You know you need consistent sleep to be healthy, but it’s not always easy to get quality shuteye. Our expert shares their best tips.
We’ve all had times in our lives when getting a good night’s rest feels impossible, and stressing out about how to get more sleep just makes insomnia worse.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make it easier to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed. Here, Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, Canyon Ranch director of life management, shares his top tips for getting solid ZZZs.
1. Turn off tech devices before bed
The biggest sleep mistake people make, says Rossman, is “Doing too many stimulating things too close to bedtime. Our electronics can really cut into our sleep because they wire our brain, they’re too intellectually stimulating, and the blue light that’s emitted from our screens suppresses the release of melatonin, which is our body’s sleepiness hormone.”
2. Wake up at the same time every day
This can help improve sleep by getting your body on a schedule, says Rossman, so you’re actually tired around the same time each night too.
3. Expose yourself to light when you wake up
Open the windows to let sun in, or head outside for a walk right when you wake, recommends Rossman. “Make sure light comes in through your eyes—it helps to set our body’s natural clock, so that you’re sleepy at bedtime.”
4. Use relaxing activities to help you fall asleep
If you’re lying awake in bed trying to fall asleep, or you can’t get back to bed after you wake up in the middle of the night, Rossman says the best thing you can do is get out of bed and do something else. “Go into another room, read something that’s relaxing with a low light on, listen to relaxing music, have a cup of hot tea, do something that’s quite passive until you do feel sleepy, and then go back into your bedroom.”
5. See a sleep pro
If you’ve tried all the tricks and still feel groggy after a full night’s sleep, have a sleep study done, suggests Rossman. Consulting with a professional can help you uncover what’s causing your problem and get it treated effectively.