Get A Better Night’s Sleep Tonight By Breaking These Sleep Rules

Sleep is an essential component of well-being. Aric Prather, Ph.D., a psychologist and sleep scientist, believes sleep is a critical health process. We continually sacrifice our restorative slumber to answer one more email or watch two more episodes to be more efficient and creative. Experts say not with these clever workarounds:

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Prioritize Wake Time Over Sleep Time

Good sleep begins in the morning. Behavioral scientist Wendy M. Troxel, Ph.D., says wake-up time is the key to setting our internal biological clocks, or circadian rhythm. Troxel says it’s best if it’s the same time every day, including weekends since inconsistent wake-up times result in poor sleep quality and difficulty falling asleep. Sticking to a consistent wake-up time will make you sleepy around the same time each night, creating a robust and natural routine.

Feel As Cozy Or Relaxed As You Like

Research shows that ideally, you want your ambient temperature to be cooler than your temperature, which can vary widely. Ultimately, you want to be comfortable. Experiment with layers to find your sweet spot. Wu recommends following your feelings rather than numbers. She says your body has sophisticated sensors that tell you if you are too cold or hot.

Wine Is A Wonderful Thing To Enjoy

Troxel says alcohol can disrupt sleep, particularly REM sleep, critical for memory, learning, and emotional processing. However, don’t deprive yourself if you are a Pinot Noir fan (hand raised) and have a generally healthy sleep schedule. Instead of sitting on the couch after dinner, have a little before or with dinner.

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Ignore Sleep Rules At All Costs

Getting enough sleep is vital to good health. You won’t benefit from obsessing about it since you will develop insomnia. Troxel said, “Don’t put so much pressure on sleep. Ensure you set the stage so you aren’t stressed about sleeping well most nights.”