Sometimes falling asleep may seem impossible and you might find yourself awake at 3 a.m., but good sleep is more under your control than you might think. Lack of sleep is a common problem in the U.S. At least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year. Not getting adequate sleep can affect mood, causing you to be irritable, impatient and anxious. Following healthy sleep habits can make the difference between restlessness and restful slumber. Below you will find some quick and easy habits that can change your sleep and provide a restful night:
1. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other chemicals that interfere with your sleep:
As any coffee lover knows, caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. So avoid caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers) for four to six hours before bedtime.
2. Exercise early:
Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly—as long as it's done at the right time. Exercise stimulates the body and helps activate the alerting mechanism in the brain. This is fine, unless you're trying to fall asleep. Try to finish exercising at least three hours before bed or work out earlier in the day.
3. Reduce Blue light exposure at night:
It is recommended that you stop using your phone, computer, TV 1 hour or more before you go to sleep. Nighttime light exposure reduces hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and get deep sleep.
4. Reduce longtime day naps:
While short power naps are beneficial, long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your sleep. Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, meaning that you may struggle to sleep at night.
5. Sleep and wake up at consistent times:
Being consistent with your sleep and waking times can aid long-term sleep quality.One study noted that participants who had irregular sleeping patterns and went to bed late on the weekends reported poor sleep.
6. Relax and clear your mind before going to bed:
Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another common technique used to treat insomnia. Some things you could do include listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, meditating and deep breathing