National Sleep Awareness Week kicks off March 11 and is the perfect opportunity to really look at your sleep habits and see if there’s anything you could change.
As we all know, good sleep is crucial for your health, mental wellbeing, and productivity. So, taking a step back to evaluate your sleep quality, along with how much caffeine you consume and whether or not you rely on naps, can be super helpful.
Here are seven ways to make the most of National Sleep Awareness Week.
Commit to keeping a sleep diary for a week.
You can use this template provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine — just fill in which hours you spend asleep that week. Note anytime you took medicine, drank alcohol, consumed caffeine, or exercised. This will help you see any patterns related to your behavior and sleep, plus give you a sense of whether or not you are getting adequate rest.
Make sure you’re getting enough shuteye.
You can check out the official Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on how much sleep you really need each night, depending on your age. The CDC recommends that adults get at least seven hours of good sleep each night.
Celebrate World Sleep Day.
The World Sleep Society website has a list of activities you can participate in to commemorate World Sleep Day, which falls on March 16 this year. Events and activities are available for all ages and can either occur across the country or in specific regions and cities.
Plan ahead for sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation has an easy-to-use online Bedtime Calculator to help you plan your sleep. You select how much time you want to fall asleep from the options in their drop-down menu, then fill in either what time you want to go to bed or what time you want to wake up.
Assess if you need a new mattress.
Does your mattress feel lumpy or saggy? Do you wake up with back pain or joint pain? Do you sleep better when you are away from home, in other beds? Does your mattress squeak or creak constantly? Do you see any tearing or holes in your mattress? Have you owned the same mattress for decades? If your mattress looks and feels past its prime, it may be time to start looking for a new one.
Download some sleep tracking apps.
There are tons of sleep app options out there for your smartphone. From apps that produce white noise to apps that wake you up in an ideal part of your sleep cycle. Figure out what your specific needs are, then download the app or apps that best serve them.
Find a sleep doctor if you think you need one.
If you think you have a sleep problem that warrants medical attention and want to visit a sleep clinic, you can use this tool on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) website to find reliable, AASM-accredited options.
Featured image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock
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