If you’re still feeling a bit groggy after losing an hour of precious sleep to Daylight Saving Time this past Sunday, you’re not alone. The National Sleep Foundation marks this week as National Sleep Week in order to raise awareness about the importance of sleep, and how to improve your sleep habits for better overall health and well-being. Read on for seven ways to ensure you get a blissful night’s rest.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Whether you’re a fan of coffee or tea, keep an eye on how much you drink throughout the day as it can surprisingly disrupt your sleep—either by making it difficult to fall asleep, or leave you restless throughout the night. Be particularly cautious about late afternoon and evening cups of coffee, and even chocolate too, as they can do the most damage when it’s so close to bedtime.
Stick To A Regular Exercise Routine
Daily exercise, plus a little fresh air, will do your body a lot of good both during the day and while you sleep. Not only will exercise increase your energy and improve circulation, but experts say regular physical activity can enhance a more restful night’s sleep.
Unplug From The Day’s Stresses
Though we may think the workday is officially done when we shutdown our computer, many of us continue to worry about our job and other concerns long after our day’s work is supposedly done. Try to do daily things that will help you decompress and unplug, such as 10 minutes of meditation, a yoga class, or a warm bath in aromatic Epsom salts.
Designate Your Bed For Two Things Only
While it’s incredibly easy to watch TV from bed or to bring your laptop along and surf the internet for a while, try to avoid these bad habits so that your body knows it’s truly bedtime when you hit the hay.
Prepare Your Bedroom For Optimal Sleep
We get our best rest when we sleep in a room that is quiet, completely dark, and on the cooler side (between 68-72 degrees). Try to avoid exposure to brightly backlit phones or computers just before bedtime as they can have a stimulating effect on your mind and body.
Get Into A Weekly Routine
While it’s normal to want to sleep-in on the weekends, experts advise getting on a set sleep routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. A consistent sleep pattern will help reinforce your circadian rhythm, which both improves wakefulness in the morning and promotes a better night’s rest.