Get Your ZZZ’s: Sleeping Well for Better Health

Insomnia doesn’t just leave you feeling drowsy at work, but it affects your overall health. Your lack of energy makes it difficult to get out and exercise, and you may not feel up for cooking healthy meals, either. Rather than succumbing to sleeping pills and other medical interventions, first try some of these ways to naturally get more sleep and get your health back on track.


Develop a Sleep Rhythm:

Although it may be tempting to stay up late when you know you don’t have to be up early the next morning, your body will do best if you get into a rhythm and stick to it. Go to sleep at the same time every night so you’ll naturally feel tired at that time. Setting your internal clock may take a few weeks of consistent behavior, but it pays off.

Find What Works for You:

Sleep experts have all sorts of rules, like not having a TV in your bedroom and not doing anything in your bed besides sleeping. However, if you have a particular show or nature documentary that bores you to sleep, then feel free to watch it. Similarly, reading a slow book in bed can help your mind calm down and forget the stress of your life before you go to sleep.

Create a Restful Environment:

The decor and furniture in your room can have a significant impact on your sleep. Put up room-darkening curtains to cut light, especially if you live in a city. Paint your room in a cool, relaxing color to help you wind down. Choose a mattress that’s supportive, and remember that the benefits of a firm mattress often outweigh the initial cocoon-like feel of a plush mattress.

Watch What You Eat:

Stay away from caffeine and other stimulants in the afternoon and evening to help your body prepare for sleep. Having an alcoholic drink before bed isn’t a good idea, either, because although it makes you feel tired at first, it will often keep you up later in the night. In addition, avoid heavy or spicy foods before bed because heartburn and indigestion can interfere with sleep.

Nap in Moderation:

It’s fine to nap, provided you do it the right way. If you are feeling tired because you’re sticking to a regular schedule, then don’t hesitate to take a short 20-minute nap. However, be aware that sleeping longer can throw off your schedule and counteract all that hard work you’ve done to train your body to fall asleep at the right time.

Changing your sleep habits probably won’t happen overnight, but as you put in the effort, you’re likely to reap the rewards. Not only will you feel more well rested and in a better mood, but you’ll also see other health benefits. People who get enough sleep often tend to maintain a healthy weight and have fewer stress-related health problems.

Joseph is a health enthusiast with a passion for writing. In his spare time, he enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands he uses.