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Simple ways to improve sleep quality

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Getting a sufficient amount of quality sleep can be difficult for many, but a few changes can have a significant impact, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Much of the requirement for getting a good night’s rest revolves around controlling the environment in which a person is sleeping and developing routines that aid a person in transitioning from awake time to sleep time.

A big part of training the body to sleep better involves having a consistent sleep schedule. Ideally, a person will go to sleep and wake up within an hour of this set schedule each day while ensuring that there is time for at least seven hours of sleep or more. For those that find it hard to stick to a bedtime, focus on waking up at the desired time even if you stay up late to help reinforce that part of the cycle first and make yourself tired for the next night.

An often overlooked area for good sleep is what happens during the daytime, and one helpful change could be adding extra physical activities into the daily routine. Engaging in sports, exercise or even just a long walk helps a person fall asleep faster and deeper at night but shouldn’t be done too close to bedtime to avoid being overly energized. Daytime naps, while they can be beneficial, should be limited to 30 minutes and taken earlier in the day to avoid disrupting that set sleep schedule. Similarly, eating big meals or drinking a lot of alcohol right before bed can create disruptions in the sleep cycle.

Finally, the environment itself can be crucial for falling and staying asleep, and this means making the room cool, dark, and quiet. After setting the thermostat to lower itself a couple of degrees shortly before bed, focus on eliminating sources of light and noise in the bedroom. This can include turning off the TV or computer screen, hanging up light-blocking shades, and using earplugs and face masks.

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