Our bodies need a proper amount of rest to help recovery physically and mentally from the day and prepare us for the following day. It is recommended to have 7-9hours of good sleep each night. For most of us, this seems like a large number. “In order to get up at 5am, I have to go to bed at 9pm?!” YES! That is exactly what that means! Proper sleep habits are also linked to a decrease in chronic conditions including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even tumor metastasis. Here are a couple tips to help increase those REM hours.
MAKE A ROUTINE
Try to have a “bedtime” routine. We had them as a kid and know that it helps our own kids get to bed (have a bath, read a book, have some milk, go to sleep). How did we get out of this now that we are older? Having a routine helps our bodies know that it is time to unwind and start calming down. Develop a routine and try to stick with it even on the weekends.
LIMIT SCREEN TIME
This study from the American Marketing Association states that social media can increase dopamine levels which excites our body. NOT the type of message we want to send to our bodies before heading to bed. Try reading a book instead of logging onto social media.
Some studies believed that exercising too close to bed time would inhibit our sleep patterns. Although exercise releases endorphins that excite our body, activity at any time is still better than none. If night time is the only time for you to fit in exercise, it will still have benefits beyond sleep.
Having caffeinated drinks up to 6 hours before bedtime have been shown to effect sleep patterns. Try to drink de-caffeinated drinks throughout the afternoon, or even better, go for a quick walk or stretch at work to cure those mid day yawns.
How old is your mattress and/or pillows? If you waking up more stiff than when you go to bed, these may be things to look at.
Increasing your sleep hygiene habits may be a little thing taht may help with overall health and wellness!