It’s the activity that most of us adore, but can never seem to get enough of: sleep!

Today is World Sleep Day, which means we’re celebrating this amazing activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three Americans simply don’t sleep enough.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that people should sleep for about seven hours, but many of us barely get that! We’ve heard for our whole lives that sleeping for the proper amount of time contributes to better health.

Essentially, sleeping for at least seven hours each night makes you an overall healthier person. From promoting better heart health to decreasing the chances for many chronic conditions, sleeping is an important variable in a perfect-health equation.

World Sleep Day was created by its founders, the World Sleep Society, to promote the vital role that sleep plays in human physical and mental health. This holiday’s slogan is, “Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World.”

Our society has made a population of insomniacs, possibly perpetuated by the culprit cellphones and readily available 24-hour entertainment like social media and streaming platforms.

“Conversely, lack of sleep or poor sleep quality is known to have a significant negative impact on health — affecting attention, memory, learning, obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems and other health problems,” The World Sleep Society said in a press release.

And many of us have felt it before. Maybe it was partaking in a night out before work or school. But we’ve all experienced the heavy eyes, the brain fog and the “twilight zone” feeling that comes with sleep deprivation. Many of us just can’t sleep well for a wide variety of reasons.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the most common suspects for sleep deprivation are lifestyle choices, medical conditions, work obligations and poor sleep hygiene, which is essentially another word for saying “your bedtime routine.”

We want to make sure that you’re sleeping enough. And we feel that it’s important to celebrate this day by partaking in its namesake. Here are seven tips to help construct better and more restful sleeping patterns.

  • 7) There's a Perfect Temperature For Sleeping

     

    If you’re a person who loves to blast the AC when you sleep, well you may be on to something. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for a room when you’re sleeping is 60-to-67 degrees

    This temperature helps you sleep better because of our biology! Our bodies are programmed to have a dip in core temperature in the evening. So turning down the thermostat may send our bodies signals that it’s time for bed and also help with temperature regulation.

  • 6) Keep your bedding fresh and clean

    Clean bedsheets

    [Elizaveta Galitckaia] via Shutterstock

    Many of us already do this step. However, there’s another reason to keep your sheets and pillowcases clean. 

    Cleaning our sheets and pillowcases at least once every two weeks can help promote better sleep. A poll from the National Sleep Foundation found that people are more excited to sleep when they have “fresher” scented sheets and pillowcases.

  • 5) Your Sleep 'Hygiene' May Need To Change

     

    We’ve all had our moments of hopping into bed without doing the proper “routine” beforehand. However, if your daily habit consists of no bedtime routine then that may be a factor that’s disrupting your sleep.

    Be sure to have a proper routine that allows your body to fully “decompress” and “prepare” for uninterrupted sleep.

  • 4) Aromatherapy

     

    Creating a welcoming and relaxing environment is important for sleeping properly, and aromatherapy can do just that.

    Particular scents like lavender, chamomile and ylang-ylang can help create an atmosphere that aids in sleep and relaxation. Thus, helping you sleep deeper and better. 

  • 3) Associate Your Bed For Only Bedtime Activities

    Work in Bed

    [ShotPrime Studio] via Shutterstock

    Completing homework or work-associated tasks in your bed can actually have a negative impact on your sleep cycle.

    According to Emma McAdam, a licensed marriage and family therapist, your brain will start to associate your bed with “alertness” rather than sleep. So it’s vital to save your bed for only “bedtime” activities that promote sleepiness and relaxation rather than energetic activity. 

  • 2) Skip The Drinks Right Before Bed

     

    Contrary to popular belief, alcohol doesn’t actually help you sleep better. Although it may give you feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, excess alcohol will negatively affect your sleep patterns in the long run. In fact, alcohol can increase insomnia and create poor sleep duration.

    According to the Sleep Foundation, alcohol can also restrict airways, which increases symptoms of sleep apnea.

  • 1) Make Gradual Changes

     

    Overall, we can all do a better job when it comes to improving our sleep patterns. It’s important to realize that changing your sleep patterns will not be an overnight task.

    Start with small changes such as adjusting your bed time by an hour or two. Hold yourself accountable with a consistent bed time and make gradual, small changes.

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