March is national sleep awareness month! We all know that sleep is important, but many of us still struggle to get a truly restful night’s sleep. Having healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Try to follow these sleep practices on a consistent basis:


  1. Maintain a consistent daily schedule. Having a routine can make a huge impact on your sleep schedule! Try to stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time–even on weekends. This will help regulate your body’s clock, and teach it to get used to falling asleep and staying asleep all night.
  2. Reduce caffeine intake. Caffeine is a stimulant, and can keep you up! Be sure to stay away from caffeine hours before bedtime, and limit your intake throughout the day.
  3. Turn off the computer or TV. Our phones, computers and devices all emit blue lights, which can trigger your brain to stay awake at night. If you must be on a device throughout the day and night, try wearing glasses that block blue light waves!
  4. Don’t go to bed on a FULL stomach. Going to bed with a full belly can sometimes be uncomfortable. Make sure you’ve eaten, but not to the point where you’re stuffed!
  5. Don’t go to bed on an EMPTY stomach. Again, it’s all about balance. Make sure there is food in your belly, so you’re not uncomfortable with a growling stomach.
  6. Engage in regular exercise. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  7. Limit beverages before bed. It is so important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, but try to cut off your beverage intake close to bedtime so you can stay asleep, instead of making trips to the bathroom.
  8. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet. Having a dark bedroom will help you fall asleep faster, and keep you asleep until morning.
  9. Invest in a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up.
  10. Go to sleep and wake up using your internal clock. This ties back to sticking with your daily routine. Once your body gets used to going to bed and waking up at the same times each day, your body will naturally become tired at night and awake in the morning. Soon your body may not even need an alarm clock!

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