by Justine Deputy, RN, MSN

Adequate sleep has a positive effect on your overall physical health and mental health. In our always on the go world, many of us do not get enough sleep. Here are some tips to get more sleep and improve the sleep you get.

Ways to Create a Good Sleeping Environment

  • NO electronics in your bed: Keep your phone on the other side of the room or in the hallway. Also, turn it on airplane mode or silent. Resist the urge to look at your phone if you wake up in the middle of the night. Airplane mode prevents you from getting distracted by a text or notification if you click your phone for the time in the middle of the night.
  • Light: Ideally, you want your room as dark as possible. This means no lights in the hallway, nightlights, lights from clocks or cellphones, etc. If you need to use a light at night, use yellow light instead of white and only turn it on if you are getting up and need to see.
  • Noise: If you do use a sound machine, make sure it is only white noise. Other sounds, like television or music, are not a consistent sound and can interrupt sleep instead of help with sleep. This sound machine is one of the most recommended when it comes to white noise.
  • Temperature: Keep your room at a comfortable sleeping temperature. If you are too hot or too cold, it will affect your sleep. It is worth it!
  • Comfort: Make your bed a comfortable space. Aim to have a comfortable bed, blanket, and pillow.

Ways to Increase How Much Sleep You Get

  • Aim for at least seven hours of sleep: This is hard. We are all so busy. Some of us may work late. Some may be waiting for that downtime after the kids go to bed. But sleep is so important. Aim for 7 to 9 hours each night depending on your body’s needs.
  • Set a bedtime: To get the hours you need, set a bedtime. Getting into the habit of going to bed early is the hardest part. Once you are in the routine, it gets easier. Set an alarm on your phone to start getting ready for bed to start the habit.
  • Try to stick to a scheduled wake up time and bedtime: Not only going to bed at the same time but waking up at the same time can have benefits to starting a routine. This helps your circadian rhythm work best!
  • Be smart about napping. Don’t let a nap go too long that it impacts the evening’s bedtime.
  • Reduce your exposure to bright light in the evening once the sun goes down. Try to keep the lights low in the house whenever possible. Yellow lights are better than white lights in the evening. You can even change your phone settings to a warmer color during certain hours of the day.
  • Get sunlight during the day. This helps your body tell the difference between day and night allowing your circadian rhythm to regulate.

The Birth Center provides pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and GYN services to women from adolescence through menopause. We provide full-scope care for women of all ages from teens to post-menopausal. Our focus is to empower our clients through holistic health management and education.