8 tips for healthier sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important and beneficial things you can do for yourself. Over time, it will help you eat less, have more energy and improve your overall health. Restless sleep can cause weight gain and increase your risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Unfortunately, research shows that adults and children are sleeping less compared to a few decades ago. The recommended amount of sleep is 9 to 12 hours per night for children 6 to 12 years old and 7 to 9 hours for adults. So if you’d like to give your health a boost and work on getting a better night’s sleep, here are some tips that may help you.

Practice a bedtime routine
Getting ready for bed is an important component of a good night’s sleep. Start a consistent nightly routine to improve long-term sleep quality, especially on the weekends. One way to help yourself relax is to read a book in a quiet, dimly-lit room. Try avoiding screen time before bed on smartphones, tablets, TV and other devices, as it can also worsen sleep.

Try to wake up at the same time each day
Whether you are an early riser or get to sleep in later, waking up at the same time every day can help condition your body to get into a rhythm, which will help improve your sleep quality. After a while, your body may become so used to your sleep schedule that you may not even need that annoying alarm clock.

Increase bright light exposure during the day
Exposing yourself to bright light or natural sunlight will help you stay awake and have more energy throughout the day. It will also help your body wind down when the sun sets and sleep more deeply when it’s time for bed.

Avoid caffeine late in the day
Caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6 - 8 hours, which can significantly worsen sleep quality. Try switching to water or an unsweetened, caffeine-free tea in the evening, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine.

Find your ideal bedroom temperature
Test different temperatures to figure out what works for you, for most people, around 70° is ideal.

Take a relaxing bath
Soaking in a warm bath before bed could help you fall asleep faster and get a deeper sleep. If you don’t want to take a full bath, just dip your legs and feet in the warm water to help you relax.

Try to avoid naps
Naps can throw off your body’s natural sleep rhythm and leave you wide awake at bedtime.

Talk to your doctor
If you’re still having trouble sleeping – whether it’s falling asleep or staying asleep – your doctor may be able to help or refer you to a sleep professional.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better

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