Sleep affects our mood, energy and overall health. However, getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes feel like a huge challenge.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you sleep better tonight — and every night.
Setting a strict sleep schedule and sticking to it is a great way to make sure you’re getting the 7 to 9 hours of sleep you need per night. Make sure you are going to bed and waking up around the same time every day. This helps your body get into a rhythm, helping you fall asleep and wake up more naturally. Of course, there will be times when you may need to break your schedule, so think about getting a quick nap in those days to compensate for the sleep you lost. Try not to sleep in late, even on weekends, to avoid disturbing your routine.
Engaging in daily exercise helps you rid of excess energy that can keep you up at night. However, be sure to not exercise too close to your bedtime. Morning workouts are ideal and a great way to start the day. If you can’t work out in the mornings, make sure to finish your exercise at least three hours before going to bed. That gives your body enough time to cool down and prepare for rest.
Both caffeine and alcohol are known to obstruct the sleep cycle. When you come home from work or school at the end of the day, drink water instead of caffeinated drinks like soda. You should also avoid drinking alcohol too close to your bedtime. While alcohol is a depressant and may make you feel sleepy, it actually is known to interrupt sleep and wake you up during the night.
Your bedroom should be quiet and free of distractions when you’re trying to fall asleep — that means putting away electronics and turning off the TV. You may also need to shut your doors and windows if you’re surrounded by external noises. Determine the right temperature to help you feel calm and relaxed and even consider the type of bedding that makes you most comfortable. If you still have trouble falling asleep, experiment with white noise devices or eye masks.
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get a good night’s sleep, consider trying a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle and can be found in the form of pills, gummies and even inhalation devices. While it is known to be safe for most people, there are side effects to consider, including dizziness and headaches.
The amount of sleep we get every night determines how productive we will be the next day, so make sure you are taking the appropriate measures to get a healthy night’s sleep to function at your absolute best. If insomnia is affecting your daily life, visit your doctor.
To schedule an appointment at UCF College of Medicine’s East Orlando or Lake Nona physician practices, call 407-266-3627 or visit ucfhealth.com/schedule-an-appointment. For more information, visit ucfhealth.com.