Sleep deprivation has a negative impact mental acuity, mood, and physical health. Symptoms of fatigue, moodiness, and unhealthy food cravings can often be resolved simply by getting enough sleep. However, with busy schedules and tons of stimulation, getting enough sleep can be a challenge. Here are five easy-to-follow tips to get you on the right track.
1) Reduce Light in Your Room
Even a little light can keep you up all night by throwing off your melatonin levels. Make sure your bedroom is totally dark. If you are extra sensitive, the little light on a smoke detector might be enough to impact melatonin levels and make it difficult to sleep. Remove light-emitting electronics from your room, and install window shades or curtains to block light from the outside.
2) Eliminate Screen Time Before Bed
Phones, computers and televisions can throw off your body’s circadian rhythm by exposing your eyes to a full spectrum of light. If you watch television too close to bedtime, you may have trouble falling asleep. Screens trick your hormones into behaving as though it is midday rather than nighttime. Engage in activities that don’t involve a screen in the hours leading up to bedtime for an easier time falling asleep.
3) Install Twilight on your Phone and Computer
If you must use a screen late into the night, do your melatonin levels a favor an install an app like Twilight on your phone and computer. These apps automatically kick in at sundown to eliminate the portion of the light spectrum that is most similar to natural, midday light.
4) Control Bedroom Temperature and Airflow
Anyone who cannot sleep on a sweltering summer night without air conditioning can attest to this: bedroom temperature drastically affects your sleep. If your bedroom is too hot, sleep with the AC on, sleep naked, open the window and door to create airflow. For cold winter nights, turn on the heat, wear flannel pajamas, and layer up down blankets. Do what you have to do to maintain a comfortable body temperature for sound sleep.
5) Cut Down on Caffeine
Drinking too much caffeine can throw you into a vicious cycle: you drink caffeine too late in the day, stay up too late, wake up groggy the next morning, and drink more caffeine as a remedy. You can break this cycle by choosing not to drink a caffeinated beverage in the afternoon.
Investing in Sleep
Once you start getting enough quality sleep, you performance will improve in nearly every area of life. For better health, greater career success, and stronger relationships, invest in getting the appropriate amount of proper sleep.