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Rest Easy: Tips for Your Best Sleep

by Anna Mischke | Nov 09, 2017

Driver News 110917Getting a good night sleep not only helps productivity and improves overall quality of life, it also increases your ability to be alert and safe when working. 1 in 3 adults don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, so you aren’t alone if you find it difficult to catch some shut eye. Your health and safety go hand-in-hand: actively focus on getting a proper amount of sleep fit to your needs by following a few helpful tips.

Set a Sleep Schedule

Getting to bed and waking up at the same time will help regulate your body clock. Try and stick to your alarms and avoid hitting “snooze” too much.

Create a Bedtime Ritual

A routine activity where you can begin to unwind and signal to your body that it is time to sleep can help you snooze more restfully. Whether reading a chapter of a good book, doing some light stretching, or sipping a cup of herbal tea- find what relaxes and preps you for a great night of sleep.

Exercise Daily

A walk around the block, a few sprints up and down stairs, or half an hour in the gym can make all the difference in the quality of your sleep. Light exercise is better than none- so even on a day when you feel tired, take the stairs.

Nap Early

If a power nap is necessary, make sure you stick to 20 minutes and that it’s early in the day. Naps taken later in the day can decrease your need for sleep when nighttime comes around. Anything before 5pm is ideal.

Get Comfortable

Since we spend time in bed sleeping for one third of our life, the quality of your pillow and mattress matters. Make sure your mattress is supportive and comfortable: they do wear out over time (usually 9-10 years). Some prefer firmer pillows over soft or vice versa- figure out what helps you rest best.

Dim the Lights

Avoid bright light in the evening as it can throw off your circadian rhythm- or your internal clock- particularly blue light from television and phone screens. If you’re having difficulty winding down from the day without some distraction, try listening to soothing music or a book on tape.

Cut Back

Large meals, alcohol, and smoking before bed can disrupt sleep, so avoid partaking before going to bed. If you feel a snack is necessary to help you rest, eat something light or sleep beneficial (like cheddar cheese, walnuts, or tart cherry juice) at least half an hour before lying down.

Chat with a Doc

If you find it chronically difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, it may be worth having a conversation with your physician. Some sleep disorders require further treatment, such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.

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