How Do I Get Better Sleep?

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Baby and Dad Sleeping

When thinking about good health, we always look at eating well and getting in physical activity. However, there are many things that contribute to good health. One of the most important things is getting a good night’s rest.

From our friends at Rutgers University Extension of Union County, children and teens need approximately 9 hours of sleep a day, while adults need about 8 hours of sleep a day. When we get less of that amount of rest in our day, we tend to fall in, what is called “sleep debt”. Sleep debt causes problems with sleepiness and fatigue, which can affect how our body functions throughout the day. Without sleep, we decrease our concentration and reaction time, causing a severe effect on our performance at school and work.

If you feel as though you’re having problems with getting more sleep at night, here are some great tips from University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension on helping to improve your daily sleep:

  1. Make sure to keep up a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and getting up every day at the same time. This improves your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
  2. Try to eat dinner at least 3 hours before going to bed. Having undigested food on the stomach can affect your sleep.
  3. Make sure to be careful of consuming caffeine in the afternoons or evenings. Since caffeine affect people differently, it’s difficult to gauge when to stop consuming it. Try to test out what time is best for a caffeinated drink, before falling asleep.
  4. Try to turn off electronics 1-2 hours before bed. Blue lights from electronics can change your brain’s circadian rhythm, which helps you to sleep.

These are just a few tips, but make sure to try them at home, if you’re in need of better sleep

References:

“Sleep Tips” – UF/IFAS Extension, Pasco County – University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension

“Why is Sleep So Important to Health?” – Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Union County – Rutgers University – New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station