Just as society is waking up to the importance of regular exercise, many people are also recognizing that sleep is a key component to overall heath. Untreated sleep disorders have been linked to numerous medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and anxiety.
If you want to improve your sleep “fitness,” try incorporating the following tips into your daily routine:
Stick to a consistent bedtime and wake time—even on weekends and holidays
Finish your exercise sessions at least four hours before bedtime
Avoid caffeine within several hours of bedtime and avoid alcohol at bedtime—recent studies show that caffeine after 1:00pm can interfere with sleep for some individuals!
Eliminate pre-sleep activities that invoke hyper-arousal like working on a computer, playing videogames, and even arguing—in other words, calm down and don’t get worked up!
Keep the TV out of the bedroom, along with other electronics such as computers, tablets and smart phones
Create an ideal sleep environment by reducing noise, darkening the room and enjoying a comfortable bed
Reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex only
Avoid excessive napping
It’s tempting to stay just one more hour in front of the computer or to attend to a mountain of household tasks, but letting these things keep you from going to sleep could end up becoming your worst nightmare. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel and perform both routine and challenging tasks when you practice sleep fitness as part of your overall program for health.