How’d you sleep last night? If you’re like more than a third of adults, you’re probably not
getting the recommended seven hours a night, and it might not be for lack of trying. New research finds that what you do during the day can have just as big an impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep as what you do just before bed. Here are seven habits to start today.
At least once a day, head to a local park, tend to your garden or take a scenic walk. Adults age 65 and older who spend time in nature are more likely to sleep better,
according to a study from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. When you commune with nature, you’re staying active and boosting your mental health, two factors that have been shown to improve sleep quality when you go to tuck in.
Daytime Solutions for Better Sleep. Love Your Routine. Having a daily routine is far from boring, in fact, it may be vital for your well-being. In Canadian research last year, both good sleepers and insomniacs participated in activities throughout the day, but it was the good sleepers who did them at consistent times.
Having a daily routine is far from boring in fact, it may be vital for your well-being. In Canadian research last year, both good sleepers and insomniacs participated in activities throughout
the day, but it was the good sleepers who did them at consistent times. (For example: Go to the gym in the morning, head to work, meet friends for dinner, etc.) A regular routine can help set your biological rhythms so that your body is ready for bed when you are.
If you want better zzz’s, focus on eating more fiber (found in large amounts in foods like lentils and beans) and getting less saturated fat and sugar, a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine suggests. That pattern of eating was related to more time spent in restorative short-wave sleep and fewer middle-of-the-night wake-ups.
You may be reluctant to work out later in the day, worried that
getting sweaty would make it too stimulating to get to sleep at night. It’s OK to take that jog or snag a spot with a trainer in the evening, suggests research in Sleep Medicine. People who reported vigorous evening exercise didn’t get worse sleep — 97 percent said they logged just as good or better sleep on days they hit the gym compared with nonexercise days.
Workers who were exposed to natural daylight through windows got 46 more minutes of sleep compared with those in windowless environments, reports a study the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Exposure to light during the day and darkness at night keeps your body’s circadian rhythms in check.
Mindfulness meditation the practice of being aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations in the moment, without judging them as “good” or “bad” has received a lot of buzz recently, and for good reason. In a study in JAMA Internal Medicine, older adults who took a mindfulness class two hours a week for six weeks benefited from improved sleep quality more so than those learning healthy bedtime habits (such as how to wind down before bed). What’s more, mindfulness helped reduce fatigue during the day.
Adults older than 50 are the most likely to rely on sleeping pills, research from the CDC shows. If you need this extra help to catch your zzz’s, take them on an empty stomach. For some meds, washing them down with dinner
can delay the time it takes them to work. Because the guidelines differ depending on what you’re taking for example, an over-the-counter product such as Tylenol PM isn’t affected by food this is a reminder to always read the instructions on the medication label (or ask your pharmacist) to learn the guidelines on yours. It can mean all the difference between slipping into slumber and lying awake and staring at the ceiling. Sweet dreams.
Until tomorrow: But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.