Sleep is important to your health and well-being. Adequate sleep will improve your mood and reduce your risk of many common ailments. Experts recommend that adults sleep for 7-9 hours each night, but sometimes it can be difficult to fall asleep. Here are four steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep:
1. Turn off screens.
Humans evolved to be awake during daylight hours, and sunlight is a natural prompt that tells your body it should be awake. Unfortunately, bright electronic screens can mimic this effect and keep you up. Your body doesn't know the difference between a computer screen and sunlight. Beat insomnia by turning off your screens at least one hour before bed. If you must use your electronics, use a blue light filter to mitigate the harmful effects of artificial light.
2. Reserve your bed for sleeping.
It's easy to form habits around bedtime, for good or for ill. When you do homework, use your laptop, or play video games in bed, you're training your mind to associate your bed with those activities. Break that habit by making your bed a relaxing place that you use only for sleeping. When you learn to associate your bed with rest, you'll naturally find it easier to doze off when you lie down.
3. Replace your mattress.
Mattresses have a lifespan just like any other household good. For optimum sleep, you should replace your mattress every five years. According to Prevention, a study found that people slept more soundly when resting on a mattress less than five years old. You should also make sure that you're using the right mattress for your needs. If you sleep with a significant other, you should be sleeping on king or queen sized mattresses. Resting on a bed that's too small can increase aches and pains and make it harder to fall asleep.
4. Avoid snacking.
When you eat, your body needs to expend energy to digest your food. The digestive process can keep you awake or even give you painful heartburn when you lie down. If you struggle with insomnia, try cutting out your nighttime snack. Eat a hearty meal at dinner and avoid eating afterward. If you get hungry before bed, have a cup of soothing herbal tea.
A good night's rest is the foundation for a happy and healthy life. By practicing good sleep habits, you can start having deeper and more restful slumber. These four tips can help you figure out ways to combat insomnia.