Like most people, you’re probably not getting enough sleep.
The good news is there are solutions to helping you sneak in more sleep.
These are the secrets to getting more and better sleep:
Schedule Your Sleep
You can make 8 hours of quality sleep a regular part of your life by scheduling it. Plan your bedtime like you would any other appointment. You wouldn’t miss a date to TV binge, would you? So don't skip your sleep appointment Keep a consistent schedule for sleep and waking times and soon they will become just a part of your regular routine. Support your schedule by creating a bedtime routine that relaxes you. Hot baths, good books and soothing music all contribute to better sleep.
Your bed plays one of the biggest roles in determining how long and how well you sleep. Your mattress and pillow have to be high quality for you to sleep well. Your bed and your body naturally change as they age, so if your mattress is older than 7-10 years, it might be time to replace it. Making this one improvement can provide the blissful sleep you want. Your pillows should also be replaced regularly to make sure you are getting proper support for your neck and spine.
Forget the Snooze Button
It’s tempting to hit the snooze button to squeak out just a little more sleep, but this hurts you more than it helps.
Break this habit and set your alarm for the time you actually need to get up. If you can’t let go of the snooze button habit, limit yourself to just one "snooze" per morning.
What You Eat and Drink Affects Sleep
What you eat and drink, (and when) affects your sleep. Try not to eat within 2 to 3 hours before bedtime so your whole system is ready to relax. Drink alcohol in the early evening instead of right before bed so your body has time to digest it before you fall asleep. Make caffeine morning-only and stick to other beverages in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine stays in your system longer than you might think and can disrupt your sleep.
Exercise for Better Sleep
Exercise is important to help your body feel ready for sleep. Even just taking a daily walk can get your blood moving and improve your sleep. It’s best to complete your workouts at least 2 hours (or more) before you go to bed so your body is ready to rest.
Take a Short Nap
Taking a nap might seem counter-intuitive to good nighttime sleep, but a short nap of 30 minutes or less actually helps you gain extra energy during the day and won’t disrupt your sleep. Even a 10-minute nap can improve your alertness for over 2 hours if you’re sleep-deprived, and you will feel the benefit for up to 4 hours if you are well-rested!
Create a Sleep Environment
If your bedroom is not a comforting and relaxing place, you’re not going to want to spend a lot of time there. Make adjustments to your bedroom so that it is dark, quiet, cool and comfortable. A key factor in the comfort level of your bedroom is the bed itself, so make sure your mattress is big enough so you can move freely, new enough so it doesn’t cause aches and pains, and comfortable enough to support a good night’s sleep.
Leave Your Worry Behind
If you’re bringing the stress of your job and daily life to bed with you, you’re not going to sleep well. So don’t bring work materials or stresses to bed. Don't bring your phone or even allow yourself to think about work while in your bedroom. Keeping a 'worry journal' can dramatically improve sleep. Write about the things that are bothering you so you can work through them instead of bringing them to bed.
Keeping a television, smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer in your bedroom makes it harder for you to sleep soundly. The lighting from electronics actually stimulates your brain while you’re trying to sleep and wakes you up. Keep your electronics in another room and use a simple alarm clock instead of your phone.