7 Keys Steps to Help You Sleep Like a Pro

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There are few things more important than a good night’s sleep. A large body of evidence suggests that most people require seven to nine hours of sleep each night for optimal function and prevention of disease, but an increasing number of people in the industrialized world are falling far short of this ideal. According to data from the National Health Interview Survey, approximately 35 percent of US adults sleep fewer than six hours a night, and a growing body of evidence has linked reduced sleep duration and quality with a shockingly wide range of health problems. Here are the most important tips to help you sleep like a pro.

Step 1: Make Sleep a Priority

  • Aim for eight hours of sleep to start
  • Go to bed earlier, as most people usually have less control over when they can wake up

Step 2: Control Your Exposure to Light

  • Reduce your exposure to artificial light at night
    • Avoid using computers, tablets, and phones within three hours of your bedtime
    • Dim, cover, or remove anything that emits light in your room such as an alarm clock
    • Use blackout shades to make your room as dark as possible
    • Wear a face mask when you sleep
  • Increase your exposure to natural light during the day
    • Drink your coffee or tea outside in the morning
    • Take a 20- to 30-minute walk at lunchtime
    • Buy a light machine that emits 10,000 lux of light and sit in front of it for 15 to 20 minutes

Bedroom sleep

Step 3: Move Your Body

  • Get daily physical activity
  • Try not to sit too much

Step 4: Optimize Your Sleep Nutrition

  • Try different approaches to eating before bed
    • Some sleep better after eating only a light dinner, while others do better with a snack before bed
  • It’s best to be neither overly full nor hungry when you go to bed
  • Experiment with macro nutrient ratios
    • Some people find that a low-carb or ketogenic diet interferes with sleep, while others find it improves their sleep

Step 5: Ditch the Stimulants

  • Stop your caffeine intake for 30 days
    • If your sleep doesn’t improve while you’re off caffeine and it doesn’t worsen when you start again, it’s safe to assume caffeine isn’t an issue for you

Step 6: Regulate Your Nervous System

  • Manage your stress levels throughout the day
    • Learn how to meditate and control your heart rate

Step 7: Create an Environment Conducive to Sleep

Couple in bed

  • Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex
  • Avoid working in your bedroom
  • Avoid using electronic media in your bedroom (especially near bedtime)
  • Don’t bring your phone into the bedroom
  • Be aware that even a good book can hook you and prevent you from sleeping as easily
  • Create a pleasant and relaxing environment
    • Control the temperature
    • Make your bed as comfortable as possible
    • Avoid emotionally upsetting conversations or activities
  • Use earplugs or a white noise app to block out noise.

Apply those 7 Steps and you will see the difference in your daily energy,
mood and overall short- and long-term health.

In Health, A&A Wellness

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