Getting enough sleep is crucial to maintaining good health. Most doctors recommend that adults get 8-10 hours of quality sleep a night and children get even more depending on their age. However, our busy lives can make falling and staying asleep difficult. These tips will help you and your family get the sleep they need to function well during the day.
Stick to a Schedule
Whenever possible, go to bed at the same time each night. This makes it easier to get up at the same time every day. On a consistent schedule, your body’s internal clock will set itself so you don’t need an alarm clock. If you find you do need an alarm, go to bed a little earlier than normal.
Reduce Screen Time
Don’t use the computer, television, or digital devices 30-60 minutes before bedtime. These devices can overstimulate your brain and make you toss and turn for hours. Instead, read in bed or do another quiet activity like working a crossword.
Use Natural Light
During the day, get outside as much as possible. If your job demands you stay inside, keep blinds open and stay near windows. Sunlight naturally makes you feel more awake.
Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
Never eat or drink anything with caffeine or sugar 1-2 hours before bedtime. The chemicals will inhibit your brain’s melatonin production and keep you awake for hours at a time. If you want dessert after a meal, it’s better to have it at lunch. If you must drink tea or coffee in the evening, go for a decaffeinated version. Chamomile and lavender tea have calming properties.