Are you finding it difficult to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep? Are you worried that you are not getting enough quality sleep? It may surprise you to know that about one in three American adults don’t get a healthy amount of sleep according to the NIH (National Institute of Health). And suffering from stress makes the problem even worse.
According to the NIH, adults need between 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night to stay physically healthy, maintain good mental health, reduce the risk of injury, and promote quality of life. The following tips are recommended by the NIH to help get a good night’s sleep:
• Go to sleep at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning – including weekends
• Don’t nap for longer than 20 minutes during the day and avoid napping after 3 pm in the afternoon
• Avoid alcohol and drinks containing caffeine before going to bed
• Completely avoid nicotine
• Exercise regularly but avoid exercising at least 2 – 3 hours before bedtime
• Avoid eating a heavy meal late in the day, however, a light snack before bedtime is ok
• Create a comfortable, quiet, dark bedroom environment that is not too cold or too warm. Consider investing a new mattress. Read these Sealy mattress reviews
• Create a relaxing routine to help you fall asleep like reading or listening to relaxing music
• Turn off all electronic screens like the TV and phone at least one hour before going to sleep
• If you can’t fall asleep, don’t lie awake in bed. If you haven’t fallen asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something like making a cup of tea, listen to soft music, or read until you feel sleepy.
• If the problem still persists, you should talk to your doctor about it
Teens and Sleep
The average teen should sleep for about 9 hours per night. Sleep problems are of special concern when it comes to teenagers. Children and teens who do not get enough sleep often find it difficult to get on with others. They may experience feelings of anger, have mood swings, be impulsive, feel depressed, sad, or lack motivation. Sleep-deprived teens may also have problems concentrating and as a result feel stressed and get lower grades at school.
In addition to the above-mentioned tips for adults, teens can try the following:
• Switch off all electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime
• Don’t leave homework until the last minute and ban all-night studying
• To reduce stress, write in a diary or make a to-do list before going to sleep.
• Avoid sleeping in for more than two hours on weekends beyond normal wake up times during the week