More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. So, here are some steps you can take to promote adequate sleep!
1. Increase your “daylight”
Your circadian rhythm relies heavily on natural sunlight (or bright alternative light) in order to keep you on a healthy sleep schedule. Try to get ample amounts of natural sunlight each day. If this proves difficult for you, find yourself a light therapy lamp or other form of artificial bright light. This will likely improve your daytime energy and promote better sleep. Two benefits for the price of one!
2. Decrease caffeine intake
It may be tempting to grab a second (or third!) cup of coffee when you hit that mid-day slump, but this will likely make it difficult for your body to relax in the evening. Try and steer clear of caffeine after 3pm if you have trouble sleeping.
3. Avoid blue light
Blue light is found in many electronic devices such as televisions, laptops, and smartphones. This form of light can cause your body to think its daytime, reducing its ability to relax and prepare for sleep. So try to wind down (about two hours before bedtime) by reading a book or favorite magazine instead of watching a show or scrolling through social media.
4. Write it down
Many people say that as soon as they lay down to sleep, their brain wakes up! You can manage this by keeping a notepad by your bedside to write down whatever thoughts are keeping you up. For example, use it to write down the items you forgot for your grocery list or take a few minutes to record your thoughts after a long day.
5. Get regular physical activity (not right before bed)
Daily exercise is one of the most effective ways you can improve your sleep, just be careful not to wait until right before bedtime! The resulting adrenaline rush, plus a boost in energizing hormones, may cause you to feel more awake than relaxed. So plan your exercise for earlier in the day, such as right before you head to work or immediately after you clock out.