? It's probable that, like most Americans, you're not getting as much sleep as you need. Don't worry, though - there are a few solutions which will help you sneak in more sleep or improve its quality. Lack of sleep is an epidemic - according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Around 80% of Americans believe they'd feel more prepared for their day and generally better if they had an extra hour of sleep. Getting that extra hour might seem impossible when you wake up each morning, but actually, there are some secrets to get more and better sleep which will definitely help you feel more wakeful and rested.

Schedule Your Sleep

One way to make your daily eight hours a consistent part of your life is to schedule it. Make bedtime part of your to-do list and treat it like any other important appointment. If you wouldn't miss a meeting to binge watch a TV show, why would your miss sleep? Be disciplined and strict about your sleep appointment. Keep a consistent schedule for going to bed and wake up, and soon they'll be both a part of your routine. If you can, support that schedule with a bedtime routine with soothing music, good books, and maybe a hot bath.

Get A Good Mattress

The bed you sleep in plays a large role in determining how well and how long you sleep. The pillows and the mattress are very important, especially if you consider the fact that your body and your bed change throughout the years. If your mattress is five years old, for instance, it's probably time to get a new one, since older mattress tend to not provide the support you need to get a good night of sleep. A simple improvement as that could completely change the quality of your sleep. The pillows should be replaced regularly, too, to make sure you're getting proper support for the spine and neck. This mattress from Sit and Sleep gets good reviews. 

Get Up When You Wake Up

It can be tempting to hit the snooze button again and again to get a little more sleep, but that's a bad habit which ends up hurting you in the long run. Set the alarm for the time you need to get up, or, if you've tried and it's really, really hard for you, give yourself enough time for a single snooze hit each morning.

The thing about snoozing is that it breaks your restful sleep and replaces you with very light sleep that doesn't really do much for your energy levels. While it may feel good, you aren't really getting a benefit from the extra minutes.

Don't Eat Too Late

Everything you eat and drink has to be processed for the body - and when you consume anything right before bed, your body won't be able to completely relax, as it's still working to digest it.

If you can, try to finish eating two or three hours before you go to sleep, so that your system isn't busy when you're trying to shut down. Drink alcohol at the start of the evening instead of late at night, and make sure to only drink caffeine in the morning, as it can stay in your system for longer than you think and significantly disrupts sleep for some people.

Get Some Exercise

Exercise can be a great way to help your body fall asleep at night. Even a short walk will help get blood moving and improve your sleep - just make sure you stop working out at least two hours before bed, so that your body has time to cool down and relax.

Naps Are Great

It might seem counter-intuitive, but naps won't disrupt your nighttime sleep if you do it for the right amount of time. A quick 10 to 30 minutes nap can help you get extra energy throughout the day, and will improve your alertness for up to four hours if you are well-rested. If you're sleep deprived, you'll only see an improvement for around 2 and a half hours, though.

Get Comfortable

It's important to make sure your bedroom is a relaxing, comfortable place, so that you actually want to spend time there as you lie down and wait to fall asleep. Make adjustment so its cozy, cool, quiet and dark. Again, the bed itself is an important factor to consider, so make sure its comfortable enough that you can get a good night's sleep, large enough that you can move freely, and new enough that it won't cause pain or aches.

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.

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