Are you among the one in three adults who don’t get enough sleep? Getting fewer than seven hours of shut-eye each night is associated with many health risks, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and mental health disorders. Everyone should make adequate sleep a priority, but that’s easier said than done. If you need to alleviate your lack of sleep, here are four things that can help.
Turn Off Your Devices
Checking your email, playing games or watching videos in bed can prevent you from getting enough sleep. The glow from your phone, tablet or laptop can delay the release of important neurotransmitters that help you fall asleep. Allow for at least thirty minutes of device-free time before bed so your brain can wind down. Use this time for relaxing activities like meditation, reading or a warm bath instead.
Get a New Mattress
If tossing and turning keeps you up all night, the culprit might be your mattress. Innerspring and memory foam mattresses should be replaced every 10 to 15 years while latex mattresses can last up to 25 years. An aged mattress no longer supports your spine properly, so consider replacing your musty old mattress with a new back-friendly model like an adjustable mattress firm or a supportive organic latex mattress.
Use a Noise Machine
The idea that noise can help you sleep might seem counterintuitive, but a white noise machine does just that. The soothing, consistent sounds produced by a white noise machine help block out background noises like traffic and neighbors that can keep you awake all night. If you don’t want to invest in a white noise machine, running a fan or air purifier at night can have a similar soothing effect.
Take Melatonin Supplements
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by your body in response to light and darkness. However, many people in modern society don’t produce enough due to the presence of artificial light sources. If you have trouble sleeping, ask your doctor about melatonin supplements. These supplements are available in both natural and synthetic forms and come in pills, gummies, drinks and even baked goods like brownies or cookies.
Although there are many things you can do at home to increase your sleep quality and quantity, sometimes lack of sleep or fatigue can be a sign of a medical problem or sleep disorder. If you experience extreme difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep or you can’t stay awake during the day, consider seeing your doctor.