Sleep is when the body and mind rest and restore themselves. During sleep, the body repairs itself, and the immune system has a stronger response to invaders. To help get the rest you need to keep your immune system strong, it’s important to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. You’ll know you’ve reached the right number of hours when you wake up just before your alarm.
Here are some tips to help you develop a better sleep habit:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Especially if you are sleep deprived during the week, it’s hard to forgo a few extra hours in bed on Saturday. However, changing your sleep patterns dramatically on the weekend can give your body jet lag (without the fun of a flight to a beach somewhere).
- Avoid screens before bed. It may be hard, but try to put your devices down an hour or two before bed. The blue light from electronic devices (whether tv, tablet, phone, or even e-reader) mimics sunlight, and can confuse your natural circadian rhythms into keeping you awake. Try switching to a calming book (no page-turning whodunits) before bed, to help you relax and unwind.
- Do reach for a pen and paper before sleep. While answering emails or trying to “finish one more thing” will not help you sleep, jotting down a quick to-do list on paper can be soothing. By transferring the thoughts swirling in your brain to paper, it’s often much easier to relax.
- Keep cool. While we all love to cuddle up with a big blanket, a cooler room can help us fall asleep by encouraging the natural dip in body temperature that occurs while we’re sleeping. Try keeping your room between 60 to 67 degrees F for a deep, restorative sleep.
- Most importantly, recognize the value of sleep. With enough sleep, you’ll work faster, feel better, and have a stronger immune system. It’s worth prioritizing.