To say that getting enough sleep is vital to your health is one of the biggest understatements ever. Being chronically sleep deprived can lead to health issues like weight gain, a decrease in the immune system’s ability to fight off germs and high blood pressure, reports Harvard Health Publications. While some people don’t get enough rest because they are working or taking care of an infant, many others are lacking enough Z’s due to some common — and fixable — issues. To improve your sleep habits and get the best sleep of your life, check out the following tips:
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
While it might be tempting to sleep in on your days off, resist the urge. Sticking to the same bedtime and wake-up time every day helps regulate your body’s inner clock, which makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you find that you are consistently exhausted in the mornings, improving your sleep hygiene and hitting the hay a bit earlier every night should do the trick.
Make Your Room Dark and Cool
To fall into a deep and restful sleep, you might have to make some changes to your room. The temperature of your bedroom should be cool — as low as 60 to 67 degrees, according to Sleep.org — and it should also be as dark as possible.
As you get into bed, make a thorough assessment of your room and identify other things that might be preventing you from getting a quality snooze. It could be the squeaky ceiling fan, your partner’s freight-train snoring, your beloved dog who noisily chases sheep in his sleep or window coverings that let moonlight and sunlight in. To remedy these situations, use eye shades or ear plugs and get a new ceiling fan, a humidifier or blackout curtains.
Eliminate Electronic Disturbances
If you sleep with your smartphone on your nightstand, chances are good that you have been awakened at least once by a middle-of-the-night text. If you cannot bear to leave your smartphone in another room during the night or you use it as an alarm clock, check to see if your phone has a Do Not Disturb feature. Even smartwatches like the Samsung Gear S2 enable you to schedule specific and recurring times and days to reject calls and silence texts and other notifications.
Setting the Do Not Disturb schedule on most smartphones and smartwatches is easy:
· Go to Settings, and tap on Sound and Notifications
· Tap on Do Not Disturb and then Do Not Disturb Schedule
· Choose your start and end times for your schedule
· To have it repeat on certain days, tap Repeat and then select the days you want your phone to leave you alone during the night
If you are concerned about an elderly parent or an ill friend or want your children to be able to reach you at any time, you can also select which contacts are allowed to reach you when your phone is in the Do Not Disturb mode.