Ah, sleep. We all want more, but it’s so hard to find the extra time. But, don’t despair – you can improve the quality even without increasing the quantity. In honor of Better Sleep Month, here are a few things you can do:
- Establish a nighttime rhythm. Help your body get to sleep faster by establishing a series of habits to clue your body in. You could drink a cup of tea shortly before or read a few pages of a book.
- Try to go to sleep and wake up at as consistent times as possible. When your body knows what’s coming, it will prepare properly, allowing you to get to sleep faster and make wake up easier.
- No technology for an hour before you try to fall asleep. Most devices emit a blue light that makes the brain alert – if you absolutely can’t resist refreshing your email one last time, at least see if there’s a “nighttime” setting on your device that will soften the light.
- Exercise helps you sleep better, especially if you plan it correctly. Aim to complete high intensity workouts early in the day, otherwise they’ll reenergize you just as you want to start winding down for the night. Try something more calming, like a few minutes of yoga or stretching, just before bed.
- The optimal duration of a nap? 20 minutes per the folks at NASA, who conducted a huge study in 2005 to help astronauts sleep more effectively. Any more or less can actually make you drowsier their findings proved.
- Turn your alarm clock so you can’t see the face. If you wake up in the night and see the time, it can make your thoughts start racing about the day ahead and further awaken you.
Follow these tips and there should be quality sleep in your future!