Sleep Experts Share Tips for Better Sleep: Routine, Screens, and Environment

Sleep experts offer tips to combat sleep deprivation, including establishing a consistent routine, avoiding screens before bed, and creating a comfortable environment. Prioritizing quality sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being.

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Sleep Experts Share Tips for Better Sleep: Routine, Screens, and Environment

Sleep Experts Share Tips for Better Sleep: Routine, Screens, and Environment

Sleep experts are offering advice to help the nearly one-third of American adults who don't get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Stress, anxiety, and a culture that prioritizes productivity over rest are major contributors to sleep deprivation. To combat this, experts suggest establishing a consistent sleep routine, avoiding screens before bed, and creating a comfortable sleep environment.

One key tip is to create a 'buffer zone' between work and bedtime. "Avoid checking email, doing chores, or scrolling social media in the hour before bed," advises Dr. Sarah Johnson, a sleep specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. "Instead, engage in relaxing activities like reading or spending time with loved ones." "Leaving work and daily responsibilities behind about an hour before bedtime can help signal to your body that it's time to wind down," she explains.

Experts also caution against eating large meals, drinking caffeine, or consuming alcohol close to bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep. "If you're hungry before bed, opt for a light snack with protein or healthy fats instead of a heavy meal," suggests Dr. Michael Thompson, a neurologist and sleep disorders specialist at the Mayo Clinic. Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided for several hours before bedtime to minimize their impact on sleep quality.

The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computer screens can suppress melatonin production and disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythm. Sleep experts suggest limiting exposure to these devices for at least an hour before bed. "If you must use a device, consider enabling night mode or blue light filtering settings to reduce the impact," advises Dr. Emily Wright, a sleep researcher at Harvard Medical School.

Why this matters: Getting sufficient, quality sleep is essential for overall health, cognitive function, and emotional well-being. By prioritizing sleep and implementing these expert tips, individuals can improve their sleep habits and potentially reduce the risk of chronic health issues associated with sleep deprivation.

For those who have tried these techniques but still struggle with sleep issues for more than a month, experts suggest seeking medical help. "If sleep problems are interfering with your work performance or mood, it's important to consult a doctor," emphasizes Dr. Johnson. "Relaxation techniques may not be effective in cases of significant stress or underlying health conditions, and professional treatment may be necessary to address the root causes of poor sleep."

Key Takeaways

  • 1/3 of US adults don't get recommended 7-9 hrs of sleep per night.
  • Experts advise creating a consistent sleep routine and relaxing before bed.
  • Avoid screens, large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime.
  • Sufficient, quality sleep is essential for health, cognition, and well-being.
  • Seek medical help if sleep issues persist for more than a month.