7 Sleep Habits to Start Tonight

January 13, 2020

The start of a new year is a great time to set healthy goals. Taking care of yourself isn't just about eating the right foods and exercising, it's also about getting the rest your body needs. So, if you're trying to be healthier in 2020, don't forget to get enough sleep. These seven tips from one of AdvantageCare Physicians’ experts, Katherine Farrell Harris, can help you get a good night's sleep tonight, and every night. 
  1. Stick to a sleep schedule: Sleeping and waking up at the same time, if possible every day of the week, helps in regulating your body’s internal clock. A total of seven to nine hours is recommended for adults.
  2. Turn everything off:  Bright lights or screens can trick the brain into thinking it’s time to wake up. It also suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone which helps your daily sleep-wake cycle. Remember, in order for the biological sleep process to start, our brains need darkness. Consider using a sleep mask to help block unwanted light.
  3. Check your room temperature: The ideal temperature for optimal sleep is somewhere between 60° F. and 67° F.
  4. Minimize noise: A quiet environment is also essential for  quality sleep. The World Health Organization recommends keeping ambient noise levels below 40 decibels. If unexpected noises are a problem during sleep, white noise has been found to help provide a consistent sound level. You can also use earplugs to block out noise.
  5. Watch what you drink: Say no to caffeine and alcohol when it gets close to your bedtime or in the late afternoon, as these can keep you awake.
  6. Avoid eating right before bed: If you have chronic heartburn or constant reflux, avoid large fatty meals before bed as it can reduce indigestion during the night.  
  7. Get active: Schedule in at least ten minutes each day to exercise. Whether you go for a walk or dance to your favorite music at home, any activity is healthy and can help you sleep better.
As you work on your 2020 health goals, remember you can always schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor and discuss the best pan of action for your needs.