Kiandra Florence
The Best Ways to Formulate a Healthy Sleep Pattern

Whether you are working full-time, in school full time, or juggling both it is hard to get a good night’s rest daily. Studies show that as many as 70 million Americans are affected by sleep disorders whether it’d be insomnia, sleep apnea, and/or restless leg syndrome. As difficult as it is to get the proper rest your body needs, the added stress of overworking makes it even harder to get on a good sleep routine. Here are some tips to help you get the rest your body deserves:

1. Avoid Naps
I know how difficult it is to not dive into bed in the middle of the day when you are feeling super tired, but naps only through off your sleeping schedule. If you are trying to get on a sleep routine it is important to stay away from sleeping when it is not your bedtime. When night comes and you should actually be sleep you’ll only end up regretting the nap you took earlier and worse, your body will not be able to remember a set time to rest.

2. Go Out and Exercise on a Daily Basis
If you are not into fitness and exercise it is important that you get into it right away. Exercise is beneficial in many areas that we already know about, but did you know it is also beneficial for your sleep? Start with something as simple as stretching before bed. Working out reduces stress and also makes you tired which in return helps you to sleep better at night.

3. Sleep in the Dark
Hopefully you aren’t afraid of the dark, but in the case that you are it is important to note that light in any form can be a distraction when trying to sleep. Even lights from the television and your cell phone make your brain alert when you are trying to shut it off. Minimal light and complete darkness helps cue your body that it is time to rest.

4. Try Relaxation Techniques
Sometimes it is difficult to turn off your brain at night because it is filled with all of the events that transpired during the day and it is overflowing with anxiety about what is to come the next day. Meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques help you to take your mind off of things and focus on getting sleep. Apps like Headspace provide tools and methods to help you meditate and get a good night’s rest.

5. Avoid Big Meals at Night
Eating heavy within two hours before bed makes it harder to sleep because your body is still digesting the food. Now we’re not saying you cannot enjoy a delicious chicken dinner meal with the deluxe sides and sweet tea, however we are saying that you should try eating dinner at an earlier time and if you are still hungry when bedtime comes try eating a light snack.

These are just a few of the many ways you can help get yourself on a regular sleep routine. If after a month these tips do not work for you try talking to your doctor to see if there is maybe a deeper issue causing you to miss out on the sleep you need.

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