Having trouble sleeping? If you’re already using a CPAP device, another useful tool to help fall asleep and stay asleep is making sure you have good sleep habits!
According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is recommended for individuals 18-64 years old to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and 7-8 hours per night for those 65+.
Tips to prepare your body for sleep:
- Have a routine! Go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same times each day – even on weekends!
- Avoid eating close to bedtime – research suggests that eating within a 2-hour window of your bedtime can affect your sleep negatively. Also, try to avoid heavy meals in the evening.
- Exercise regularly! Daily exercise is recommended but avoids strenuous exercise within a couple of hours of your scheduled bedtime.
- Do not drink caffeine in the evenings – have your last cup of coffee or tea at least 6 hours before your bedtime.
- Quit smoking! Nicotine has stimulating effects, so quitting smoking is one more thing you can do to help yourself relax and fall asleep, not to mention the other well-known benefits of quitting smoking!
- Combining calcium and tryptophan-rich foods can increase melatonin production, helping you feel drowsier at bedtime.
- Magnesium-rich foods have been shown to help you stay asleep.
- Reducing fluid intake before bed can reduce the number of bathroom trips you make at night.
- Avoid alcohol! Which alcohol can make you drowsy, it can also delay the onset of your REM sleep, shortening the amount of quality sleep you get.
- Set a bedtime alarm – And listen to it!
- Don’t put off going to bed if you’re feeling tired. Getting a full 8 hours of sleep is important, so if you’re feeling tired in the evening, listen to your body and go to sleep!
- Try different tools like breathing exercises or journaling to help de-stress before bed.
- Avoid screen-time! Put down your electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime – instead, grab the book on your nightstand and read a chapter or two.
- Keep your room temperature around 64⁰F (18⁰C).
- Avoid letting your pets sleep with you – this will help minimize awakenings throughout the night due to movements and noise.
- White noise is your friend – using a white noise sound machine (or app on your phone) can help you fall asleep faster and drown out any noises throughout the night!
- Avoid looking at your clock! Checking the time can increase stress, making it harder to relax and doze off.
- A new mattress every 6-8 years. Common signs you should consider replacing your mattress are:
- Poor sleep quality
- Noticeable damage or lumpiness/sagginess in areas
- Noise – increased noise when moving in bed due to old springs
- Better sleep in other beds (hotels, friends’ houses)
- Increased allergies/asthma flare-ups
- Waking up with muscle pain or joint stiffness
- A new pillow every year – This helps to avoid dust mites that cause allergies, leading to disrupted sleep. Old pillows can also lead to discomfort.
Getting a good night’s sleep is a key factor in maintaining physical and mental health, improving productivity, and increasing your quality of life in general. Forming good sleep habits is the key to getting the rest your body needs!