Many of us don’t need to be reminded why sleep is vital for our health – we pick an evening in bed over a night out any day. But for those who don’t take their snooze cycle seriously, it’s important to note that sleep deprivation can impact your mood, immune system, memory, weight and hormones. iMD Health wants to help people get the best sleep possible, which can be achieved by following these six tips:
Say “no” to daytime naps
This tip is often reluctantly received but limiting your daily naps will help you sleep better at night. Replace your two-hour afternoon slumber with a 30-minute catnap. After a long nap, it’s common to wake up feeling (and looking) like you’ve stepped right off the set of The Walking Dead. Whereas you’ll likely feel refreshed after a shorter nap, which means that no afternoon coffee is needed. If you desperately need to nap, try to lie down earlier in the day so that the snooze doesn’t interfere with your nighttime sleep.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Get your body on a proper sleep cycle by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. iMD Health recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep per day, not exceeding more than eight hours. Oversleeping can make you feel drowsy throughout the day. If you’re having difficulties falling asleep at your usual time, try reading a book until you feel heavy-eyed. Avoid turning on the television or scrolling through your phone since electronics can interfere with your internal clock and melatonin production.
Be mindful of what you eat and drink
Falling asleep with a belly full of salted caramel cheesecake is not an easy feat – we’ve all been there. Try to avoid eating large meals within a couple hours of your bedtime. Your evening glass of red wine, late afternoon coffee or pre-bedtime vape may also decrease the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep you are getting at night. According to iMD Health, the stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. Alcohol has the tendency to make you sleepy after a glass or two but it will keep you awake throughout the night.
Create a comfortable sleeping space
If you’re blessed enough to live in an apartment that is larger than 500-square feet, try to use your bedroom only for sleeping. This means no television marathons or eating while in bed. The ideal sleeping environment is dark and quiet, which means you may need to invest in some earplugs or blackout curtains.
Prioritize daily exercise
As stated on iMD Health, regular physical activity can promote better sleep. Try to set aside some time for stretching or a bubble bath after exercising so that your body and mind can unwind before bedtime.
Manage your stress and anxiety before bedtime
There is nothing worse than staring at the ceiling at 11:45 pm while you worry about what middle names you’ll give your children in five years. If your thoughts run wild at night, try meditating or journaling right before you hop into bed. It can also be helpful to focus on your breathing when you’re trying to fall asleep as this can fend off any insignificant worries that pop into your head.
For more information on healthy sleeping habits, visit iMD Health’s Sleep Aids & Tips page.
Follow iMD Health on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for updates.