Tired of bad sleep habits? One in three Americans report not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. Sleep is an important pillar of good health. It strengthens the immune system, enhances memory, concentration, and decision-making skills. Not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep can contribute to a host of health problems, from higher blood pressure to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Hard as we may try, a bad night’s sleep is bound to happen. How do we recover and make sure to sleep better the following night? Recognizing signs of poor sleep hygiene is the first step towards a good night’s sleep. Common symptoms include irritability, difficulty falling asleep, frequent sleep disruptions, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and lack of consistency in sleep amount and quality.
Reimage the way you sleep by reviewing the following list of Sleep Dos & Don’ts to feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and avoid impromptu naps in front of the computer.
Do Get Some Sun
This helps your body set its internal clock. It can also counter sleeplessness by helping improve your mood.
Do Exercise – At the Right Time
Exercise can improve sleep and help you fall asleep more quickly. Avoid exercising too closely to bedtime as it can stimulate endorphins, hormones that makes you more alert.
Drinking enough fluids during the day prevents waking up thirsty in the middle of the night.
Do Relax Your Mind
Start to relax as bedtime approaches. Try to avoid bedtime worrying, instead focus on creating a mental gratitude list or picturing a happy memory.
Do Take Breaks
After a poor night’s sleep, it may be harder than normal to keep focused. Go outdoors for a short walk, take a brief nap or exercise to give your mind time to rejuvenate.
Do Create A Relaxation Routine
A predictable routine helps ready the body and mind for bed. It helps the brain recognize when it’s time to sleep.
Do Nap – The Right Amount
A twenty-minute nap can sharpen attention and motor skills. Naps between twenty and ninety minutes can leave you feeling groggier than when you started. Take a nap, but don’t forget to set an alarm!
Do Eat Light & Early
Eating a light meal with proper nutrients provides the brain with the chemical environment it needs to produce neurotransmitters that help maintain adequate sleep.
Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
Most people need an extra hour of sleep to really make a difference. Hitting the snooze button can lead to ongoing drowsiness.
Don’t Sleep In
It may be tempting to take the morning off and sleep in, but this confuses the body’s internal clock. It’s best to stick to a routine and wake up at the same time each day even if you didn’t sleep well.
Smoking is bad for your health in general, and tobacco is a stimulant that can prevent good sleep quality.
Don’t Surf the Internet
The blue light emitted by a smartphone, computer or tablet can stimulate the brain to be alert. These devices also provide a distraction that further delays sleep.
Scientists believe that dreaming helps build memory and assists with information recall, aids in emotion processing acts as a mental housekeeper clearing away unnecessary information. Connect with your dreams by implementing five of the above Dos & Don’ts of good sleep.