According to the CDC, one in three Americans don’t get enough sleep. Some reports claim that more than half of all Americans suffer from lack of sleep. If you feel you may be one of them, chances are you can probably count yourself among the sleep-deprived.
Why does it matter? Not getting enough quality sleep can contribute to a host of health conditions from heart disease to depression and diabetes. It can also make it harder for your body to fight off any cold-causing bugs and keep your immune system humming along strong.
Try incorporating some of these tricks to get a better night’s sleep tonight … and every night. (Tip: It may be helpful to keep a sleep journal by your bed to jot down what worked and what didn’t plus how many hours you slept and how you felt.)
Tip #1: Keep your phone out of bed. Especially given the popularity of social media, we have the tendency to scroll through our favorite apps while lying in bed. The problem is that the light and stimulation from our screens may actually create a disturbance in our circadian rhythm that can lead to more long-term insomnia.
Try this: Leave your phone to charge in another room and use an actual alarm clock instead of the alarm app on your phone.
Tip #2: Set your bedroom temperature. The temperature setting can have a profound effect on sleep, with reports indicating that temperature has a greater impact than outside noise on restful sleep. Around 70 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be the sweet spot, but play around with what works best for you. That’s where the sleep journal can come in handy.
Try this: Consider using a rotating fan which will both provide a breeze and some white noise.
Tip #3: Practice relaxation techniques. Mindfulness exercises such as meditation and deep breathing can prepare both your body and mind for a sleep that’ll lead to a refreshing morning. Relaxation techniques can also include reading a book or taking a hot bath.
Try this: Practice the 4-7-8 breathing exercise — inhale through your nose to the count of four, then hold your breath for seven seconds, followed by an exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat at least four times.
It’s time to focus on sleep health. Start with these three simple tips and get the restful slumber you need and deserve.