Sleep Tips to Improve Your Health and Well-Being
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and for preschoolers 10-13 hours, school-age kids 9-11 hours, teens 8-10 hours, young adults (18 to 25) 7-9 hours and older adults (65+) need 7-8 hours.
Some recommended tips on how to consistently sleep well include:
- Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends. This can help regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, away from bright lights, each night. The National Sleep Foundation suggests making a list, taking five deep breaths, tuning into your senses, and tensing your toes as you lay in bed and fall asleep.
- Exercising daily will help your body sleep and while The National Sleep Foundation says vigorous exercise is best for sleep, any type of exercise is better than nothing at all.
- Evaluate your bedroom to ensure it is the ideal temperature (which is from 60 to 67 degrees), and optimal levels of sound and light. If needed, you should consider using blackout curtains, an eye mask, earplugs, a white noise machine, a humidifier, or a fan.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows, and remember your mattress should be supportive and comfortable to your body. The average mattress lasts anywhere from 9 to 10 years. Also, considering using hypoallergenic pillows.
- Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol, smoking, and heavy meals in the evening. If possible, avoid large meals for 2 to 3 hours before sleep, along with spicy foods, which lead to indigestion, which can affect sleep.
- Wind down before bedtime and avoid TV, computers and phones right before bed. Try reading a book or meditating in order to help your body shift from awake time to sleep time. If you wake during the night, try to avoid looking at your phone. Also, if you view a screen most of your day at work consider using blue light blocking glasses. Studies have found that too much exposure to blue light at night suppresses the body’s secretion of melatonin, which regulates sleep cycles.
The Doctors stress if you are having consistent sleep issues or trouble sleeping to consult with your healthcare professional or a sleep specialist in order to better evaluate sleeping habits and how to improve your sleep.