How to Develop Healthy Sleep Habits

Insomnia is the worst. However, according to the Sleep Foundation, 36% of Americans suffer from sleepless nights. How can we do better about forming healthy sleep habits? Scroll below as we share a few tips to help you get a pleasant night’s rest.

Your behaviors during the day, and especially before bedtime, can have a major impact on your sleep. They can promote healthy sleep or contribute to sleeplessness. Let’s explore a few ways to work on healthy sleep habits.

Don’t Nap

Or, if you do, keep naps short. The MD Anderson Center suggests limiting your naps to 30 minutes or less. If you nap any more it interrupts your sleep at night.

Try Sleep Sounds

It’s true — the white noise you consume at night can help you fall asleep. Since outside noises can easily startle people awake and make it difficult to fall back asleep, white noise incorporates healthy sleep habits. For more information on this topic, check out 5 Sleep sounds for a good night’s rest.

Exercise!

Going for a brisk walk won’t just trim you down, but also helps you sleep better at night. A study in the journal Sleep found that postmenopausal women who exercised for about three-and-a-half hours a week had an easier time falling asleep than women who exercised less often. Just watch the timing of your workouts. Exercising too close to bedtime can be stimulating. 

Incorporate Deep Breathing

Breathing from your belly rather than your chest can activate the relaxation response and lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels to help you drift off to sleep. Try it before going to bed. For more information, check out 3 Easy Breathing Exercises Before Bedtime.

Create a Sleep Diary

Keeping a sleep diary will let you learn more about your sleep patterns and habits. What’s keeping you up at night? WebMD has a helpful list on how to create the right sleep diary for you.

Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime

Alcohol can make you sleepy at bedtime but beware. After its initial effects wear off, it will make you wake up more often overnight.  Instead, consider ingesting warm milk or chamomile tea before going to bed.  It’s healthier for you, too. 

Maintain A Regular Routine

Experts from The Sleep Foundation recommend sticking to a scheduled sleep routine.  Yes, that means going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time — even on weekends.  This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall and stay asleep for the night. 

Finally…

Did these healthy sleep habits help you? I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. Also, be sure to subscribe to the Heart & Soul newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each Friday.

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