A peaceful, restful sleep is so important. It affects not only your energy, but your weight, heart and blood pressure, and disposition. Here are five quick, easy checkpoints that will help you achieve a more restorative night’s rest.
1. Naps are great, but not after 3 p.m. Too late a nap will make it more difficult to fall asleep at a decent hour.
2. Stick to a sleep schedule. Going to bed and rising at the same time, even on the weekends and holidays, helps reinforce your body’s clock or sleep cycle, and consistency is what the body wants when it comes to sleep.
3. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. These are stimulants that make it difficult to fall or stay asleep. While caffeine keeps you up and may take up to eight hours to wear off, nicotine can wake you up with withdrawal cravings.
4. Exercise early in the day. Doing so too close to bedtime you may be too juiced up to fall asleep.
5. Create a bedtime ritual. Your ability to engage in a repeatable, relaxing, quiet shift to the bed will signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Taking a warm bath, listen to soft music, or read (causes eye fatigue) is a good practice while watching television or the computer can interfere with sleep patterns.