You don’t need an expert to tell you that getting a good night’s rest helps you feel better.
However, the benefits of getting enough sleep go far beyond a mood and energy boost. Sleep may help support your health in far-reaching ways, too.
Researchers have found that
Getting less than that may reduce your immunity.
Yet 1 in 3 people don’t get enough sleep, according to the CDC.
The good news: If you need help in the sleep department, we’ve got science-backed tips to increase your chances of waking up on the right side of the bed.
There are a variety of ways to set your bedroom up for sleep success. Making sure your sleeping space is pitch-black — or close to it — is one of the most important. That’s because darkness tells your body clock it’s time to rest.
Even a soft glow can disrupt your sleep,
You may also want to designate your bed a sleep-only zone.
It can be tempting to catch up on work emails, scroll social media, or watch your favorite show from the comfort of your mattress.
However, experts say that treating your bed as a sacred sleep space can train your brain to associate climbing under the covers with falling asleep. And that could prime your body for a more restful night.
Keeping your bedroom cool at night can also help create an environment that supports sleep.
Your core body temperature naturally dips in the evening to prepare your body for rest. Experts suggest that setting the thermostat to roughly 60 to 65°F (16 to 18°C) can help you keep you cool.
If you tend to run hot at night, you might also want to shop for sheets and sleepwear made of cooling, moisture-wicking materials. This may help keep you from waking up hot.
Going to bed at roughly the same time every night and waking up around the same time every morning can promote a healthy sleep schedule.
Many people find a calming nighttime ritual helpful. Over time, your brain and body may start to associate your pre-bed activities with falling asleep, which could help you nod off more easily.
Consider the following practices for your evening routine to help promote sleep.
Take a hot bath or shower
Not only is steamy water soothing, but shortly after a hot bath or shower, your core body temperature starts to go down.
Write a to-do list
If you tend to ruminate on your most pressing tasks at night, try getting them out of your head by putting them down on paper.
A 2018 study suggests that writing a detailed to-do list before bed may help you fall asleep faster.
Dim the lights
You may also want to avoid looking at screens — including smartphones, laptops, and tablets — a couple of hours before bedtime. A
Not only does physical activity tire out your muscles, but it’s also a known stress reliever. In other words, staying active can relax both your body and your mind. And this makes it easier to fall and stay asleep.
You don’t have to run a marathon to reap the benefits, though.
It’s tough to sleep when you’re feeling tense or anxious, so consider these relaxing, research-supported techniques to help switch your brain and body into rest mode:
You’ve probably noticed that trying to force yourself to fall asleep tends to have the opposite effect.
Many people recommend that if you’re really unable to doze off, reading (with low light) or listening to calming music or a comforting podcast.
It may sound counterintuitive, but accepting your sleepless state can take the pressure off, making you more likely to get sleepy.
Sleep is incredibly important for maintaining your health and well-being. Still, knowing that you should prioritize sleep doesn’t necessarily make it easier.
The tips in this article offer a few powerful actions you can take to help ensure you get deep, restorative sleep.