There are many different factors that can affect your sleep, here are some tips from our leading scientific expert—Professor Matthew Walker, PhD, Director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Human Sleep Science:
- Make the hours count
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommend getting at least 7-hours of sleep, as consistently as possible. If you're not getting 7 hours, try going to bed 10 minutes earlier for a week, and then adding another 10 minutes the following week until you've reached the optimal sleep length.
- Keep it cool
If you can, sleep in a cool room. The ideal air temperature for sleeping, and staying asleep, is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Embrace consistency
Going to bed at different times every night can cause moderate "social jet lag." To maximize your quality of sleep, it's critical to go to bed at the same time every night.
Stress and worry are a common sleep disrupter. Recent research suggests that meditation can be a tool for falling asleep quickly, whether at the beginning or throughout the night.
Try a free meditation app, or simply focus on your breathing to help fall asleep.
If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try journaling about one hour before bed time. Writing your troubles down can be a great stress relief.
- If you can't sleep, get out of bed
Try getting out of bed and relaxing in a dark room with dim lighting and no devices.
Find an activity like reading that is calming for you. When you feel sleepy, head back to bed.
- Make your bedtime routine a priority
In the afternoon, reduce your caffeine intake. Closer to bedtime, dim the lights in your home and put away your devices.
If you have concerns about your sleep, you can visit the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website to find a list of sleep medicine doctors.