Getting enough sleep is crucial to feeling good physically, mentally and emotionally. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer physically and experience both anxiety and depression. Most Americans get an average of 6 hours of sleep a night, less than the recommended seven to nine. Even when you do fall asleep, you may not get a lot of real rest if you spend the whole night tossing and turning. However, taking medication to help you sleep every day is not the only habit that can help. Here is how to get a good night’s sleep:
1. Stick to a Schedule
Try to go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends. This helps set your body’s internal rhythm so that it knows when it’s time to go to sleep each night. Try to wake up at the same time every day as well.
2. Avoid Eating Late
A late dinner or midnight snack may be messing with your sleep. Your body is working to digest food if you eat right before bed, making it harder to get good rest. Give yourself at least two hours between dinner time and bedtime when possible.
3. Get Away from Screens
The blue light from TV, cell phone and computer screens can disrupt your sleep. One idea is this: at least an hour before bed, stop looking at screens. Take a bath, read a book or sip some herbal tea to wind down instead.
Getting exercise during the day can help you sleep better at night. However, working out too close to bedtime elevates your heart rate and can actually make it harder to fall asleep.
5. Write Down Your Problems
Keep a notebook by your bed at night. If your mind is consumed with worries, bad thoughts or things you need to do, take the time to write them down and get them out of your head. While you’re at it, write down one thing you’re grateful for to get your mind in the right place.