With daylight saving time hitting at the end of this week, we'll all have to spring ahead our clocks and lose an hour of sleep. But that lost hour may extend your life, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge that found people who sleep more than eight hours a day have an increased risk of stroke. So getting up an hour early may be just the thing to live healthier.
For those of us who have trouble waking up in the morning, try these simple steps for a sound night's sleep.
1. Go to bed early. Early to bed makes it easier to rise an extra hour earlier.
2. Darken the room. Sleeping in complete darkness helps lower cortisol stress hormones, which may result in a sounder sleep pattern. Room darkening shades of even and eye mask can help block out the light.
3. Eliminate electronics. It's proven that the blue light from your smartphone can interrupt your sound sleep. Keep electronics of every kind away from your bed. Place them in the kitchen or on your dresser and avoid placing them on your nightstand. Keep a book and night light there instead!
4. Follow a bedtime routine. Create a regular bedtime ritual like you had when you were a child. A warm bath, a reading from a book, and saying a few gratitude words can be a regimen that helps you sleep sounder.
5. Chill out. A cooler sleep environment could help produce a better nights rest. A small study from the University of Pittsburgh (only 12 insomniacs and 12 normal sleepers participated) showed that sleeping in a cooling cap can help insomniacs fall asleep. So err on the side of chilly than warm. Use your blankets to help regulate temperature.