Most adults do best on 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Are you part of the one in three adults who don't get enough sleep?
Too little sleep can cause memory issues, mood changes, weakened immune system, and lower sex drive. It can age your skin and leave your eyes looking puffy.
You can see the signs of sleep deprivation. Now here's what you should do about it to make sure you get enough sleep.
1. Create a Comfortable Environment
Cool, dark, quiet sleep environments usually give you the best sleep.
Program your thermostat or adjust it on the way to bed to make your bedroom a comfortable temperature. Cooler room temperatures, typically no more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, let your core body temperature drop like it's programmed to do. That helps your brain understand you should be sleeping.
Look for electronics that emit light if darkness is an issue. Your alarm clock, phone, or TV may occasionally give off light that makes it tough to sleep better.
If street lights or sunshine from your windows bother you, invest in room-darkening curtains. A sleep mask can also help.
Does total silence make it tough to sleep? Try white noise from a fan or white noise app to create background noise. Some people prefer earplugs to block out potential noises.
Another comfort consideration is your bedding. Choose a mattress, pillow, and blankets that make you feel comfortable.
2. Get on a Schedule
Weekends meaning sleeping in for many people. But your body does better when you stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on the weekends.
Getting into a consistent sleep pattern every day of the week helps your body know what to expect. If you do change it up on the weekends, try to stay within an hour of your normal bedtime and waking time.
3. Watch What You Eat and Drink
Food and drinks you consume throughout the day can add up to sleepless nights. Caffeine is one of the biggest offenders because it's a stimulant.
Caffeine has a half-life of about 5 hours. That means half of however much caffeine you consume is still in your body after 5 hours. It can take even longer to get rid of the remaining caffeine.
Set a cut-off time for caffeine consumption. It's best to stop by early to mid afternoon to give the caffeine time to leave your system.
Nicotine and alcohol both have stimulating effects, too. Even though you may feel sleepy after drinking alcohol, you may wake up later and have trouble falling back asleep.
It's best to avoid a heavy meal within a few hours of your bedtime. Go to bed without being hungry or overly full to keep yourself comfortable.
If you need a snack closer to bedtime, try high-tryptophan foods. It can help create serotonin and melatonin, which helps you sleep. Examples include cheese and other dairy products, grains, and nuts.
Drinking too much of any liquid at night can interfere with sleep. Even water can cause you to wake frequently to go to the bathroom. Slow down your liquid consumption in the evening to help yourself stay asleep.
4. Manage Your Stress
Learning healthy ways to manage stress can help you fall asleep faster. When you're stressed or worried, you lie awake thinking about those problems.
We all have worries, but letting them take over bedtime robs you of sleep. That can make you feel even more stressed at night and the next day.
Try writing down the worries you have a few hours before bed. Tuck the paper away to temporarily set aside the worries.
5. Control Light Levels
Light helps signal your body for sleep. Bright light isn't all bad. Exposing yourself to bright natural light during the day tells your brain it's time to be alert.
Closer to bedtime, you want to limit bright light. You'll get more restful sleep when you dim the lights.
Do you finish off your day by checking your phone or catching up on TV shows? Screen light can send your brain a signal that it needs to be alert. All of those screens give off blue light, which is especially disturbing to sleep.
6. Exercise Regularly
You know that working up a sweat helps you build muscle, lose weight, and stay healthy overall. But did you know it also helps you sleep? People who exercise regularly tend to sleep better.
Just don't work out too close to bedtime. Late-night workouts can rev up your body and may keep you from falling asleep. That's because exercise releases hormones and has a stimulating effect that can keep you awake.
7. Create a Relaxing Routine
Transition from the craziness of daytime to the rest of nighttime with a soothing bedtime routine.
Here are some options to try:
• Sipping caffeine-free herbal tea
• Listening to an audiobook in a dark room
• Taking a lavender-scented bath
• Doing relaxation exercises
If you have trouble falling asleep, try something quiet and relaxing until you feel sleepy.
8. Watch Out for Naps
It's a tough cycle to break. You come up short on sleep at night so you take a nap. But then you lie awake the next night.
Naps are tempting when you're sleeping, but you're usually better off skipping them. If you nap, keep it to a quick power nap of 20 to 40 minutes. Longer naps can keep you up at night.
Time your naps so they're earlier in the day. Even a short power nap closer to bedtime can throw off your sleep patterns.
9. Get Professional Help
Have you tried all of the sleep tips you've heard but still have trouble sleeping? It may be time to visit your doctor. As many as 50 to 70 million Americans deal with sleep disorders.
If you suspect a sleep disorder, your doctor may have options that make it easier to sleep. Sleep studies help doctors determine if you have sleep apnea or another issue that makes sleeping difficult.
Follow Our Sleep Tips
Which sleep tips are your favorite? Test them out now to get your beauty sleep. Then, check out more beauty articles to help you feel your best.