Many of us simply don’t get enough sleep each night. Adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep, yet many people don’t go to bed until after midnight. Does it take you longer to unwind each night? Is something keeping you awake? Let’s look at how to get more sleep each night.
Shoot for a Bedtime That Allows You the Proper Amount of Sleep
When do you need to get up in the mornings? Let’s say you need to get up at 6 AM. That means that you need to be in bed by at least 11 PM, preferably 10 PM. This will allow you to get enough sleep. Whether you need 7, 8, or 9 hours will depend on your body. Listen to your body to determine your sweet spot.
I need about 8 hours of sleep every night, but I need some downtime before I can fall asleep (unlike my husband who can fall asleep the second his head hits the pillow!). So, I usually get in bed about a half hour before I want to fall asleep to give me some time to read.
Stop Electronics Use 1 to 2 Hours Before Bed
Did you know that your electronics use can hurt your sleep? Experts recommend stopping electronics use one to two hours before bed. This will help ensure that you fall asleep faster. Tablets, smartphones, and other handheld devices put off blue light. This blue light can greatly affect your sleep patterns.
Take a Shower or Bath Before Bed
A shower or bath before bed can help you relax. When you step from a warm shower or bath, your body temperature drops and helps induce feelings of sleepiness. Using products that contain lavender oil can also help relax you so that you’re ready for sleep.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
You may enjoy being warm and cozy, but that can quickly turn into being hot and sweaty in the middle of the night. You want to keep the temperature of your bedroom around 65 degrees. When you fall asleep, your body temperature cools. Sleeping in a cool room will help your body naturally progress through the different stages in the sleep cycle.
In Michigan, I used to sleep with an electric blanket on my side of the bed during the winter. But, I can't do an electric blanket at all in Texas! We have our ceiling fan on full blast pretty much year round to keep our bedroom cool.
Block Out Disturbances
Last, but not least, block out anything that may disturb your sleep. For example, if you live on a street with many streetlights, hang blackout curtains to block the light. If you live on a noisy street, add ambient noise or turn on a fan to drown it out. You can also use earplugs to block the noise.
Also, be aware of any light that electronics are putting off in your bedroom. How bright is your alarm clock? Can you turn it down? Do you charge your phone in your bedroom? Does it light up every time you get a notification in the middle of the night (or even worse, make a noise)?
It’s important for your health to get enough sleep each night. If you find that going to bed earlier is harder for you, electronics may be the problem. Take a shower or bath and then lay down with a good book (not an ebook). You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to fall asleep.