6 steps to sleeping more soundly

A good night’s sleep is imperative for health and happiness. Transform your work and personal life by using these six steps to help you sleep more soundly.

1. Keep to a sleep schedule

Experts recommend that adults aim to get at least seven hours of sleep per night, but no more than eight. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and keep a similar sleep schedule on the weekends.

Staying consistent trains your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, try doing something relaxing like reading, listening to music or meditating. Once you feel tired, go back to bed.

2. Watch what you eat and drink

Don’t go to bed hungry, and avoid large or heavy meals before bedtime, as the discomfort of either can keep you up. Also, keep in mind that nicotine, caffeine and alcohol are sleep disruptors that will keep your mind racing or wreak havoc on your sleep quality. Use in moderation and no later than a few hours before bedtime.

3. Make your bedroom relaxing

Your sleep environment plays a large role in your sleep quality. Aim to make your bedroom dark, cold and quiet for optimum sleep. Consider installing blackout curtains, wearing earplugs, running a fan or using a white noise machine to create a calming environment. Lots of light—including the light from your phone—can make it hard to sleep. Find calming activities to do before bedtime like taking a bath, meditating or reading.

4. Try not to nap during the day

Long naps during the daytime can disrupt your sleep at night. If you must nap, keep it to 30 minutes or less and avoid naps later in the day

5. Work physical activity into your day

Besides being good for your health, physical activity can also promote better sleep. You don’t have to rush to the gym; rather, you can go for a walk or bike ride instead. Just like daytime naps, working out too close to bedtime can be disruptive to your sleep

6. Manage your worries

If you’re stressed about work or home life, chances are you won’t have a restful sleep. Try to resolve your issues before bedtime…or write down your thoughts or to-do items for the next day in a journal before you go to bed. Stress is hard to manage for anyone, so try to change little things in your life to alleviate stress, such as organizing your home and office, staying active, setting priorities, and asking others for help.

While there’s no quick fix for sleep issues, try committing to these six steps for one month. If you’re still not sleeping soundly, you may want to schedule a visit with a healthcare professional.

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