Midway through the work day, you feel your eyelids growing heavy as you reach for your coffee cup and wonder how you will stay awake for the rest of your day.
Maybe you stayed up too late last night finishing that big project, or you woke several times throughout the night feeling anxious. Thankfully, though, there are actions you can take to start enjoying better sleep and more positive physical energy. Here are 4 tips to help you achieve those 7-9 recommended hours of restorative sleep on a regular basis:
1) Follow a sleep routine
Prioritize sleep by making it part of your schedule. You should feel less tempted to stay up working or completing other activities when sleep has its own special place in your day. Choose a set bedtime and wake time, and keep them consistent whenever possible. If you struggle to relax at night, incorporate soothing bedtime rituals like a hot bath or aromatherapy into your routine.
2) Control your climate
Your bedroom should be an environment that promotes restful sleep. Avoid bright light from screens (TVs, computers, tablets, phones) at least 1 hour before bed to make falling asleep easier for yourself. Keep your room as quiet as possible and try using ambient sound to block distracting outside noise. Be sure to set the thermostat to a moderate temperature to keep you comfortable as you sleep.
3) Consume with care
What and when you eat (and drink) can affect the quality and quantity of your sleep. To avoid being kept awake by indigestion, it’s best to stay away from bedtime snacks and heavy evening meals. To stop caffeine-fueled energy bursts at bedtime, eliminate coffee, tea, and soda by three O’clock in the afternoon. Then finally, limit or avoid water consumption right before bed to reduce disruptions to your sleep.
4) Work out regularly
Daily exercise can improve your sleep in more than one way; it releases pent-up physical tension and leaves you physically tired. Exercise helps you mentally and emotionally, here’s how: Exercise promotes mental clarity and reduces emotional stress. While you work out your mind has a chance to work through unresolved mental and emotional issues of the day. Your mind has a chance to engage differently, which promotes “ah ha moments”, YES!, those bright ideas you were looking for. The end result, a better nights sleep and a restful mind.
You may also find a 10-minute power nap beneficial for daytime renewal. Remember, better-quality rest benefits your health, energy, focus, and mood!