World Sleep Day
is on March 18 – and while getting enough quality sleep should be a priority year-round, this year’s theme, “Good Sleep is a Reachable Dream,” serves as a timely reminder of why we should be taking proactive steps toward healthier sleep. Below are seven tips to help you consistently get a good night’s sleep:
1. Recognize That Getting Enough Sleep Regularly is Hard.
Getting adequate sleep every night might be a tall order. Work demands and active lifestyles can interfere with sleep, and excessively busy schedules can often extend past your usual or ideal bedtimes. Acknowledging that insufficient sleep is a problem is the first step in gaining the awareness necessary to put you on a path toward better sleep.
2. Understand Your Sleep Habits to Make Them Better.
Try to identify the various factors that might be contributing to unhealthy or inadequate sleep. Tracking your sleep with a sleep diary for one to two weeks might reveal unrecognized patterns of disrupted sleep and/or practices that do not promote good sleep, like drinking alcohol or watching television right before bed. Knowing your individual sleep habits – such as stress triggers that may keep you alert or anxious before bedtime – will help you identify solutions to sleep better.
3. Prepare Yourself for Sleep.
You also need to take certain steps to prepare before bedtime. Begin by winding down one to two hours before going to bed. This is not the appropriate time to exercise, worry about your fears or get into an argument. Meditation may help calm an otherwise “overactive” mind, and relaxation exercises can do the same for the body.