With patience and discipline, it’s possible to adjust your sleep schedule to meet the demands of the workaday world. Some advice from sleep experts:
#1 Be consistent
It’s extremely important to wake up and go to bed at the same time, even on the weekend. If you’re naturally a night owl, try moving your bedtime forward gradually—20 to 30 minutes per week.
#2 Make time to wind down
Starting winding down 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Dim the lights, listen to relaxing music, take a bath, meditate—find whatever works for you.
#3 Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary
Keep your bedroom as dark as possible and as cool as possible without being uncomfortable—between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18.5 to 21 degrees Celsius).
#4 No electronics
Leave your phone, tablet and laptop outside the bedroom. If you have to get on the computer near bedtime, filter out the screen’s blue light (which interferes with the “sleep hormone” melatonin) by wearing orange-tinted glasses or even regular sunglasses.
#5 Don’t watch the clock
If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, don’t watch the clock—that will only make you anxious. Instead, get out of bed and do something physically and mentally unstimulating, like reading a boring book.
#6 No more snooze
When it’s time to get up in the morning, don’t hit the snooze button. Open the curtains, make the bed, go outside, talk to a friend. Morning light helps set the body’s internal clock.
#7 Take short naps
If you’re tired during the day, it’s OK to nap as long as you keep it brief and early in the day. Long naps can throw off your night’s sleep.
#8 Recognize your sleep-related triggers
If you know that exercising at night leaves you buzzing, exercise in the morning instead.
#9 Watch what you eat
Be aware that alcohol and certain drugs can interfere with sleep.
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