Finding a way to sleep seven to nine hours a night can feel like a dream come true. But this dream is often unattainable when your schedule is jam-packed, your stress levels are high, and you can't, for some reason, get even a wink of shut-eye.
A proper night's rest can provide a flood of benefits--a stronger immune system, improved mood, healthy weight maintenance, and more--but 40 percent of Americans still don't get enough sleep.
If you're part of the tired 40 percent, there's a lot you can do to become more well-rested.
1. Check to see if you have a sleep-friendly bedroom environment.
Make your room comfortable and ensure that it is quiet, and the right temperature for resting. You may also want to rethink your window treatments--are you blocking enough light from the outside? Or are you using flimsy curtains or blinds? Consider getting blackout curtains or wearing a sleep mask to bed, because a dark room will help you fall asleep faster.
2. Create an evening bedtime routine.
Signal to your brain that it's time to get ready for bed by sticking to a calming nighttime ritual--your goal is to relax before sleep, so try reading your favorite book or drawing a warm bath. Avoid screen time at least an hour before bed and your quality of sleep will greatly improve as well.
3. Watch what you're consuming before bed.
If you feel as if your evening conditions are already perfect for good sleep, maybe your habits and behaviors during the day are negatively impacting your rest. More specifically, it's possible that what you are eating or consuming is blocking you from a good night's sleep. Focus on eating healthy foods and avoid consuming nicotine. Make sure the medications you take don't lead to insomnia as well.
4. Cut back on the caffeine too close to bedtime.
If you run on caffeine in order to power through your workday, remember that drinking soda, coffee, or tea too close to bedtime can make attaining deep, restorative sleep a serious challenge. Since caffeine acts as a stimulant, concentrate on having your last caffeinated drink eight hours before you go to bed.
Just as there are a lot of factors affecting your sleep, there are also a lot of solutions available that will give you a better night's beauty rest. See what works for you, and sweet dreams.