Healthy Sleep, Happy You – Tips for an Improved Sleep Routine

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health and mental well-being. Though it might seem like an impossible task when you are wide awake at 3am, there are habits in your control that you can adopt to improve your sleep. Around the world, many people suffer from sleep debt and its long-term debilitating effects. Healthy sleep habits simply take some practice and a little time for your body to settle into a new routine.

Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Even on weekends, keep your sleep schedule regular. Though it might be tempting to sleep in or play catch up, a change in schedule disrupts your body’s delicate circadian rhythm and it will take time to get back on track. Choose the same daily bed time and wake up time. Since napping late in the day can prevent you from getting to sleep on time, avoid nodding off in the late afternoon or evening. Allow yourself enough hours to sleep so that you wake up naturally before your alarm clock.

Choose the best sleeping temperature
Regulating body temperature is an important part of healthy uninterrupted sleep. It is best to keep your body temperature down. Sleep with less clothing and make sure there is steady airflow in your bedroom. Around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is a moderate sleeping temperature. Cooler sleep temperatures help balance melatonin and cortisol levels, two of the main hormones involved in regulating sleep.

Make room for physical activity in your day
Exercise helps you get a good night’s sleep. Besides releasing stress and anxiety, it strengthens circadian rhythms, leads to longer and deeper sleeps. Being a couch potato is one of the leading causes of poor sleep. Exercising in the first part of the day is guaranteed to help you feel better. Leaving exercise until before bed will leave you too energized to sleep.

Put away stress for successful rest
Stress can keep you awake all night long. Your mind needs plenty of time to shift gears from your daytime work mode. Stop working at a good time and switch off electrical devices to allow yourself to disengage from work-mode and overstimulation. Well before you slip into your bedtime routine, make a to-do-list for the following day so that thoughts aren’t circulating around in your head all night long. Take time to unwind with soothing activities such as journalling, meditating or soaking in a hot bath.