Sleep is crucial to being able to function well in the day, at work or back home spending time with the family. Healthy sleep habits are best obtained early on, and these tips can help one have a sound and consistently refreshing sleep any day of the week.
These are some the top recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation, a non-profit organization in the US that aims to help the public not only sleep better but also deal with sleep problems and related disorders. Having a healthy sleeping habit, or a good "Sleep Hygiene" in other words, goes a long way in staying healthy and productive.
#6. Get a good bed
Sleeping on a good bed with comfortable pillows is one of the most obvious recommendations anyone can make, but it's often easier said than done.
If using a mattress for a bed, it must be comfortable the way the sleeper prefers it, and whether it's hard or soft, it must be supportive in any case. Old mattresses and beds may need to be replaced — typical ones last for about nine to ten years, and after that, they might need to be looked at.
Pillows are important, too, and they must be kept clean and free from allergens as much as possible. A clean and comfortable bed, sheets and blanket go a long way in improving sleep quality.
#5. Sleep in a Quiet Bedroom
Make sure that the bedroom is a place conducive to sleeping — that is, a place where there are minimal disruptions that could disturb sleep.
Bedrooms must be clean, of course, and they should be relatively cool, too, at around 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the occupant's preference or the season. The room, as much as possible, should be far away from noise and other distractions like traffic, pets or snoring.
Some devices can be used to enhance the sleep environment in the room. Air-conditioners, humidifiers, even "white noise" machines can help a lot here. Things like eye covers and earplugs can also be used as well.
#4. Get regular exercise
Regular exercise, even light ones, will help a person wind down at the end of the day.
Daily exercise is still the best for managing not just sleep problems, but for maintaining overall fitness as well. Just avoid doing exercises late in the afternoon or just before bedtime.
#3. No Napping
Avoiding naps, especially in the afternoon, can help one avoid problems sleeping at the end of the day.
That hammock might look good right now, but for those having trouble sleeping at night, sticking to a nightly bedtime schedule is still the best. That means avoiding power napping or even brief catnaps if possible.
#2. Start a Relaxing Pre-bedtime Routine
Establishing a quiet and relaxing bedtime habit is a good way to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Quiet routines like reading, drinking a glass of milk or writing a daily reflection can go a long way to gradually let go of all of the day's stress and excitement just before going to bed. One should avoid using electronics here, if possible, since the bright light from them can be stimulating.
As much as possible, people should also avoid watching television and especially avoid binge-watching streaming shows. These habits can harm more than help people trying to form a regular sleeping habit, and studies have been done to show the fact.
#1. Stick to a sleep schedule
The best way is still to come up with a sleep schedule and stick to it — even on the weekends or even if away from home on a trip.
Not only does this practice help regulate the body's natural clock and help it stay asleep once it gets accustomed to a habit, sticking to a schedule also ensures that a person gets enough hours of sleep every night.
For young adults and adults anywhere from 18 to 64 years old, that means seven to nine hours of sleep recommended by sleep experts.