Setting yourself up to improve your sleep is easier than you think. If you find that you’re not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, use the tips below to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
1) Lower your thermostat. Dropping the thermostat in your house to between 65 and 72 degrees has been shown to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. While these temperatures are the typical recommendations, you may need to experiment and find what temperature helps you sleep best.
2) Avoid too much caffeine. You don't have to give up your morning cup of Joe, but drinking caffeine-heavy drinks at night can affect your sleep. Caffeine increase catecholamines, hormones that increase energy, heart rate, and blood vessel constriction, and prepare your body to respond to any challenge. While everyone's body reacts differently to caffeine, it's recommended you stop drinking coffee about six hours before bed (for some as little as four hours and for others as much as eight hours).
3) “Unplug” from your electronics. Studies have shown that being engaged with your electronics (phone, computer, TV, iPad, etc.) before bed can affect your sleep. Limiting exposer to at least 30 minutes prior to bed can improve your sleep.
4) Make time for the gym. Spend a minimum of 30 minutes in the morning or afternoon working out. It can help you fall asleep faster at night. If you like to exercise later in the day, give yourself at least six hours, if you can, between working out and bedtime. Your body will be stimulated from exercising, so this gives it a chance to wind down before you sleep.