Sleep Resolutions: Tips To Improve Your Sleep
December 09, 2021
It’s morning. Your alarm clock is going off, and you think, how can it be 6:30 a.m. already? You check the clock, and sure enough, it’s 6:30 a.m. and time to get ready for the day. But you’re still tired and just want to curl back up in bed.
Does this happen often? That tired feeling in the morning can happen because you aren’t getting enough sleep or your sleep quality isn’t the best. We have a few simple suggestions you can use to improve your sleep.
Your body works on an internal clock called your circadian rhythm. What this means is that your tiredness and alertness follow a 24-hour cycle, so your brain and body know when to fall asleep and when to be awake. Because of the circadian rhythm, managing your sleep schedule is important, and there are few ways to do that.
1. Start a bedtime routine. Getting into a consistent routine at night helps you relax and signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep.
2. Go to bed and wake up at the same time to maintain a consistent circadian rhythm.
3. Get enough sleep for your age. Have you ever wondered, how much sleep do I need? According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep recommendations vary by age.
Recommended Hours of Sleep
0-3 months old
4-11 months old
1-2 years old
3-5 years old
6-13 years old
14-17 years old
18-64 years old
65+ years old
Aging can also affect your sleep quality, and there are a few tips to help you sleep better as you age.
4. Avoid napping after 3:00 p.m. and, if you do nap, only take 20-minute naps. If you nap after 3:00 p.m. or take long naps, it can mess with your circadian rhythm, so you won’t sleep well that night.
Practicing good sleep hygiene is a great way for you to get better quality sleep and more of it. Sleep hygiene is when you give yourself the best chance to sleep well at night, and you can do that in many different ways.
1. Keep your bedding clean. Practicing good bed hygiene by keeping your bedding nice and clean will help you want to sleep in your bed, and it gets rid of germs and bacteria that may be hiding in your sheets.
2. Avoid blue light. Blue light is the type of light the sun emits, and it’s also emitted from screens such as mobile phones or TVs. When you are exposed to blue light at night, it tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, making it harder to fall asleep.
3. Reserve the bed for sleep. If you only sleep in bed, it signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep when you’re lying in bed. Doing other things in bed—such as working or eating—can confuse your brain so you may not feel like sleeping.
Diet and Exercise
Diet, exercise, and sleep are the three pillars of good health, so it makes sense that diet and exercise would influence your sleep.
1. Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A small snack of sleep-encouraging foods is okay, but large meals can cause indigestion and beverages may cause you to wake up frequently to urinate.
2. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol late in the day. Caffeine and alcohol are stimulants that can make it difficult to fall asleep and significantly decrease your sleep quality.
3. Exercise, but don’t do it late at night. At least 30 minutes of regular exercise boosts the effects of sleep hormones, so you sleep more soundly. However, because exercise is stimulating, avoid exercising 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Still Having Trouble Sleeping?
If you’ve tried these tips and you’re still waking up tired, it may be time to visit the doctor. Doctors can diagnose sleep disorders—such as sleep apnea—so you can get the help you need.
Following a few of these tips—or even just one can—help you get the rest you need. No more waking up tired and wanting to get back to bed. You’ll have the rest you need to enjoy your day and live a healthy lifestyle.