If you’re like most people, there are nights (sometimes seemingly endless), that you just don’t sleep well, or mornings when you wake up not feeling rested. This restlessness can lead to sluggish performance, irritability, and even more serious health concerns. Having healthy sleeping habits – or good “sleep hygiene” - can improve your quality of life.
Here are a few tips to help you get more sleep, feel more rested, and ready to take on the day:
Stick to a Regular Bed Time: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. This helps keep your internal clock set, making it easier to fall asleep, and wake up at the same time every day.
Develop a “Sleep Routine”: Whether it’s meditating, a cup of tea, or taking a break from the computer or TV, take a moment to relax before bedtime. Find a calming activity and avoid bright lights and electronics to help turn your mind off. This will help you shift from the demands of the day to giving your body permission to rest.
Comfortable Bedding: A comfortable, supportive mattress and pillow makes a big difference. If you’ve had the same mattress for the past decade, then it’s time to consider getting a new one. Flipping your mattress every few months avoids sagging, impressions, and can prolong its life. Pillows help support your head and neck in a “natural” position. While a pillow is a personal choice, it’s helpful to keep in mind how you sleep most often, be it on your back, side, or stomach.
Avoid Stimulants: That glass of wine might feel like it’s helping to ease the stress of the day, but alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and spicy foods can keep you up at night. Try avoiding them at least an hour or two before you go to sleep.
No More Napping: While you may want to take a quick cat nap and rest during the day, napping disrupts your sleep schedule. Making it through the day without a nap will help you to fall asleep at your regular bed time.
Daily Exercise: Daily exercise can go a long way in improving sleep. Aerobic exercise seems to work best at combating sleeplessness, but even non-aerobic activities can be beneficial.
If you still find yourself waking, tossing and turning, and unable to sleep at night, talk to your AppleCare physician, or consider a sleep professional. Sleep studies record your body during sleep, and can often find out the underlying cause to your sleep problems.