Did you know that an estimated 40 million people have sleep disorders? The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that almost 30 percent of U.S. adults get 6 hours of sleep or less every night. And even if you’re diligent about getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night that’s necessary for most adults, it may not be high quality sleep; the kind that really allows your body to recover and restore itself. So, if you find that you’re not getting enough sleep, or not sleeping well when you do, here’s 5 tips that can help you make a change and start getting the sleep you so desperately need.
Keep Caffeine to a Minimum
While you’re probably aware that coffee, tea, and most sodas contain significant amounts of caffeine, there are some foods that also contain caffeine you may not be so aware of; such as chocolate, matcha green tea, coffee and chocolate flavored ice cream and yogurt, along with some granola bars and cereals. Even if you don’t think you’re very sensitive to caffeine, you don’t get major bursts of energy or have trouble falling asleep, it may still be contributing on a smaller level to disrupt your sleep patterns in some other way. Read food labels and be sure you’re not unknowingly overdoing it on caffeine, especially later in the day.
Set a Sleep Schedule
Our bodies like habit. If your current sleep schedule is hectic, going to bed and waking up at different times and trying to catch up on sleep on the weekends, your body doesn’t quite know when your down time is supposed to start and when you should be waking up each day. It’s constantly being forced to do something different. That’s why sometimes it takes you quite a while to settle down when you’re ready for bed and you find yourself struggling to get up in the mornings. If you train your body to wind down at the same time and in the same way every evening, and then wake up at the same time and with the same routines every morning, it will get used to the schedule and help improve your quality of sleep.