Six Steps to a Healthier Night's Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for physical and mental health. If you’re feeling sleepy or tired during the day even after getting enough sleep or repeatedly waking up during the night, you could be sleep deprived. Additionally, you may be putting yourself at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke and poor mental health.

Try these practices to get a good night’s rest:

Establish a relaxing routine.  A regular nightly routine helps the body recognize that it is bedtime. This could include taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book or doing some light stretches.

Wind down. Give your mind and body time to shift into sleep mode about an hour before going to bed. Try to avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.

Be consistent! Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.

Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes. While a short nap can help to improve mood and performance, napping does not make up for poor nighttime sleep.

Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry, eat a light, healthy snack.

Get active! Ten minutes of aerobic exercise a day can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, speak with your doctor or find a sleep professional.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Sleep Foundation

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