We all know the basics of good sleep practices, but behavioral changes can be difficult to adopt. Here are concrete tips from doctors and sleep experts heard by the New York Times to help us have a more restful night.
Set a time to wake up, not a time to go to sleep.
If you go to bed at wildly different times — 10 pm one night, 1 am the next, along with unpredictable wake times — “you’re getting a little late,” said Dr. Ilene Rosen, an associate professor of medicine at the from Pennsylvania.
It can be difficult to set a bedtime. Instead, try a regular morning alarm. This will train you to feel tired at the same time every night – about eight hours before you wake up.
Make your space cooler
A cooler room is better for sound sleep. Experts recommend keeping it close to 18ºC and using a cooling pillow.
Our body temperature drops when we fall asleep, which stimulates natural melatonin, a hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle. Taking a hot bath an hour or two before bed can also help to achieve this cooling effect.
Charge the phone across the room
You’ve heard it a thousand times: don’t use your phone before bed. Blue light is bad! But still, every night, we scroll.
One solution: carry your phone on the other side of the room, where you can’t reach it without getting out of bed. Also consider buying a physical clock to use as an alarm clock. This eliminates another excuse to have your phone within reach.
Limit how you use your room
You want to associate it with rest and comfort, not deadlines.
Don’t drink close to bedtime
If drinking for dinner, stop after the first course. Enjoy the wine and give your body a few hours to metabolize it before your head hits the pillow.
Translated by Luiz Roberto M. Gonçalves