Get More Sleep

Are you sleeping enough at night? Are you having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? About one-third of American adults, or approximately 37 percent, don’t get enough sleep, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). When adults with sleeping disruptions are under stress, that makes matters even worse.

According to the NIH, adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night to maintain good physical and mental health, improve quality of life and avoid an increased risk of injury. They recommend the following tips for a good night’s sleep:

Fall asleep at the same time every night, such as 10:00 pm, and wake up at the same time every morning, such as 6:00 am.  Do this even on the weekends.

Do not nap after 3:00 pm, and don’t nap more than 10 or 15 minutes – 20 minutes tops.

Don’t consume caffeine or alcohol later in the day.

Avoid nicotine completely.

Exercise regularly, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime.

Don’t eat a large meal later in the day. A light snack before bed will do the trick.

Make your bedroom cozy, dark and quiet, not too hot or cold. These top UK budget mattresses are worth an investment.

Follow a routine that helps you wind down before bed (such as reading or listening to music). 

Turn off the TV and other screens at least an hour before bed.

Don’t lie awake in bed. If you still can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, do something that calms you down until you feel sleepy, such as reading or listening to soft music.

If you still can’t sleep, talk to your doctor.

Sleep and Teens

Sleep problems are a particular problem for teens. The average teenager needs about 9 hours of sleep per night. Children and teens who don’t get as much may have difficulty getting along with others. Such teens may feel impulsive and angry. Or they may have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. They may also have difficulty concentrating, leading to lower grades and stress.

In addition to adult sleep tips, teens can try the following:

Avoid looking at screens for at least an hour before bed.

Night breaks are prohibited (don’t give up on homework until the last minute!)

Write a journal or to-do list before bed to relieve stress.

Don’t sleep 2 hours more on weekend mornings than on weekday mornings.

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