A lack of sleep affects your ability to perform at work, makes concentration difficult and is dangerous when you operate a vehicle or other large machinery. Approximately 33 percent of Americans suffer from poor sleep habits. Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep both can contribute to a fitful night’s sleep. Many people turn to pharmaceuticals out of desperation, but several minor changes to diet and lifestyle can make a big difference in sleep quality. Before implementing new sleep habits it is important to rule out the possibility of sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that affects sleep patterns.
Wake up at the same time each day. By establishing a set wake-up time, you allow your body to develop a routine. Maintain this wake-up time even on the weekends.
Turn off electronics 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Electronics such as the computer, television, loud music and cell phones can have a stimulating effect on the brain. Instead, read a book, do some light stretching or meditate. These calming activities will prepare your mind and body for sleep.
Perform your nighttime routine before you're tired. If you wait to wash your face and brush your teeth until you are tired and ready to crawl into bed, you run the risk of waking yourself back up with these refreshing activities. Instead, make a habit of performing these tasks when you turn the TV off each night.