Adults should sleep for at least seven hours a night. However, according to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study on sleep length, 34.8 percent of Americans don’t get enough sleep. Based on the survey, the CDC estimates that 83.6 million Americans are not getting enough sleep. Even though it’s something we all need and for the most part, do every day, sleeping can be difficult. Here are a five tips to make falling asleep a little easier.
Start a routine
Going to bed and getting up at a consistent time will help make falling asleep easier. Doing the same thing before bed each night will help your brain and body realize it’s time to relax. Take a warm shower, or read a book, or both.
Put down the screen
As good as that book is, put down the kindle. No matter how many emails you have to check, put down the iPad. Even if you haven’t checked social media in a whole twenty minutes, put down the phone. Staring at a screen before bed is bad. Studies show that staring at white and blue light like that emitted by a phone or tablet prevents the body from producing melatonin, a hormone that tells our body to go to bed. Besides, the time spent looking through your phone is time you could be falling asleep.
Exercising during the day significantly helps insomnia for a few reasons. Not only does exercise tire you out, but it improves feelings of depression and anxiety which could make falling asleep easier. Also, physical activity causes the body temperature to rise. The decrease in body temperature post-exercise could promote feelings of falling asleep, especially if it occurs in the afternoon or later. However, exercising too close to bedtime could backfire and keep you awake longer.
A bedroom being too hot or too cold can prevent you from snoozing soundly. The National Sleep Foundation says the ideal temperature to fall asleep at is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything warmer of cooler can affect the quality of REM or rapid eye movement sleep, the deepest form of sleep. Throw a fan or air conditioner in the window, or adjust the thermostat.
You read that right. Instead of continuing to lie in bed getting frustrated, get up and walk around. Stressing over not sleeping only makes things worse. Get up, get a drink of water, wash your face, and try to fall asleep again. Your mind should associate your bed with sleep.
Sleep is one of the most important things we need. Make it a higher priority to sleep more and better. With these tips it shouldn’t be difficult.