Tossing and turning in bed, still trying to fall asleep at 3 a.m.? Having difficulty sleeping is everybody’s nightmare. You wake up tired, feel drowsy, have trouble concentrating. Sleeplessness takes a toll on your everyday life.
This is where “sleep hygiene” comes to the rescue. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, you can turn a sleepless night into a restful slumber by making some small changes in your sleep environment.
Try these seven helpful tips to maximize your zzz's and wake up feeling refreshed and rested to take on the day:
1) Bedrooms Are For Sleep and Sex, Only!
Keep computers, TVs, even treadmills out of your bedroom. When your brain becomes used to the stimulation from such devices, it will start to expect it when you step foot in the room, making it harder for your to fall asleep.
Using your bedroom only for sleep and sex can strengthen the mental association between the room and your sleep, according to WebMD, so you can fall asleep more easily without any distractions.
2) No Screen Time Before Bed Time
The soft blue light from your TV, laptop, smart phone, and even digital clock screen on your nightstand can suppress the production of your sleep hormone, melatonin, making it harder for you to fall asleep. So turn off all screens at least an hour before you go to sleep, and cover any blue displays you cannot shut off.
Can’t get any rest before you watch the latest episode of The Bachelorette? Try using amber lens glasses that block blue light if you really want to indulge in some TV without jeopardizing your sleep.
Research has shown that people who wore amber lens glasses while staring at a screen before going to bed have shown significant improvements in their sleep quality compared to those who didn’t.
3) 50 Shades of Gray
Natural light is a powerful cue that tells our brain to wake up, so it is important to keep your bedroom dark to promote sound sleep. Pick dark and cool colors to decorate your room, and use heavy curtains and blackout shades to block sunlight. You can try a dark eye-mask to maximize the darkness.