Daily habits for a restful sleep

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Your habits during the day have a significant influence on how well you sleep. From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, the choices you make determine whether your body will be ready to rest at bedtime.

 

Creating a sleep-minded daily routine will set the stage for a good night’s rest. If you’re struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, it’s time to reset your daily rhythm so you wake up refreshed and ready to go.

 

Get up at the same time each day

A consistent sleep schedule lets your body know when to be alert and when to settle down for bed. Getting up at the same time each day is essential to establish a sleep rhythm.

 

Think of getting up in the morning as step one of your sleep schedule. If step one is consistent, then all the other steps can fall into place. If you’re tired, it’s better to go to bed early than sleep in late.

 

Spend time outside

Natural light is a signal to the body that it’s time to be awake and alert. Being outdoors stimulates hormones related to your circadian rhythm. These hormones help determine how energetic you feel during the day and how well you sleep at night.

 

Exposure to early morning sunlight is ideal for regulating your sleep/wake pattern. If you are unable to get outside, use bright lights early in the day to simulate sunlight.

 

Exercise in the morning

Being physically active first thing in the morning can give you a boost of energy. The more active and energetic you feel during the day, the more likely you will wind down at night.

 

If exercising first thing isn’t possible, make sure to get your exercise in as early in the day as you can. Avoid exercising within a few hours of bedtime as it may make you too energized to fall asleep.

 

Eat consistent meals

The timing of your meals is an important part of your sleep cycle. When you eat, you are communicating the time of day to your body. Consistent meals also provide energy so you can be alert and productive during your waking hours.

 

Avoid skipping meals or snacking late at night. Eating or drinking close to bedtime sends the wrong signal. At night, you want your energy levels to drop and your body to focus on repair and rest.

 

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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