Between fifty and seventy million adults report having a sleep disorder, according to the American Sleep Association. And yet, adults are required a full seven to nine hours of sleep in order to function properly and maintain a desirable level of health and wellness.
Though there is no set cure for insomnia and other sleep disorders, there are steps you can take to try and help yourself achieve a more restful night and, in turn, a more pleasant morning.
Step away from the screen.
Surfing the internet or binge-watching the latest Netflix show right before bed are behaviors proven to sabotage your sleep. Backlit screens send signals to your brain that promote alertness, and can stop you from winding down.
Try a power nap.
If you have time during the day for a fifteen-minute power nap—take it! Sometimes a nap is all you need to feel refreshed and take on the rest of the day, just be sure to keep it quick. Anything more than fifteen minutes might have you feeling even more drowsy than before.
Skip the bullhorn alarm.
You might think that a harsh alarm is necessary to wake you up in the morning, but severe sounds can do a number on your mental state. Instead, opt for gentle music or a song you enjoy so you can rise and shine with a smile.
Run some laps.
OK, you don’t actually have to run laps. But some light exercise throughout the day, not just before bed, can help you feel more relaxed come nighttime, and can actually reduce the amount of time needed to start your REM cycle—the deepest level of sleep.
Eat the right foods.
Stimulating food and drink, like coffee and chocolate which are high in caffeine, can help keep you up at night, even when consumed earlier in the day. Instead, opt for things like chamomile tea, oatmeal, or warm milk—which can put you at ease.
Proper sleep is essential for your body to function properly, but with distractions around every turn it can be a challenge. Make sure you’re well-rested by following some of these tricks.