Tips for Longer, Better, More Restful Sleep
Quality sleep makes the difference between a productive, energetic day and one you just have to “get through.”
Through sleep, your body repairs tissues, restores your energy levels, and releases hormones vital for growth and development.
On the other hand, poor or insufficient sleep can:
- increase your appetite
- decrease your ability to effectively handle stress
- reduce the effectiveness of your immune system
- raise your risk of developing chronic conditions over time
- lower your ability to focus, reason, and problem-solve during the day
Tips for Better Sleep:
- Create a nighttime routine. This is a ritual that signals to your body and mind that it’s time to wind down and prepare for rest.
- Avoid using electronic devices in bed. Devices such as smartphones or laptops stimulate your mind. This behavior can make you mentally associate your bed with productivity or entertainment instead of rest and relaxation. Sleep experts even recommend that if you’re going to read at night, that you do it somewhere other than your bed.
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible when you sleep. Light exposure signals to your body and mind that it’s time to be awake. Contrastingly, darkness is a signal that it’s time to wind down and drift off into sleep.
- Wake up around sunrise. Getting exposed to daylight early in the day helps stabilize your circadian rhythm, which sets the tone for your internal clock to better regulate each day when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to wind down.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon and evening. The National Sleep Foundation recommends avoiding caffeine at least four to six hours before going to sleep. And if you’re very sensitive to the effects of caffeine, it may be most helpful to stop having caffeine any time after lunch, as it can stay in your system for up to 12 hours.
For more sleep tips, check out The Sleep Foundation’s guidelines to getting a good night’s sleep.
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