Good sleep is essential for your well-being, but it isn’t always easy to achieve. The secret to snoozing well starts with being mindful of the choices you’re making earlier in the day. That’s why developing healthy sleep habits is key. In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, which starts on March 3, 2019, here are three strategies to help you get a better night’s rest.
1. Wake up at the same time each day. Getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps you establish a regular sleep schedule, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. A regular sleep schedule allows you to sleep more and have a more restful, satisfying night’s sleep. Aim to go to bed seven to eight hours before your designated wake-up time.
2. Fit in exercise during the day. A study published in the journal Advances in Preventative Medicine found that exercise improves sleep quality and duration by enhancing activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for slowing your heart rate and relaxing your muscles. A morning cardio workout can lead to even better rest, according to the National Sleep Foundation, because early morning exercise regulates blood pressure to the ideal level for deep sleep later on.
3. Say no to screen time. Nighttime exposure to blue light – a type of wavelength emitted by electronic devices – can disrupt your sleep. More than other types of light, blue light boosts alertness and suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the hormone our bodies make in the evening to help us fall asleep. Experts at Harvard Medical School recommend going tech-free two to three hours before bed.