Recommendations for a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is essential to survival, and most importantly your brain benefits from a good night’s rest. Normal sleep hygiene should include a minimum of 6 hours a night, which is 42 hours a week. Here are some helpful suggestions to achieve and maintain healthy sleeping habits:
Complete workouts at least 2 hours before bedtime. This will help your muscles relax, and avoid late night eating.
Do not use cigarettes or any tobacco products before bed, it can lead to poor sleep.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol.
Do not drink coffee, tea, soft drinks, or chocolate close to bed time. Decaffeinated tea is fine, but all other forms can keep you awake.
Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Treat your bedroom as if it were a sanctuary.
Create a calm and comfortable atmosphere, make sure the climate is right and you are not too hot or too cold.
Train your brain.
Test out a few options and figure out which one is right for you. Associate an activity or smell with bedtime. Play some calm music, take a hot bath, or use some aromatherapy oils. Watch out for candles because you may forget to blow them out. Create a bedtime routine that is catered specifically to your style, everyone is different.
Create a weekly sleep schedule.
Any priority in life requires some planning, so start today. Make a consistent sleep (bedtime) and wake schedule for the week, and weekends. Avoid sleeping in on the weekends, instead, wake up at your scheduled time and take a nap later on in the day. However, exercise caution and only take naps for an hour or less, so that you don’t interrupt your sleep cycles and wake up even more tired.
Keep work and reading materials out of bed.
Associate sleep and only sleep with your bed. Avoid reading, homework, or doing work from the office while in bed.
Natalie Garcia, B.A., Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science