Proper sleep can improve moods, increase energy levels and strengthen your immune system. However, there are plenty of factors that can impede a revitalizing slumber. While issues like work stress, family responsibilities, health or relationships are more difficult to control, there are several things you can change today to help you get a better sleep.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule. Just like with muscle memory, our bodies adjust to certain rhythms. Set up a sleep routine and stick to it, even on weekends. Perhaps a warm bath followed by a half hour curled up with a good book is just the ticket. Make sure you’re tired before trying to sleep to prevent tossing and turning.
2. Unplug earlier. Power down electronics ideally two hours before bed time. The light they emit can affect the production of a hormone called melatonin, essential for a good night’s sleep. While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light does so more powerfully. Examples of light sources high in melatonin-suppressing blue light include LED light bulbs, computer monitors, laptop computers, cell phones, tablets, hand-held video games, and LED televisions.
3. Create a comfortable, quiet sleep area. Quiet is essential, especially for shift workers, whose sleep-wake cycle is atypical. Consider soundproofing your bedroom. It’s a simple DIY task that can make a big difference. Experts recommend a product called Roxul Safe ‘n’ Sound insulation that absorbs sound and prevents its transmission from room to room. Install it in walls, ceilings, and between floors for best results. Select a supportive mattress, and replace it every seven years. Choose comfortable sleepwear and bedding, and don’t forget to adjust the temperature. Many sleep experts say that a cool room, around 18˚C (65˚F), makes for the best sleep.