Tips for Effective Sleep
The following tips are recommended for healthy sleep:
- Power down. Turn all entertainment and social networking devices off at least thirty minutes before bed. The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive.
- Don't go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you up.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Keeping the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends, helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
- Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
- Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but preferably not within 1-2 hours of bedtime.
- Evaluate your room. Your bedroom should be cool, between 60 and 67 degrees; free from noise that can disturb your sleep; and free from any light.
- Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices as needed.
- Be comfortable. Make sure your mattress is supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses.
Sources: sleep.org and the National Sleep Foundation; adrenalfatiguesolution.com; mayoclinic.org