One in three adults don’t get enough sleep, research shows. That’s a scary statistic, especially since a lack of shut eye may contribute to serious ailments, such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease. If you’re getting less than seven hours of sleep per night, see how you can alter your bedtime habits to boost your overall health.
1. Understand Your Body
Before trying to treat your symptoms, try to identify what’s impacting your sleep. One tool to do this is Oura, a ring that tracks your entire sleep cycle, bodily changes and daily activities. Based on that input, Oura provides feedback on how your lifestyle choices may impact your sleep, with specific recommendations on healthy changes for improvement.
2. Stop Staring at Screens Before Bed
In this overly connected world, you probably find it hard to put down your screen, especially when “Netflix and chill” is a nightly routine for many. If you have trouble falling asleep, however, it’s worth noting the blue light from these devices leads the body to believe it’s daytime, suppressing the production of sleep-inducing melatonin.
If you can’t manage to power down, try wearing orange glasses a few hours before bed to block blue light.
3. Learn the Science Behind Aromatherapy
There’s a science to smell that can help you overcome insomnia. According to Sleep.org, fragrances that make you feel joy can relax you and lead to better rest, with popular restful aromas including jasmine, vanilla and lavender. While candles work great during awake times, it’s best for fire safety reasons to switch to essential oils before you turn out the lights.
4. Try a Wearable
Thim, a ring worn while sleeping to softly wake you up every three minutes for (at least) one hour, can help you hit your body hit the “reset” button. The device was invented by Flinders University professor Leon Lack and his colleagues, whose research found that feeling the sensation of falling asleep repeatedly could improve your habits as sleeping becomes “learned.” According to Thim, sleep re-training can help you fall asleep 30 minutes quicker and snooze 70 minutes more than normal.
5. Beat Jet Lag
On the road your biological clock can get out of sync, leading to jet lag. WebMD recommends living by your destination’s schedule before you take off by altering bed times, meal times and the times you’re exposed to sunlight, then setting your watch to your destination’s time on your flight. As flying can dehydrate the body, it’s also wise to drink lots of water—and avoid alcohol—while in the air. On the ground, a hot bath can relax you before bed.
The HumanCharger can also help. Resembling an iPod, the device supplies your ears with 12 minutes of UV-free light to illuminate photosensitive receptors in the brain. The promised results include more energy, uplifted mood and increased focus. The HumanCharger can be used up to four times a day until you feel like you have recovered from jet lag.
6. ASMR + SleepPhones = A Restful Night
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a tingly sensation brought on by “triggers” that typically start in the head and move down the body, providing you with an extreme sense of calm and relaxation. These triggers include sounds like tapping, page turning and crinkling and gentle movements like watching someone’s hair get brushed or feeling like you’re getting a massage.
To enjoy the benefits, find an ASMR video on YouTube, get cozy in bed and put on a pair of flat pillowy SleepPhones headphones. Soon, you may find yourself drifting off.