Sleep is an important part of every day. It gives your body a chance to repair any damage and refuel for the next day. However, overbooked schedules and daily obligations can quickly push it out the back burner. Instead of muddling through each day without the rest period you need, try using these tips to get to sleep and stay that way all night.
Establish a Regular Bedtime
You may not realize that having a regular bedtime is good for everyone, not just little kids. A predictable routine can help your body develop its own rhythm. That's right; going to bed at about the same time every day helps your body get into a set schedule which makes falling asleep easier.
It may sound really simple, but this can be a tough thing for busy adults to accomplish. These tips can help you get started:
- Stick to your schedule even on the weekends
- Allow a little leeway for special events or outings
- Set realistic expectations for yourself (you are not going to be in bed at 7:00 on the weekends)
- Help your body slow down by reducing screen time before bed
- Avoid caffeine and high-sugar drinks before bedtime
- Remove excess light sources from the bedroom
Stay Active During the Day
Another way to help set the stage for a successful night to sleep is to stay physically active during the day. When you exercise or play physically demanding games, your body quickly goes through energy stores. As a result, it will crave sleep so that it can replenish the stores and be ready for another active day tomorrow.
Of course, you won't be able to go all out all day, every day, but you can do things to ensure you stay moving. For example, find a local walking trail that you can stretch your legs on in the morning or look into affordable inground pools to enhance your backyard recreation options.
Turn the Temperature Down
One of the reasons many people struggle to sleep in the summer is because of the temperatures. When it gets hot and muggy outside, you may feel lazy and sluggish, but your body's systems struggle to establish a comfortable resting temperature.
The ideal sleeping temperature for most people is usually right below 70 degrees. So, instead of tossing, turning and throwing off the covers, adjust your thermostat in the evening. You will find it easier to fall asleep, and you will be more likely to stay that way through the night.
Find the Right Sleeping Position
How you sleep is also a consideration. There are three main sleep positions, although each one has its own set of variations. According to the Sleep Foundation, about 60 percent of adults sleep on their sides, making it the most common sleep position. With proper support from a good mattress and pillows, side sleeping can be very healthy for your spine.
The next most popular sleep position is on your back. This position may help with lower back pain and is also helpful when you are feeling congested. The final sleep position is on your stomach. While you may feel comfortable sprawled out on your belly, it can be particularly rough on the spine over time. Therefore, if you choose to sleep on your stomach, it's a good idea to invest in a top-quality mattress designed for that position.
Address Any Health Concerns
Certain medical conditions contribute to sleep difficulty. For example, chronic pain may make it difficult to get comfortable or can leave you waking up feeling stiff and achy after just a few hours of rest. Managing chronic conditions is key to ensuring you get a good night's sleep most days.
Some medications are also problematic. For example, many antihistamines, despite them being incredibly common, make it difficult to fall asleep, even if you feel tired. If you notice difficulty falling asleep after starting a new medication, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if there is a connection.
Staying active, establishing a sleep routine, and managing any health concerns are just a few of the ways you can help your body get the sleep it needs every day.
One of the things that makes Alaska such a unique place to live or visit is its amazing summers. Summertime in Alaska is like no other place in the U.S. because of the vast amount of daylight we get. In the northernmost parts of the state, the sun refuses to set for nearly a month. In the interior, the sun briefly dips behind the mountains leaving golden hues to hold its place until it returns minutes later. And even in the southern parts of the state, periods of darkness are so short, that if you blink, you could miss it.
When you combine the copious amounts of daylight with a plethora of exciting outdoor activities, you come across a unique challenge: How do you sleep with all of this daylight?
While most resident Alaskans have grown accustomed to our unparalleled annual cycles of dark winters and radiant summers, many first-time visitors find the abundance of daylight to be a shock to their systems. So to help those of you visiting Alaska this summer here's what you need to know about how daylight affects your sleep habits, and some more tips to avoid sleep troubles.
- Go to bed at the same time every day. Even though it is still light and it doesn’t quite feel late yet, it is recommended to go to sleep at the same time every day, or close to it.
- Get blackout or dark curtains for the bedroom. It will be light throughout the night in Alaska, but the bedroom should be kept dark for sleeping. If curtains are not an option, try a sleep mask.
- Prepare for sleep. Start your bedtime routine and power down electronics at least a half-hour before you go to bed. Instead of electronics try reading a book or practicing relaxation techniques.
- Social events. During the long summer days, Alaskans like to join their family and friends for social events. Keep an eye on the clock and monitor the amount of alcohol consumed, it's easy to lose track of time with the constant light.
- Drink water before bed. It is easier to get dehydrated in the summer because of the increased heat. Being dehydrated will make you feel more tired during the day, so keep up the H20 intake.