One word: SLEEP.
The best strategy for a great day at work tomorrow starts with getting a great night’s sleep tonight. But in a time when anxiety and feelings of isolation are running high, it can be tough to unwind, calm your mind and sleep soundly.
If you struggle to fall or stay asleep, here are a few tips for getting high-quality Zzzs:
- Make sleep a priority.
It’s a biological necessity. And just one bad night has detrimental effects on your mood, focus and higher-level brain functions. Recognize how important sleep is to your health and well-being – and then commit to making changes for the better.
- Know how much you need.
If you think you can skate by on 6 hours, think again. Few people perform at their best with less than 7 hours, and some need as much as 9.
- Create a sleep schedule.
Set and adhere to a consistent bedtime and rising time each day, even on the weekends. This helps regulate your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal daily clock).
- Don’t nap.
If you’re tired during the day, it’s natural to want to sneak in a cat nap to help you get through the day. Afternoon naps, however, can actually make it tougher for you to fall asleep at night.
- Exercise daily.
It makes you healthier, tuckers you out and can also improve your sleep. Be careful about the time of day you exercise, though – some people have trouble sleeping when they exercise late in the afternoon or evening.
- Avoid vices at night.
Most of us know to avoid caffeine in the evening, but alcohol, tobacco and rich foods can also disrupt sleep.
- Try a sleep tracker.
Apps like Pillow, SleepScore and Sleep Cycle can help you discover internal and external factors that are affecting your sleep; discover trends in your sleep patterns; and use the information to improve your quality and duration of sleep.
- Consider a supplement.
Melatonin, valerian and chamomile tea can help relax you, which can help you get to sleep. Don’t like pills? Foods like cherries (high in melatonin), bananas, oatmeal and (yes) warm milk can do the trick too.
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