The CDC estimates that more than one-third of American adults are not getting enough sleep. A lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, often resulting in reduced productivity at work or unsafe driving conditions. In addition, a CDC study linked chronic lack of sleep to health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
Here are some tips to getting a better night’s sleep:
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Irregular sleep patterns can affect your circadian rhythm. Aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including your days off work.
- Create a comfortable sleep environment. Consider optimizing your bedroom environment by reducing noise, controlling temperature, and minimizing external light from devices like alarm clocks.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine before bed. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that promote alertness, making it difficult for your body to fall asleep. Avoid them at least three to four hours before bed.
- Exercise regularly. Regular exercise is not only great for staying healthy and fit, but it also helps your quality of sleep and gives you more daytime energy. Aim to get your workouts in during daylight hours so you can still fall asleep at bedtime.
- Think before you drink. Drinking large amounts of liquids, including alcohol, before bed can cause you to wake up during the night. Try to use the bathroom before bed and avoid drinking fluids one to two hours before sleeping.