It’s no secret that one of the keys to achieving a healthy lifestyle lies in getting a proper amount of rest. Unfortunately, for those of us dealing with insomnia, for whatever the reasons, getting that much-needed rest can often be a challenge. Here are the five most common sleep tips from health and sleep professionals as to how you can improve your ability to get to sleep fast.
1. Develop a regular sleep schedule.
This will help set your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up.
2. Exercise daily.
Aside from the many other health benefits, regular physical activity during your waking hours can promote better sleep. However, try to avoid exercising too close to bedtime so that you body has time to wind down and relax. (Note: Those with pre-existing health conditions should consult their doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.)
3. Set a bedtime which allows for enough sleep.
The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is generally at least seven hours. Figure out what time you need to wake, and work backwards from there to determine your optimal bed time.
4. Avoid eating a large meal before bedtime.
If you are hungry at night, a light, healthy snack may help promote sleep.
5. Create a restful sleep environment.
Keep your bedroom at a comfortable, cool temperature and limit your exposure to light. Many people find the soft, steady sound of a fan or similar white noise device can help lend towards creating a relaxing ambiance. In lieu of an actual physical device, however, you can download one of the many sleep apps available for mobile devices, including our own Vermont Sleep Sounds & Music, a free health app (for iPhone or iPad) which includes a variety of nature sounds, white noise, and relaxing music tracks.
All of these guidelines seem simple enough written down, yet the real challenge lies in developing the self-disipline to follow through. Be patient with yourself and realize that change may not come overnight. Start out with smaller, attainable goals to get an idea which ones may work best for yourself.
References: CDC.gov, MayoClinic.org, aasm.org
App Link: Vermont Sleep Sounds & Music