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Tips for Restful Sleep

June 23, 2020

Sleep is an important modulator of the immune system and also helps to maintain our bodies' homeostasis. Adequate sleep is important for both are physical and mental health. Adults should try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep even under normal circumstances, but sleep can become increasingly difficult in stressful situations.

Here’s a list of tips to help you rest easy and wake up feeling refreshed.

  • Keep a regular daily routine, with structured activities. Write a list the night before or that morning, but keep the daily activity list to achievable tasks. This will bring you a sense of satisfaction if you can accomplish what you have set out to do.
  • Make time for daily exercise: physical activity during the day will help you to sleep at night. Exercise has benefits for both physical and mental health and it has been shown to decrease stress and alleviate depression, as well as decrease risk of many chronic illnesses, 
  • Spend time outside every day, sunlight is necessary for the regulation of circadian rhythms. This is absolutely essential for good sleep. 
  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoons and evenings. Avoid caffeine after lunchtime. 
  • Avoid large meals or alcohol before bed.
  • Keep a nightly routine: try to go to bed around the same time each night and wake at the same time each morning (even on the weekends). 
  • Turn off computers, television and quiet phones at least an hour before bedtime. Set phones and computers to night shift mode- this will minimize blue light. 
  • Have a cup of chamomile or herbal tea in the evening, which can help relax your mind and your body. 
  • Find a good book and read before bed (choose something that you enjoy, so that you’ll look forward to reading it).
  • Relaxation and mindfulness techniques can be helpful for insomnia. Consider using an app to help guide you (try Calm or Head space, Insight Timer).
  • Don’t stress. If you can’t sleep don’t lie in your bed and worry. Instead, get up and do a quiet, peaceful activity: read a book or magazine, listen to a relaxing podcast (see above), journal your thoughts.

For more information, check out this helpful research paper from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and this informative article.