March is National Sleep Awareness Month. That means it’s time to think about something you probably take for granted: your rest. Sure, you climb into bed every night, but do you think about how long you’re there and the quality of your sleep? Experts say we need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to keep our bodies healthy, so if you’re skimping on sleep it’s time to stop! Use these tips to get better rest during National Sleep Awareness Month.
- Find your circadian rhythm. Our bodies want to have a regular sleep schedule, also known as a circadian rhythm. To find yours, go to bed and get up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends!). When you stick to consistent sleep and wake times, your body learns to get ready to fall asleep.
- Avoid screens. It’s hard in our modern age, but you should really try to avoid phone, laptop, and TV screens, at least, an hour before bed. These screens give off a type of light that suppresses melatonin, the hormone your body releases to make you sleepy.
- Get moving. Activity might sound like a counterintuitive sleep tip, but working some physical activity into your day actually promotes improved quality of sleep.
- Watch your mouth. Avoid caffeine and nicotine – both stimulants – at least a few hours before bed. Also, make sure you eat dinner at the right time so you’re not going to bed overly full or with a grumbling tummy.
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