Yikes! More than two thirds of Americans do not get the recommended average amount of sleep per night. These are the people who drive with us on the roads, operate heavy machinery, teach our children… and what’s worse… I’m one of them! I had to do some research to figure out what could be done.
1. Be conscious of the amount of light in your room. When you try to go to sleep, your body’s sleep patterns are super sensitive to any lights. Don’t just turn off the lights. Cover the windows and even get an sleep-mask.
2. Don’t complain about noisy sleeping conditions when earplugs are 50 cents at CVS.
3. Fun fact: Tart cherry juice has antioxidants that help regulate your sleep-wake schedule. Drink at least two cups a day and see if that improves things. If not, what did you lose?
4. The right mattress for your body can be expensive, but what is worth more than a comfortable night sleep and the benefits it provides? Lower-back pain is a chronic contributor for people’s lack of sleep. Find the right mattress for you.
5. Try to slow down your electronic-consumption a few hours before bed. Text less, go on the computer less. Get your brain ready for removing the artificial light from your eyes. There is an app for your smartphone, Windows, and Mac called F.lux. F.lux is free and adjusts your computer screen colors to look less like sunlight so your mind does not confuse late-night internet sessions with the rising of the sun.
Lastly, there’s sleep-therapists and prescription pills. Let’s call those the last resorts. If you’re not getting the sleep you need, (and let’s be honest, who is?) try the above five tips for healthier living. You’ll be glad you did!