Many things can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
And if you’re not getting enough sleep, you are putting yourself at a higher risk for accidents and errors. Still, you’re also more likely to experience problems with mood, memory, weight, overall health, and quality of life.
So, how can you make sure you’re getting enough sleep?
Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will help to regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm.
Even on weekends, try to stick close to the same pattern. Your body and hormones don’t understand the days of the week. They respond to consistency and routine.
Get Plenty of Light During the Day
Ensure you’re getting plenty of exposure to natural light during the day.
The cells in your eyes react to light and dark and send signals to your brain that helps to regulate your natural sleep/wake cycle.
If you’re not getting enough light exposure during the day, your brain may have a more challenging time knowing when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake.
Go for a walk out in the sun, or open up the curtains and let in as much light as possible.
Get Plenty of Darkness in the Evening
As it gets closer to bedtime, start to dim the lights in your house and avoid bright screens from computers, tablets, and phones.
The light from these screens can trick your brain and interfere with the signals that tell your body it’s time to sleep.
Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible when it’s time to sleep.
Create a More Comfortable Bedroom Environment
Your bedroom should be a comfortable, relaxing place. It should be cool, dark, and quiet. If you can’t control the noise outside, try using a white noise machine or earplugs.
And if your mattress isn’t comfortable or is causing you pain, it may be time for an upgrade. Similarly, if you’re not sleeping well on your pillow, experiment with different types until you find one that’s best for you.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Especially in the evening, avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both of these can interfere with sleep.
Caffeine will artificially stimulate your brain and make it harder to fall asleep.
And while alcohol might make it seem like you’re falling asleep more easily, it prevents you from getting deep, restful, high-quality sleep.
Get Tested For Sleep Disorders
If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, it’s good to talk to your doctor and get tested for potential sleep disorders.
Conditions such as sleep apnea can severely impact your sleep quality and often go unnoticed, undiagnosed, and untreated.
You can get the help you need to finally get a good night’s sleep by seeing a sleep specialist.