(RxWiki News) How you sleep can affect your health. Here's how to make your home environment more sleep-friendly.
March 13 through 19 is national Sleep Awareness Week. That means it's the perfect time to learn how to set yourself up for better sleep and, by extension, better health.
Here are the tips you need to know:
Set Down the Screens
More than half of Americans look at electronic screens within an hour of bedtime, according to 2022 data from the National Sleep Foundation. That means that more than half of Americans might be sabotaging their sleep.
The blue light that comes from electronic screens is known to disrupt and prevent sleep. How do you avoid that problem? By setting down your smartphone, turning off the TV and logging off of your laptop at least an hour before you hit the sack.
Cut the Caffeine
An important part of countless people's morning routines, caffeine keeps us awake. But if you consume too much coffee, tea or caffeinated soda, you may find that you're staying awake even when you want to go to sleep. Or you might find that you don't feel as rested as you think you should when you wake up.
In any case, if you're struggling to get enough restful sleep, caffeine is often at least partly to blame. No one is suggesting that you completely cut out your morning cup of coffee, but it's probably a good idea to save caffeine consumption only for the morning and only take in limited amounts.
Set the Right Temperature
Being too hot or too cold can keep you from falling or staying asleep. Most people prefer a cool environment in which to sleep, but set your thermostat to where you're most comfortable to promote better sleep.
Exercising too close to bedtime can prevent you from falling asleep. If you think about it, it makes sense. Exercise gets the heart pumping and the energy levels up — the precise opposite of what you want when you're trying to wind down for the evening. The solution is simple: Move your workout to earlier in the day, such as in the morning or early afternoon instead of the evening.
Keep It Dark and Quiet
The darker and quieter your sleeping environment is, the more likely you are to get good sleep. So, make en effort to turn off all the lights before you get into bed. And eliminate any sources of noise, such as a TV in the background. If you're having trouble keeping it dark in your bedroom, consider blackout curtains.
Talk to Your Doctor
Sleep problems are health problems. As you would for any health problem you were experiencing, you should speak to your health care provider if you are having trouble sleeping. Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a strategy or even medication to help.