New year, new sleep habits! Improving your sleep hygiene is one new year’s resolution that should be on everyone’s list. When you get enough rest each night, you set the stage for the rest of your day. Learn how you can make the most of your fresh start to the year with these five simple sleeping tips:
Set a Sleep Schedule
Consistency truly is key to a good night’s sleep. Having a consistent sleep schedule helps your body maintain its internal clock, or circadian rhythm. One way to do this is by having a fixed bedtime and wake-up time. Try going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. This may be hard to follow on weekends, especially if you love sleep as much as we do, but even small adjustments to your sleep schedule can make a huge difference. You can also prompt yourself to start winding down before bed by setting a reminder on your phone 30 minutes to an hour before your planned bedtime.
You may not be the only one in your home who could benefit from keeping a consistent sleep schedule. Find more ideas on how to start and maintain sleep schedules for your children as well as other adults.
Follow a Bedtime Routine
Repeating a nightly routine helps train your brain to know when it is time for sleep, which makes it easier to fall asleep at night. Some simple steps you can add to your pre-sleep routine include taking a bath or shower, putting on pajamas, brushing your teeth and meditating. These relaxing activities help ease the transition from day to night by calming your mind and your body while reinforcing healthy habits.
Watch What You Eat & Drink
There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach or acid reflux. Being mindful of what you eat and drink before going to bed can help you dodge middle-of-the-night discomfort and disruptions to your sleep. Avoid drinking alcohol and eating large, heavy meals a few hours before going to bed. If you are a soda, coffee or tea drinker, be sure to limit your caffeine intake to the first half of the day. And if you find yourself wanting a late-night snack, grab something small and healthy that can hold you over until breakfast.
Create a Calming Atmosphere
Calm, cool and collected are the perfect adjectives to describe an ideal sleep environment. You can promote better sleep and turn your bedroom into a relaxation resort by making small and simple changes. Darken your sleeping space by wearing a sleep mask or by hanging up heavy curtains or blackout shades to block light from entering through windows. Limit distractions and blue light exposure by turning off the T.V. and putting your cell phone on do not disturb or sleep mode. Decrease outside noise levels by wearing earplugs, plugging in a bedside fan or listening to a relaxing playlist with white noise or ambient music.