Earlier this year, the Huffington Post teamed up with Parade magazine to find out how many Americans are sleep deprived. Based on 15,000 survey responses, the results indicated more than 95 percent of responders wished they got more sleep — and more than a third of them are logging five hours or less each night.
Here are 5 tips that could help you get more sleep and improve your health.1. Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual that helps you look forward to going to bed. Meditating, aromatherapy, light stretching, playing soothing music, light reading, or taking a hot bath can help you get better sleep.3. Avoid caffeine, smoking, and alcohol. Cutting out caffeine by 2 p.m. or at least four to six hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep easier. The effects of nicotine are similar to those of caffeine. Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but it also causes disturbances in sleep resulting in less restful sleep.
4. Evaluate your room. Use serene and restful colors and eliminate clutter and distraction. Avoid watching TV, eating, and discussing emotional issues in bed. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light.
5. Eliminate blue light gadgets from the bedroom. “The blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets and televisions restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle or circadian rhythm,” explains Sleep.org. “Reducing melatonin makes it harder to fall and stay asleep.” Gadgets with lights include iPads, TVs, laptops and other electronic devices. Sleep.org recommends avoiding them 30 minutes before bedtime, or keeping them out of the bedroom altogether in order to get the best night’s sleep possible.