The year is still fresh and new. Whether you’ve set resolutions and goals for yourself or not, it’s never too late—especially when it comes to bettering your health. After the holiday season, you might need some help to get things back on track.
One of the best ways to take care of your well-being this year (and beyond) is to prioritize better sleep. There’s no denying we live in a busy world, and most Americans don’t get feel like they are getting the sleep they need each night.
If sleeping better sounds easier said than done, it doesn’t have to be. Let’s go over a few helpful steps that can make it easier to get the sleep you need—not only this year but for the rest of your life.
Have a Routine
Developing a sleep routine is a great way to ensure you’re getting the rest you need. That starts with going to sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning—yes, even on weekends.
Setting an alarm to wake up every day will help to ensure you follow this “rule,” even on days when you’d rather sleep in. It keeps you from watching the clock, so you don’t have to worry about much time you have left to sleep. You can spend those minutes (or even hours) actually getting more rest.
Having a sleep routine is also a great way to send the right signals to your brain. When you start to develop a pattern each night/morning, your mind will recognize when it’s time to rest, and it will be easier to wind down and fall asleep faster.
Don’t Lie in Bed
Going to sleep at the same time each night could take some getting used to, especially if you usually go to bed at more sporadic times.
It’s important not to lie in bed willing yourself to fall asleep. In doing so, your mind could start racing, making it harder to relax and get to sleep. It conditions your brain to be awake in bed, rather than sleeping. If you truly can’t seem to fall asleep after 15-20 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet activity. Try reading, watching TV, or anything that is relaxing and not too stimulating. When you’re feeling tired and your eyes are heavy, head back to bed.
Listen to What Your Body Needs
While it’s recommended that the average adult gets 7-9 hours of sleep, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t fall into that category.
Rather than following a guideline, it’s important to listen to your body. If you wake up after six hours of sleep feeling heavy, lethargic, and tired, you probably need more. But, if you wake up after six hours feeling refreshed and energized, there’s no reason for you to stay in bed for another hour or two.
Listening to your body will help you feel more relaxed about sleep. And doing so can lead to more restful nights.
While getting enough is important, not everyone fits within a specific range. We all have our own individual sleep need. When you make sleep a priority, it will be easier to be more in tune with your body and really recognize what you need.
Whether you’re trying to get back on track after a hectic holiday or you want to establish healthy habits for a lifetime, focusing on getting better sleep is a great place to start. Let these steps make the process easier for you, and you can enjoy feeling more well-rested than ever.
If you’d like to learn more about how we treat insomnia and other sleep problems, learn more here.