Of all the things we do for our health, we often neglect sleep and don't frequently make an effort to prioritize it. Getting to bed an hour or two earlier may not seem feasible, but what we can do is utilize some easy tips to get some extra sleep each night. Whether are we are staying up late socializing, waking up early to workout, or struggling to finish a presentation or project, most of us can't ignore the work that has to be done, but we can prepare ourselves for good sleep by utilizing some tricks to obtain a little bit more shuteye.
"Good sleep is often a result of a disciplined bedtime routine," life coach Brenden Dilley tells Bustle over email. "Most people will lay in bed, scrolling through their phone for hours before attempting sleep. Unfortunately, this actually stimulates the brain and makes it much more difficult to get to sleep."
Whether you're someone who wastes time before bed, can't seem to fall asleep at night, or simply has no time before bed, try the following five tips to help you incorporate more sleep into your otherwise hectic and busy typical work week.
1. Set An Alarm — At Night
"Most of us just use alarms to wake up, but when your issue is discipline before bed, the alarm can help remind us that it's time to put the phone down and get to bed," says Dilley. Setting an alarm can prevent you from losing track of time and staying up past your intended bed time, making it a great reminder to say hello to your pillow.
2. Power Nap
If you can't get in extra hours during the night, take the time to indulge in a 20 minute power nap sometime during the day. Though it may not seem like much, quick naps in the afternoon can help boost energy levels, improve memory, and strengthen your immune system.
3. Set A Sleep Schedule And Adhere To It
Don't just pencil in when you want to go to sleep — mark it pen. Put your sleep time into a calendar just as you would any commitment, and then actually commit to it. Having a consistent sleep schedule is more consistent for your body, and it will help you prioritize getting to bed sooner.
4. Shut Off The Computer
And not just because you're wasting time on it. Blue lights from technology such as your computer and cell phone can affect your circadian rhythms and in turn your quality of sleep. "Shut things down 60 to 90 minutes before going to bed," says Dr. Robert Rosenberg, author of Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day. "If you eliminate technology 60 minutes before bedtime, it'll be much easier to fall asleep."
5. Cut Your Caffeine In Half
Though you may not think your cup of joe from earlier this morning makes much of a difference, your daily coffee can actually wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. "Caffeine can last 17 hours in your body and disrupts good gut bacteria, leading to low melatonin levels," says health coach Connie Rogers to Bustle over email. Even if you're not staying up into the wee hours of the night on a caffeine high, coffee can negatively disrupt your quality of sleep if it's still in your body.
We all need sleep, no matter how busy our daily schedules are — so having quick tips in mind for when you need to catch up is just another way to feel your very best every day.