Having trouble getting a good night’s rest? You’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or sleep deprivation. Fortunately, there are a few best practices and habits you can implement to help improve the quality of your sleep: 1) Establish a Sleep Schedule, 2) Avoid Naps, 3) Exercise Regularly, 4) Avoid Stimulants, and 5) Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine. 

Establish a Sleep Schedule

Setting a consistent sleep schedule is one of the best ways to improve your quality of sleep. Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, even on weekends can begin to condition your habits of establishing a sleep schedule by teaching your body a regular sleep-wake cycle making it easier to fall asleep at night. 

Avoid Napping 

Waking up early after a night of wakefulness, can lead you to want to include quick “power naps” to re-energize you throughout the long day. However, napping during the day can disrupt your sleep cycle and create difficulty to fall asleep at night. 

While power naps help well for the first few hours, it can impact your sleep schedule long-term and create a harder pattern. Easier said than done, to get the most out of your sleep, avoid napping during the day and focus on getting a full night’s rest the day prior. 

Exercise Regularly

While exercising has a whole list of benefits on its own, exercise helps your body relax and prepare for sleep. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day. While most people have created habits and can personally handle it, exercising within 3 hours of bedtime is not recommended, as it can be too stimulating and make it harder to fall asleep. 

Avoid Stimulants

It can be very tempting to fall into the habit and trends of stimulants such as Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol within your daily social life. However, all these stimulants can severely interfere with your sleep. Try to limit your intake of these substances, especially near your bedtime. 

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

The day of your life is already filled with busily events and exposure outside of your downtime and the last thing you need to do is to bring that to your bedtime routine. Doing things within your bedtime routine to keep your brain in a state of increased relaxation is important. 

Try reading a book or taking a warm bath to help your body and mind relax before going to bed instead of scrolling through Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube videos, or movies/TV shows that could stimulate your brain’s entertainment center to stay awake longer. 

Remember to be consistent with your sleep habits and avoid any activities that can interfere with your sleep especially before your bedtime. With a little effort, you can get the restful sleep your body needs by implementing these practices that can help improve sleep quality and get you to the road of full sleep for readiness in the days ahead.

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