If it takes you a while to fall asleep at night, you’re not alone. About 20 percent of Americans get less than 6 hours of sleep at night. If you’re one of those that struggle to snooze, consider trying these seven things to help you get a more restful night’s sleep.
1. Detach Yourself From Electronics
The glow from electronics pass through your eyes and delay the release of melatonin, which is the sleep inducing hormone. For those that can’t detach, the latest iOS update has a new featured called Night Shift that changes the screen to warmer colors and is supposed to minimize the impact blue light has on bedtime.
2. Turn Off The TV
According to Dr. Mark Rosekind, “One of the most simple but important reasons technology affects our sleep is cognitive stimulation.” When watching shows, your brain wants to stay alert by increasing the speed neurons travel.
3. Take A Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower 90 minutes before bed can help you sleep better reports Men’s Fitness. After being immersed in the hot water, your body temperature cools down, which is a signal to sleep.
It’s been proven that reading can help reduce stress. But not all electronic readers are the same. Those that are backlit can simulate the same light as a cell phone, causing more harm than good. Stick to an e-reader that’s illuminated from the front or a good-ole-book.
Instructor at NYC’s Y7 Studio told Shape, “Stretching not only relaxes you, it also keeps your muscles flexible so you’re less likely to experience discomfort during everyday activities.” Be releasing some of the built-up tension before bed, not only can you fall asleep faster, but may help avoid sore muscles in the morning.
6. Be Thankful
Take a few minutes each evening to reflect on your day and meditate. Through things like thoughtful breathing, guided imagery and reflecting on the good things that have happened this week, your body will relax and help you sleep better.
7. Darken Your Bedroom
Darkness is one of the cues your body needs to go to sleep. Use curtains to block outdoor light that peeks in and flip electronics over so the glow isn’t facing outward. Both of these tips can help you achieve better sleep reports the National Sleep Foundation.
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