Are you feeling sleep deprived? Lack of shut-eye can leave you feeling sluggish and foggy headed the next day. What’s more, it can have a profound effect on your overall health and well-being.
Fortunately, making a few simple tweaks to your daily life can help you get better sleep and manage your health to boot. Here are five of our favorites.
Stick to a Sleep Schedule
If you’re a night owl or your sleep patterns are erratic, resetting your body’s sleep-wake cycle is a great way to feel more energized and refreshed naturally. This includes going to bed and rising at the same time every day – even on weekends. Having a consistent routine will keep you in sync with your internal clock.
How to make it happen? Start by gradually moving up your bedtime and opening your curtains first thing the morning to let in natural light (even on cloudy days).
Move Your Feet!
Everyone knows exercise is important for your overall health, but it plays a vital role in how well you sleep, too.
The quality of your slumber is just as important as the number of hours you get. Forming a daily exercise habit will help you get more of that deep sleep you need. Add three to four good sweat sessions into your week, depending on your fitness level. For some people, that’s a brisk 20-minute walk with their dogs. For others, it’s jogging a few miles on the treadmill or doing an hour-long session on the Pilates reformer. Have fun with it and find out what works for you!
Just be sure to end your workouts sessions at least a few hours before hitting the hay; otherwise, you may be too wound up to nod off.
Limit Afternoon Caffeine
Caffeine can help perk you up when you’re moving slow, but drinking it in the afternoon can also make it more difficult to doze off at bedtime. That’s because it takes 10 to 12 hours for the effects of your favorite midday pick-me-up to wear off. And since you’ll likely have trouble drifting off to dreamland, you’ll end up relying on caffeine more and more to get through your day. Avoid caffeinated drinks after 3 p.m., or at least cut back your overall intake if you can’t go cold turkey.
Say Goodnight with Yoga
Winding down at the end of the day is key to falling asleep easy. When your mind is too revved up, doing a few restorative yoga poses before bed (or even in it) can put your mind at ease and have you snoozing soundly in no time. Try this before-bed yoga sequence tonight.
Have kids? Yoga works for fitful sleepers, too. Help them sleep better with these easy yoga poses for kids.
Visit Your Chiropractor
Your brain controls every function of your body, including your circadian rhythms. If you’re having nervous system dysfunction, your spinal cord and brain aren’t able to communicate with your body the way they’re supposed to. This makes it difficult for your body to get the message that it’s time to fall asleep or wake up, which is especially troublesome for people experiencing insomnia. A quick trip to your chiropractor can help correct the problem and go a long way towards getting a restful night’s sleep.