By: Ava Mrozik
BUFFALO, N.Y.- We all know sleep is important, but do we know how to improve the quality of our sleep to make us feel happier, healthier and of course, well- rested?
Here are some tips for how to get better sleep:
1.) Keep a consistent sleep schedule. On average, you should get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In order for our bodies to feel well rested, we need to be aware of the amount of sleep we get on a regular basis.
- Fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day, even on the weekends.
- Avoid staying awake later than usual, taking naps later in the day and sleeping in on the weekends.
- Take a break from your phone, TV, bright lights, etc. at least 2 hours before falling asleep.
- Give yourself 2-3 hours to wind down at night by listening to calm music, reading a book, etc.
After a few weeks, your body clock will fully adjust to its own routine. It will make it easier for your body to feel more awake during the day and more tired at night- like it’s supposed to!
2.) Control light exposure. It’s important to have your room as dark as possible while you sleep. Many studies have shown that being exposed to light a few hours before bed will confuse your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Consider not staring at your phone screen, computer, TV, etc. before bed.
- Invest in light blocking curtains to help keep the light out of your room.
3.) Consider your sleep environment. Your bed should be comfortable for sure, but so should your bedroom. Avoid any possible disruptions to your sleep such as noise, light, etc.
- Keep a fan or noise cancelling machine by your bed.
- Keep your bedroom cool. The recommended temperature is between 60-67 degrees.
- Keep some lavender by your bedside to fill your room with a relaxing aroma.
4.) Avoid drinking liquids or eating before bed. Drinking water or any liquid right before bed can interrupt your sleep by causing you to wake up and go to the bathroom at least once or twice during the night.
- Go to the bathroom before getting comfortable in bed.
- Avoid eating a big meal at night. It can cause discomfort, making it difficult to fall asleep.
5.) Exercise. If you’re constantly having trouble falling asleep, try exercising! Exercise will tire you out, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
- Exercise at least 15-30 minutes each day, even if it’s going for a short walk around the block.
- The ideal time to exercise would be in the evening (5-6 p.m.). Avoid exercising late at night because it will make it difficult to fall asleep afterwards.
Sources: National Sleep Foundation
Blog and Research for: Project Best Life, by Roswell Park Comprehensive Center