A good night’s sleep is often elusive, but there are things you can do to boost the odds of getting some quality shuteye, sleep experts say.
The first is to have regular bed and wake times, according to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital sleep doctors Dr. Daniel Barone and Dr. Andrew Westwood.
The doctors suggested going to sleep at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning, even on weekends and vacation days. That’s because changes between workdays and days off may impair your sleep and how you feel during the daytime.
Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, they advised. Instead of coffee, tea, cola and chocolate, choose water, seltzer, unsweetened decaffeinated herbal tea and other caffeine-free beverages.
It’s also important to eat a healthy diet and be physically active.
“Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet that is high in fiber and low in saturated fat and added sugars may improve your sleep, health, and overall quality of life. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity. These exercises are best done either early in the morning or right after work,” the doctors said.
Try to avoid electronic screens on e-readers, mobile devices and television sets at least 30 minutes before bed. The light from these devices can signal to your body that it is still daytime, which may impair your sleep, they said.
Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. If you must nap, do so for only 20 to 30 minutes earlier in the day.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on sleep.