Find out how much sleep you need.,
Recognize the importance of a good night’s sleep.,
Keep a sleep diary.,
Adjust your sleep patterns as necessary.,
Avoid naps if you have trouble sleeping.,
Set a fixed bedtime.,
Create a comfortable sleeping environment.,
Exercise early in the day.,
Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.,
Avoid late or heavy meals.,
Start winding down.,
Create a bedtime ritual.,
Go to bed even if you’re not tired.,
See a doctor if sleep problems continue.
Everyone needs adequate sleep to function properly and to stay healthy, but sleep requirements vary by age and activity level. Understanding how much sleep you need can help you plan for a good night’s sleep.Newborns 0-3 months old require 14-17 hours of sleep every day.Infants 4-11 months old need 12-15 hours of sleep every day.Toddlers 1-2 years old need 11-14 hours of sleep every day.Preschoolers 3-5 years old need 10-13 hours of sleep every day.School age children 6-13 years old need 9-11 hours of sleep every day.Teenagers 14-17 need 8-10 hours of sleep every day.Adults, aged18-64 need 7-9 hours of sleep every day.Older adults above 65 years, need 7-8 hours of sleep every day.Anyone who is very active, stressed, or sick, may need to take short, daytime naps to rest and recharge.;
, Regardless of age and general sleep recommendations, your body requires adequate rest to function at its best.
Make sleep a priority in your life. It contributes to your body and mind’s optimal functioning.Numerous negative consequences of insufficient sleep include disease, chronic inflammation, high blood pressure and stress, diabetes, obesity and mood disorders.Lack of sleep also affects mental performance such as the ability to focus. It may affect your ability to do your job well., When you wake up every day, record in a sleep diary how long and well you slept, and how you felt after waking up. Your sleep diary can help you identify patterns that are hindering (or helping) your sleep.Your sleep diary may indicate factors that are impacting your sleep. Remove or adjust these as necessary and continue to write in your diary. For example, you might notice that on days you nap that you don’t sleep as well at night. If this is the case, try skipping your nap and see if that helps you get to sleep on time.
Talk to your doctor if you have trouble sleeping over a long period of time or notice distinct patterns in your sleep., There will be circumstances in which you need to adjust your sleeping habits. From high stress events to illness and even to just identifying problems in your sleeping habits with a sleep diary, adjusting your sleep to these situations will help you get enough sleep and maintain your health.
Accommodate for situations that require you to change your sleep. Be flexible in your schedule and sleep habits to accommodate events that will disrupt your sleep. By adjusting your sleep plans before and after the event, you can make sure you aren’t negatively affected by the change.
If you know that you’re about to enter a particularly stressful time at work, home, or school, you would also want to adjust your sleep patterns to make sure that a lack of sleep doesn’t cause you more stress.
, Naps are a popular way to take a break and recharge during the day. But they can also have the side effect of keeping you from falling and staying asleep. Avoiding naps during the day may help you fall and stay asleep.If you find that you need a nap or naps, take it before 5pm and keep it short. Thirty minutes is enough to help you refresh and recharge.If you find that you need multiple naps during the day or are just generally exhausted at times when you should be awake, consult your doctor to rule out medical conditions., Establish a reasonable time to get to bed on most days, including weekends. Having this designated bedtime will help regulate your circadian rhythms, or body clock, and may also help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.When you set your bedtime, make sure that you consider factors like exercise, eating, and alcohol consumption. You want to make sure your body has at least two to three hours to process these activities before you go to bed.The best way to set your internal body clock is to wake up at the same time every day, even if you had a bad night’s sleep.Don’t set a bedtime that is too late or one that corresponds to when you feel tired so that you don’t stay alert and in turn not get tired.Stick to this schedule as much as possible and adjust it if necessary., You won’t want or be able to sleep if your bedroom isn’t comfortable. By controlling factors such as the temperature and darkness, having comfortable bedding, and removing stimulating electronics, you will help yourself get to bed on time and fall and stay asleep.
Set temperature in bedroom to between 60 to 75 °F (15.6 to 23.9 °C) for optimal sleeping conditions.Keep computers, TV and work materials out of room to strengthen association between bedroom and sleep.Light stimulates you to be awake, so make sure that your room is dark enough to sleep. You can use curtains or eye masks to help with rooms that are exposed to a lot of light.Noise will also keep you from getting to sleep. Keep your room as quiet as possible and consider a white noise machine to combat any loud noises that may filter into your bedroom.A comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding can make you want to get to bed on time., Exercising early in the day can help you fall and stay asleep because it tires your body and will also relax you. But avoid exercising too close to your bedtime, which may stimulate you and keep you from sleeping.
Exercise at least three hours before bed so that your body temperature and cortisol levels can return to normal. Higher body temperature can make it difficult to sleep and having more cortisol in your system from exercise may stimulate you.Vigorous exercise best, but any activity is better than nothing.Don’t exercise at the expense of your sleep., Caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes are stimulants that will interrupt your sleep. Avoiding them before bedtime will help you get to and stay asleep.
If you consume nicotine or caffeine, avoid them within four to six hours of your bedtime.Limit yourself to one to two alcoholic drinks per day or less and avoid drinking within three hours of bedtime.Even though alcohol might help you fall asleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant., Eating too close to your bedtime or having heavy meals can affect your ability to sleep. Plan to eat lighter fare at dinner and within a few hours of your bedtime to ensure that you are able to get and stay asleep.
Try to eat two to three hours before your bedtime.Big or spicy meals can cause discomfort and indigestion.If you’re hungry before bedtime, have a snack about an hour before you turn out the lights., Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode. Taking an hour or so to begin winding down before bed will signal your body and brain that it’s time to sleep and help you get the best night’s rest.Avoid electronics such as televisions, laptops, tablets, and smart phones within an hour of your bedtime. Not only can shows, work, or social media stimulate your brain, but the light from these devices also makes it difficult for your body to fall asleep.Dim the lights in your home and bedroom. Light will stimulate you, so dimming the lights within an hour of your bedtime signals your brain that it’s slowly time to go to bed.Having a calming bedtime ritual will help you wind down for a good night’s sleep.
, Once you’ve begun to wind down and are close to bedtime, having a set ritual will further clues your body that it’s time to go to bed. There are different activities you can do as a part of your ritual such as having tea or a warm bath.
A bedtime routine reduces anxiety, stress or excitement that can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep.Reading a book in bed with the lights dimmed will relax and entertain you while not overstimulating you.
A warm cup of herbal tea such as lavender or chamomile will relax you and help you sleep.A warm bath is not only relaxing, but the rise and fall in body temperature it causes will promote drowsiness, Go to bed at the same time every night whether or not you’re tired. Sticking to this consistent sleep routine will help you get to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night.Getting into a comfortable bed with the lights dimmed may help you get to sleep faster even if you don’t feel tired.
If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, go to another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired enough to sleep., If, despite all of your efforts to get a good night’s sleep, you are unable to get to sleep or stay asleep, then consult with your healthcare provider. You may have insomnia, a sleep disorder in which you have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.