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9 Tips to Help You Sleep Better in 2021
Getting good sleep is important for your overall health so use these tips to get a better night's sleep.
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Sleep is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve struggled to get a proper goodnight’s sleep in the past, make 2021 the year you get a handle on it. Lack of sleep has been linked to many chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and depression. Make sleep a priority, even if that means turning off the TV earlier than you typically would. Don't worry, DABL will still be here with tons of programming in the morning! Need some help? Here are 9 tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Follow a Regular Sleep Schedule
Bedtime is not just for children! Going to sleep and waking up at roughly the same time every day is good for your health. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night so plan your sleep and wake times accordingly. If you have been trying to get by on less sleep, try backing up your bedtime by 15 minutes each week, until you are getting the amount of sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed in the morning.
Create a Calming Atmosphere in Your Bedroom
Let your bedroom be your favorite place in your home. If your room is cluttered with laundry, papers, and other mess, it will be a constant reminder of all you have to do. A clean, organized bedroom will help you relax and fall asleep better. Make your bed in the morning so it’s calling your name when you’re ready to turn in at night.
Shut Down Your Electronics
Turn off your computer, cellphone, and television about an hour before you go to sleep. The blue-light that those screens emit may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. If you can’t seem to do so, try out some blue-light blocking-glasses that help protect your eyes and avoid the blue light’s harmful effects.
Have a Soothing Bedtime Ritual
Take time to relax before bed. Doing so will calm your mind, which will make it easier to fall asleep. Take a warm bath, listen to classical music, or read a book.
Avoid Caffeine in the Afternoon
Caffeine found in coffee, soda, chocolate and tea can keep you awake. Cut down on it and you’ll have an easier time falling and staying asleep.
Avoid Alcohol, Large Meals, and Spicy Foods Right Before Bed
Although a night cap may help you fall asleep, you will probably experience fragmented sleep, and find yourself wide awake within a few hours. If you do drink close to bedtime, keep a glass of water on your nightstand, since alcohol dehydrates you.
Steer clear of spicy foods or anything you know causes you heartburn or gastric distress. Be wary of those late night meals; they will be more difficult for your body to digest, which can result in a poor night’s sleep and weight gain.
If you do find yourself hungry before bed, choose a small snack that won’t disrupt your sleep. Some suggestions include Greek yogurt with blueberries, an apple with peanut butter, or a slice of whole-wheat bread with some turkey.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
Just like Goldilocks, you’ve got to find the temperature that is just right! If your room is too hot or too cold, it will disrupt your sleep cycle. Most experts agree that the best temperature for sleeping should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoid Late Afternoon Naps
While it may be tempting to take a midday snooze, this may disrupt your sleep that evening. Instead of napping when you feel exhausted, take a step outside. Fresh air and sunlight will help perk you up. If you do choose to nap, take a quick power nap, which is only 20 minutes or less.
Write Down Your Thoughts
If your mind tends to race when you get into bed at night, prior to doing so, write down a to-do list for the next day. Similarly, keep a pad and pen next to your bed. If thoughts and ideas wake you up in the middle of the night, having a pad and pen will allow you to immediately write them down. This will reduce your anxiety that you will forget about them in the morning.
Sweet dreams and have a happy, healthy, and sleep-filled, new year!