(Family Features) For many people, changing seasons are about resetting routines and adjusting to a different pace of life. With fall activities in full swing, families should be intentional about their sleep routines to avoid missing the magical moments ahead.
According to SleepScore, people lose an average of 15 1/2 hours of sleep (about 10 minutes each night) during summer months due to the “summer sleep slump.” Addressing this challenge, Natrol, a leading sleep, mood and stress supplement brand, along with behavioral sleep specialist Shelby Harris, intend to help people gain control over their sleep and mood to be more present each day.
“Sleep is supposed to help you live your day to the fullest,” Harris said. “There are smart behavioral shifts you can make to maximize your sleep routine this fall, and sometimes that can include melatonin supplements. I always say, ‘If you are taking a sleep aid that makes you sleepy throughout the day, what is the point of taking it?’”
Harris recommends these easy tips to improve your sleep routine.
Consider Sleep Cycle Changes
Before trying to reset routines, consider the changes you’re hoping to make. Track the sleep you’re getting now and pay attention to factors that may hinder your current sleep cycle, from struggling to fall asleep to tossing and turning during the night, then think about the ways you might be able to improve those hindrances.
Make Adjustments Gradually
Remember, changes don’t happen overnight. For many people, the solution is as simple as going to bed earlier. Rather than trying to make up that extra 30 minutes immediately, it’s often helpful to slowly adjust routines. Try starting your bedtime ritual 5 minutes earlier each night to work toward your goal.
Set Aside Time to Unwind
Despite the hectic nature of fall schedules, it’s important to prioritize time to unwind before bed. Whether it’s reading a book, meditating or finding another slow-paced activity you enjoy, a calming, screenless way to slow your mind may help you fall asleep quicker.
Be Thoughtful About Light Exposure
It may seem obvious, but too much light exposure (indoor and out) at night can cause sleep issues. Be mindful of your own comfort by ensuring TVs and computers are powered down, smartphones are set aside, outdoor lights are off and curtains are drawn. Keeping the room dark can make a big difference when trying to fall and stay asleep throughout the night.
Turn to a Drug-Free Sleep Aid Supplement
If you follow consistently good bedtime habits but still have trouble falling asleep, try a low-milligram melatonin supplement, like those from Natrol, which are designed to help people sleep better so they can feel well-rested and ready to take on the day.†
“Melatonin is not a one-stop solution to help get your sleep back on track,” Harris said. “If you are taking melatonin, finding a brand with USP Verified options, like Natrol’s 5MG Fast Dissolve Tablets, for example, is extremely important.”
Prioritize Your Wake-Up Routine
That snooze button might be tempting, but those extra few minutes of sleep may do more harm than good. Ensure you wake up feeling refreshed by sticking to a consistent sleep cycle. Whether it’s a morning stretch or simply forcing your feet to hit the floor, prioritizing movement and exposure to light can help kickstart the day.
Find more ways to help get your sleep back on track by visiting Natrol.com.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.