Ever get a short night of sleep? If you’re like most adults, you probably nodded your head and remembered the unpleasant day that followed. For some people, though, poor sleep or not enough sleep is just their way of life.
That’s unfortunate because chronic sleep deprivation has a lot of nasty side effects that can include mood disorders, cognitive deficits, weight gain, and even high blood pressure. If that sounds like your life in recent years, keep reading for a sleep checklist that may help you get your sleep habits back on track.
Build a Routine
If it’s at all possible, build a bedtime routine. For example, pick a bedtime and get-up time and stick with them. That can help train your body and brain to associate those hours with sleeping, which can help regulate your sleep.
You can also help cue your body and brain for sleep with a pre-bed pattern that you follow closely, such as changing into pajamas, washing your face, and brushing your teeth.
Beds Are for Sleep and Sex
If you regularly watch TV, read, or check email in bed, put a stop to those habits immediately. You should use your bed exclusively for bed activities, which means sleep and sex. If those are the only activities you carry out in bed, getting into bed cues your body for sleep.
Aim for a Dark Bedroom
Light exposure of any kind while you sleep can interfere with your brain’s chemistry. Blue light — the kind you get from things like phone screens — actually reduces the level of melatonin your brain makes. Melatonin is the stuff that helps you drop off.
Remove as many light sources from your bedroom as possible. If you charge your phone at night, put it facedown somewhere across the room.
This doesn’t mean you must train for a triathlon. A little regular cardio in the 20 to 30 minutes a day range can help cut down on stress hormones. Fewer stress hormones make it easier for you to fall asleep at night when you do go to bed.
We wade through a lot of electromagnetic fields every day. Even the wiring in the walls of our homes can produce these fields.
There is a possibility that EMF might affect the quality of your sleep. If you think EMF might contribute to your sleep problems, you can investigate products like an EMF bed canopy.
Applying the Sleep Checklist
Sleep problems typically develop over time, which means applying the sleep checklist will likely help in the same way. It’ll take some time.
Removing light sources from your bedroom and cutting down EMF exposure are the possible exceptions. Those may provide some improvement even in the short term.
On the whole, though, the checklist offers methods that help you train your body and brain to associate certain times, actions, and places with sleep, which should help boost your sleep quality.
Looking for more tips on living healthier? Check out the posts over in our Health section.