Are you trying to sleep better? Or you spend hours tossing and turning in your bed in vain while you are trying to sleep? Here are three simple tips to help you have a good night’s sleep.
The key to maintaining your physical and mental health is sleeping well – both in quality and quantity. When you fall short of your sleep goals, it can take a serious toll on your productivity, energy and emotional levels, not to mention affecting your weight management.
However, getting better sleep is easier said than done. The lifestyles we live today do not promote healthy sleep patterns, and you get into bed but you toss and turn the whole night, and you struggle to get the sleep you require. The good news is there is a solution to the problem, and it is simpler than you may think.
Just deciding to make changes to your daytime routine, as well as nighttime habits, it will have a major effect on the quality and quantity of your sleep, as well as helping to boost your productivity, emotional energy and mood.
How to get a better night’s sleep?
It may seem like an impossible goal to get good quality sleep when you are wide awake in the middle of the night, but the truth you may not know is that you have a direct role in the quality and quantity of sleep you get. The cure for various sleeping difficulties is therefore in your routine, you just need to know what tactics to use.
As long as you have unhealthy lifestyle choices and habits, you will always be struggling to get proper sleep. This will eventually affect your heart and brain health, mood, weight, immune system, creativity, productivity, and so on. Here are some tips to help you get some better sleep quality.
Have a regular sleep and waking time
The body has a natural sleep-wake cycle known as the circadian rhythm. Maintaining this cycle is important to have better quality sleep.
When you maintain this cycle, you actually feel more energized and refreshed, as opposed to sleeping the same quantity of hours at different times – in fact, even changing your sleep schedule by an hour will affect your body’s natural rhythm.
Make sure you sleep and wake up at the same time every day, in addition to sleeping on quality mattresses such as Tuft & Needle. This will help the body to set its internal clock and promote the quality of your sleep. You will find yourself waking up without the need for an alarm.
In addition, it is important to avoid days of sleeping in -0 and that includes weekends. The more your sleeping schedule differs, the more chances of experiencing jetlag-like symptoms.
Napping is good, and it remains a smart way of making up for loss in sleep, but it can be bad if it causes you to have trouble trying to sleep at night. It is best to limit them to 15 o 20 minutes, and they should be within the early afternoon hours.
Reduce your exposure to light
The presence of light affects the quality of sleep – in a major way. The body produces a hormone, melatonin – and this is responsible for regulating your sleeping cycle. The brain generates more melatonin in darker conditions, therefore resulting in feeling sleepy when it gets dark, and it produces less when it is light, making you feel less sleepy.
Take advantage of this knowledge to influence your sleep. For instance, during the day you can expose yourself to more sunlight – go have your morning coffee outside in the sunshine, as spending greater amounts of time outside will help you wake up.
Another solution is using a light therapy box, especially on dreary winter days. In addition, letting in as much natural light as possible during the day by opening the curtains to your home or workspace also helps.
At night, it is best to reduce the levels of light you are exposed to. For example, do not watch TV late into the night, and do not put televisions in your bedroom – you are supposed to relax during this time. Instead, choose to listen to an audiobook or calm, relaxing music to help you sleep.
Within one to two hours before your bedtime, try your best to avoid bright screens. These devices such as your laptop, TV, tablet or phone emit blue light, which is particularly disruptive. Instead of these devices, you can reduce their brightness, use devices that have smaller screens, or utilize light-altering software like f.lux.
In addition, avoid reading with backlit devices, as these are more disruptive than e-readers that lack their own light source. Make sure your room is as dark as possible when you go to sleep, and keep the lights down when you get up during the night.
Have your exercise routines during the day
Studies show that people who have their exercise sessions during the day tend to have better sleep quality at night, and they have less chances of feeling sleepy during daytime hours. In fact, regular exercise enhances the health of people who suffer from insomnia and sleep apnea.
Above all, it is important to stick to a particular exercise routine and time, as it can take up to several months of regular exercise before you get the sleep promotion effects.
Eat and drink correctly
You may not be aware of it, but eating habits will have a direct effect on how you sleep, particularly in the hours just before bedtime.
Avoid big meals before going to sleep – try to eat earlier – like at least two hours before bedtime, and avoid eating very heavy meals before bed. Reduce the intake of nicotine and caffeine – this might be news to you, but caffeine intake actually causes problems in sleeping for up to twelve hours after taking it.
Avoid taking in too much fluids before going to bed, as this will result in frequent disruptive bathroom trips throughout the night, and reduce your intake of refined sugars.
The quality of sleep you get is directly in your hands – and that means you can take measures to improve it. After all, getting quality sleep is important to your health as well as productivity.
Sometimes, what’s causing your sleepless nights is out of your control. Consult your health-care provider if you’ve been having poor sleep quality persistently and experiencing symptoms, such as loud snoring, pauses in breathing during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness. These can be signs of a sleep disorder called sleep apnea.
Millions of adults in the United States have sleep apnea. This chronic condition causes patients to experience five to 100 apnea (or cessations of breathing, especially during sleep) episodes per hour.
Currently, the most prescribed treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. The machine provides a constant flow of pressurized air to the user’s airway to prevent apnea episodes and help the user sleep restfully.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, seek help from your doctor immediately. Sleep plays a major role in maintaining your mental and physical health so you should take sleep problems seriously.