Haven’t been able to get your 6-8 hours of recommended sleep? Are you fighting the urge to doze off during the day but can’t catch those necessary ZZZ’s in the evening? It may be time to consider your sleep hygiene. Believe it or not, there are several things you can work on to make it easier to fall fast asleep when you need to!

Cat Naps: The bad news is, taking a nap will not make up for the night of unrest you just had. However, taking a short nap of 20-30 minutes can promote a positive mood, improve alertness, and performance. Hang in there, hopefully you’ll get some extended sleep soon!

Coffee Break: Back out of the Starbucks line! Coffee or nicotine too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep schedule. Also, alcohol should also be consumed in moderation as “too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the alcohol.”

Break a Sweat: Go for a walk! Even 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can significantly improve nighttime sleep quality. Working on your cardiovascular health and improving your sleep? It’s a two for one!

Snack Time: Heavy or very rich foods before bed are not a good idea. Stay away from fried, fatty, or spicy foods before you head to bed. All of these options can trigger heartburn and disrupt your sleep.

Restful Routines: Think hot shower, stretching, reading a good book. Stay away from stressful conversations or activities. Start to build a routine for yourself that lets your body know it is time to wind down and get ready for rest.

Sleep Sanctuary: Make your bed as comfortable as possible. Your bedroom temperature should be somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, be sure to remove bright lights from your lamps, cell phone, or TV screen. Often times using white noise machines can help, or turning on a bedroom fan. Black out curtains are also good if the light from your bedroom window is creeping in. Remember, this is your way of making it easiest for your body to understand it is time for bed and nothing else.

Ready to make some changes? Don’t sleep on it! Take some time to consider your sleep hygiene and how you can make bed time the best time!

References: What is Sleep Hygiene? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-hygiene