According to the Centers of Disease Control Prevention (CDC), 35 percent of Americans aren’t sleeping the recommended 7 to 8 hours per night. The reality is that many factors can influence how your body and mind turn off at night. But a few key changes can make a big difference.
1. Commit to your wakeup time
Try no tot be a serial snoozer person, don’t set the alarm knowing that you’ll sleep another 15 minutes after the buzzer goes off. It may feel good but hitting the snooze seriously confuses your body by starting a new sleep cycle it will never finish. You’ll want to return to that cycle for hours, even after you get to work. Instead get out of bed right away to quickly adjust to a walking state and rev up for the day ahead.
2. Work on your diet
Eating healthy and sleeping well go hand in hand. Meals and snacks that are high in sugar and fat can hurt the quality of your sleep that night. When you’re looking for a midday energy boost, reach for protein instead. Closer to bedtime, a small amount of carbs can be soothing. But in general, avoid eating late at night.
3. Get exercise
Experts say that even a brisk 10- minute walk can help the quality and duration of nighttime sleep. To magnify the calming effects of physical activity, exercise outdoors. The sunlight reinforces a healthy walk/sleep cycle.
4. Skip the second glass of wine
Alcohol makes you sleepy but there’s a catch. The downside is that you’re going to get multiple awakenings, which keep you from getting those deeper stages of sleep. You can still enjoy wine or beer with dinner but try to cap it at one glass.
5. Resist the urge of using your phone and computer
Studies have shown that “blue light,” the main wavelength given off by LED screens in electronic devices, suppresses hormones that help you sleep. For one week, avoid late-night TV email, social media browsing, and reading on your phone or tablet, and see what happens.
6. Cool off
Cool room temperatures help your body wind down in preparation for sleep. For the same reason, don’t burring yourself under a pile of blankets. Start the night under as little bedding as possible, and pull up another layer only as you need it.
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