SLEEP TIPS

Feel Happier, More Productive, and Energetic by Changing Sleep Habits

We've all been there. You're exhausted, you're not getting enough sleep, and you can't seem to break the cycle of poor sleeping habits. Keeping up with a healthy sleeping routine is often one of the biggest struggles for many adults. It's essential to your health and happiness and, yet, it often becomes the least important part of your to-dos. Or, even worse, daily habits are interrupting your sleep habits.

"Not getting the proper amount of sleep has negative, long-term effects on your energy, productivity, emotional balance, and even weight." SouthCoast Health [xxxx] said. "Unfortunately, getting better sleep is not as simple as just getting a full eight hours every night. There are other things you have to consider."

If you find yourself tossing and turning more often than not, don't worry. We've got the inside scoop on what will make you sleep like a baby.

1. Stick to a Schedule

Does waking up naturally without an alarm seem like a far-off dream to you? Well, it's possible and here's how: stick to your body's natural sleep cycle. In other words, pick a time to go to bed and a time to wake up. Then, make sure to follow that schedule every day, even over the weekends. While it may be tempting to sleep in on Saturday after the long work week, doing so will affect your body in the same way that jet-lag does.

If you stick to a schedule, you'll wake up feeling more refreshed and energized, plus you may be able to throw away your alarm clocks.

2. Relax

It's no shocker that leftover thoughts, stress, and negative emotions from your day can make it harder to fall and stay asleep. It's vital to spend time detaching from those things and relaxing before bedtime. If you need some tips or inspiration on how to do that, we've got a few here:

  • Close your eyes and strive to breath as deeply as you can. Doing so will help your body and mind realize it's time to get ready for sleep.
  • Read a book or magazine with soft light.
  • The blue light emitted from electronic devices disrupts your sleep quality immensely. Strive for not looking at your phone, computer, or TV a full hour before your bedtime. While we know this can be challenging, you'll see a huge difference in your quality of sleep.
  • Take a warm bath. Not only will this pamper your body, you'll be fully relaxed and ready for bed by the time it's over.
  • Spend some time preparing for the next day. Small things like packing your lunch beforehand, doing light cleaning, and picking your outfit out can help save time and energy for the next day and lower your stress levels.
3. Exercise

People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and also have more energy throughout the day. While the more vigorous the exercise the better the sleep, even light exercise can cause positive changes. However, it does take time for exercise patterns to affect your quality of sleep, so remain patient and work hard at keeping up regular exercise routines.

4. Environment

Did you know that your sleep environment has a huge impact on your sleep quality? Here's a few changes you can make to your bedroom that will make you sleep even better:

  • Keep the outside noise where it belongs: outside. If you're constantly hearing sounds from your neighbors, other people in your house, or the traffic outside, try noise machines to block it out, white noise or pink noise machines are made for this, but an old fan works fine too.
  • Do you wake up with body pains every morning? It might be your bed. Invest in a good mattress that doesn't leave you feeling sore and high-quality sheets that have you looking forward to climbing into bed every night.
  • The perfect sleep temperature for many people is around 65 degrees F. If your bedroom is too hot or too cold for you, your quality of sleep will be affected. Figure out what works best for you.
  • Refrain from working, watching TV, playing on your phone, or anything else that isn't sleep while in your bed. If you do so, your brain will associate your bedroom and climbing into bed as time to fall asleep, not as time to work. It'll make it far easier to wind down for a restful night of sleep.
5. Diet

Just as exercise benefits both your mind and your body when it comes to sleep, so does your diet.

Let's start with drinks. In general, it's good to avoid drinking liquids before bedtime, otherwise you might wake up to use the restroom in the middle of the night. However, it's extra important to not to drink caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks at least a few hours before bedtime.

As far as food, eat dinner on the earlier side and aim for lighter meals. Try as much as possible to eliminate sugary foods and refined carbs from your diet. All of these elements can pull you out of the deeper stages of sleep and make you feel unrested.

If you want to have more energy, feel happier, and be more productive, change your sleep habits. Click here if you'd like to schedule an appointment with SouthCoast Health to see just how your sleep patterns might be affecting your overall health.

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