Tips to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

by The Cooperative
What is something that most of us want more of but it can be difficult to get?
Getting enough sleep is very important and is often overlooked when talking about overall wellness. When we sleep, our bodies are working hard on repairing themselves. Sleep decreases cortisol levels, boosts our immunity, memory, and focus, and aids with muscle repair from the day. If we are sleep deprived, some of our other healthy habits may fall to the wayside, such as being physically active or making the time to prepare healthy meals.
One in every three adults does not regularly get the recommended amount of sleep. So how much sleep is enough? Here are the daily recommendations for hours of sleep by age:
  • Newborns: 16-18 hours a day
  • Preschool-aged children: 11-12 hours a day
  • School-aged children: At least 10 hours a day
  • Teens: 9-10 hours a day
  • Adults (including the elderly): 7-8 hours a day
Think about your routine and the average number of hours of sleep you get per night. Are you getting the recommended amount of sleep, which can help improve your health? Here are some tips to help you get a few more minutes of shut-eye.
  • Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day if possible. Set a bedtime and establish whatever routine may help you slow down your body and mind.
  • Use your bedroom for sleeping only. For example, try not to have your bedroom be your workspace or place for watching TV. For children, don’t use the child’s bedroom for timeouts or punishments. Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark.
  • Keep the weeknights and weekends similar. Limit the bedtime difference to no more than one hour. Staying up later and sleeping in on the weekends can disrupt the body’s sleep-wake rhythm.
  • Have quiet time for one hour before bed. Avoid strenuous exercise and bright, artificial light from a TV or phone. Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation to slow down from the day.
  • Avoid heavy or large meals, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bed. All of these can make resting difficult. You may be able to fall asleep, but it may not be the restful REM sleep that the body needs.
  • Spend time outside! Being outside during the daylight hours and including physical activity can help you sleep better.
Give a few of these sleep hygiene tips a try! Hopefully, you will have more restful nights ahead.
By, Coach Sarah

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