The Importance of Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people struggle to get the quality and quantity of sleep they need. Unhealthy habits, underlying health conditions, and environmental factors can all contribute to interrupted sleep.[0] Here are some tips to help you get better sleep and improve your overall health.[1]

First, try to stick to a consistent sleep-wake schedule. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each night, including on the weekends. This will help your body’s natural clock adjust and will make it easier to fall asleep and wake up.[2] Additionally, limit long naps to a maximum of one hour and avoid napping late in the day.[3]

Second, avoid eating large meals close to bedtime and don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed.[4] Eating regular meals throughout the day is important, but a light snack at bedtime may help sleep, too.[5] Additionally, avoid alcohol and caffeine late in the day.[6] Alcohol might help you get to sleep, but it results in shallow and disturbed sleep, abnormal dream periods, and frequent early morning awakenings.[7]

Third, optimize your bedroom environment. Ensure that your bedroom is a tranquil, calming, orderly, and enjoyable space. Eliminate external light and noise, turn off the phone, and make arrangements for child care if necessary.[8] Additionally, avoid bright lights and bright screens right before bed, as blue light has been shown to suppress the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.[9]

Fourth, do calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques.[10] Exercise regularly, but avoid exercising closer than two to three hours before your bedtime.[11] And if you can’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up and do something relaxing, such as listening to soft music or meditating.

Finally, if you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.

If you have adopted better sleeping habits and you are still suffering from chronic sleepiness, it may be wise to consult your healthcare provider.[12] You may have sleep apnea, which causes brief pauses in breathing at night and leads to daytime sleepiness.[4]

Adults ages 18 and older should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night, according to guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation.[13]

0. “Top 4 reasons why you’re not sleeping through the night – Harvard Health” www.health.harvard.edu, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/top-4-reasons-why-youre-not-sleeping-through-the-night

1. “Getting a good night’s sleep” www.apa.org, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.apa.org/topics/sleep/disorders

2. “24 Little Tricks to Get Your Best Night’s Sleep Ever” www.womansday.com, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/wellness/g1875/how-to-get-your-best-nights-sleep-ever/

3. “Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep – Mayo Clinic” www.mayoclinic.org, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379

4. “A Good Night’s Sleep | National Institute on Aging” www.nia.nih.gov, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep

5. “Dos and don’ts for a good night’s sleep | Edward-Elmhurst …” www.eehealth.org, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.eehealth.org/blog/2020/08/dos-and-donts-for-better-sleep/

6. “8 secrets to a good night’s sleep – Harvard Health” www.health.harvard.edu, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/8-secrets-to-a-good-nights-sleep

7. “20 Tips for Better Sleep When You Have Insomnia – WebMD” www.webmd.com, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/ss/slideshow-sleep-tips

8. “Getting a Good Night’s Sleep FAQ and Resources – OHSU” www.ohsu.edu, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.ohsu.edu/brain-institute/getting-good-nights-sleep-faq-and-resources

9. “Ten top tips for good sleep | Mental Health Foundation” www.mentalhealth.org.uk, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/blogs/ten-top-tips-good-sleep

10. “5 Tips to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep with Quality Rest” www.uhhospitals.org, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.uhhospitals.org/blog/articles/2017/07/good-sleep-hygiene-five-tips-to-better-your-shut-eye

11. “13 Tips to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep” pgcar.com, 20 Jan. 2023, https://pgcar.com/healthy-living/13-tips-to-a-better-nights-sleep.htm

12. “Get Enough Sleep – MyHealthfinder | health.gov” health.gov, 20 Jan. 2023, https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationships/get-enough-sleep

13. “Sleep better with 11 tips to fall asleep | HealthPartners Blog” www.healthpartners.com, 20 Jan. 2023, https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/sleeping-tips/