Odds are that many of you have experienced a lack of sleep. Late nights, early mornings, or poor sleep environment are just some of the many things that may prevent you from getting enough rest. And if you are aware of the performance benefits of sleep, then you know that sleep quality can have a dramatic effect on health and performance.

It’s usually easy to notice sleep deprivation. Its symptoms include a loss of concentration, changes in mood, or decrease in mental and physical performance. While sleep duration changes as you age, the general recommendation for adults is 7 hours of sleep per day.

But how can you increase the quality and quantity of your sleep? We’ve listed various strategies to help you increase the likelihood of achieving 7 hours of sleep per night.

MAKE YOUR BEDROOM A “BEDROOM”

It’s called a bedroom for a reason! It’s where your bed is, and your beds primary function is to be a comfortable place to rest. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy other activities on our bed, it just means we should limit the amount of non-sleep-based activities in our bed. For example, if your bed is associated with television or work, you might be tempted to be preoccupied with other things you could be doing in your bed besides sleeping, which can lead to more time spent awake than asleep.

SET A ROUTINE

You likely have routines for just about everything in your life. You have a work, eating, and workout schedules—among many others—planned throughout your day. If you don’t stick to your schedules, you could lose your job, overeat, or not reach your fitness goals.

Your sleep schedule works the same way. Studies have shown that irregular sleep patterns can alter the chemical processes in your brain that help you get sleep. You can easily improve your sleep by setting a consistent time for bed.

INCREASE LIGHT EXPOSURE DURING THE DAY

The sun rises and the sun sets. It’s natural for us to feel more alert in the day and tired at night. In fact, increasing the amount natural sunlight you receive during the day can help regulate your internal body clock, so that you can improve your daytime energy while increasing your nighttime sleep quality and duration.

OTHER STRATEGIES

 - Limit fluid consumption to avoid frequent urination during the night, which can affect sleep quality and quantity. Try to stop consuming beverages 2 hours prior to bedtime.
 - Use a relaxation technique like deep breathing, massage, or shower to help you sleep better.
 - Set your bedroom temperature between 65 and 72 degrees, or whatever is comfortable to you.
 - One study showed that adults who exercise nearly cut in half the time required to fall asleep and increase their average sleep time by 41 minutes per night.

 

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