Has your morning ever started off in a bad mood because you had restless, interrupted sleep all night? If it has, it’s because your mind was hungover from exhaustion and didn’t get the rest it needed.
Do you often feel this way? How about a nap right now? Would you trade anything to sleep like a baby tonight?
You’re not alone. Almost half of all Americans say they feel sleepy during the day between three and seven days per week. And most of them agree it disturbs their emotional mood, productivity at work, and overall mental acuity.
Sleep is intertwined with both your physical and mental health. Healthy sleep gives your immune system a boost and re-energizes your mind to stay creative and focused.
“You’re putting energy in the bank when you go to sleep,” says Barry Krakow, MD, medical director of Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences, Ltd. “Without it, you can’t do what you want—physically or mentally.”
Following sleep hygiene and falling into a healthy sleep cycle takes tiny lifestyle adjustments. When you begin sleeping better, you can easily bid goodbye to the always-tired-and-lazy-you.
Here are some ways you can cultivate healthy sleep habits:
Consistent bedtime and wake-up timeMaintaining a steady sleep cycle, even during weekends, aligns your body’s internal clock and helps you sleep and wake-up easily.
ExerciseWorking out, especially early in the morning, keeps you energized throughout the day. Funnily enough, it also helps you fall asleep at night with ease.
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The bedroom environmentThe noise getting into your bedroom, the comfort of your mattress, the light and the temperature, all of these influence how you sleep. Make everything comfortable, block/change everything that is not and a sound sleep will become all yours.
Avoid caffeine post 5PMCaffeine blocks adenosine, a sleep promoting chemical. Caffeine brings a burst of energy, it makes you alert and harder to sleep. Avoiding caffeine for 6 hours before you sleep will give you the much-needed sleep.
Turn down screen timeTurning off your mind before sleep is as important as turning off the lights in your room. Spending time with screens interferes with your body clock and delays your mind from turning off.
Unwind before bedtimeIf you have a hard time shifting your mind from work to rest, include an unwind activity in your bedtime routine. Fold your laundry, count numbers, read a book or meditate. Do something that idles your mind or bores you.
Finding what’s best for you to fall asleep easily might take some time. But once you do, it’ll keep you healthy—physically and metnally—for life. Your mornings will become joyful and your energy will keep you going through the day. You will be able to deal better with your emotions and keep your mental wellness in check. A good night’s sleep makes everything better. You’ll see.