A good night’s sleep is key to good health, energy, emotional balance, and productivity. The inability to enjoy quality and adequate sleep can negatively affect your weight, energy, health, creativity, and even mood. While sleep disruption and sleep-related problems such as snoring, sleep apnea as well as insomnia may impair your ability to achieve a good night’s sleep, you can regain a healthy sleep pattern and enjoy your sleep better by making a few changes to your lifestyle. Below are 5 tips and tricks to help you get a better night’s sleep and improve your overall quality of life.
1. Create a Sleep Schedule and Stick to It
A regular sleep pattern helps set your body’s internal clock and regulate your circadian rhythm. Since the recommended sleeping time for adults is at least 8 hours, you need to create a sleep schedule that gives you at least 8 hours of sleep. Ensure that your sleep schedule is consistent throughout the week, including weekends.
Avoid day time naps or limit them to 20 minutes in the early afternoon if you must. Also, ensure that your sleep schedule begins at the time you mostly feel tired so you can fall asleep quickly. By going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, you reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle and make it easy to achieve quality sleep in the long term.
2. Control Your Light Exposure
Your circadian rhythm depends mainly on light exposure. Exposing yourself to bright light in the morning keeps you awake while reducing your light exposure in the evening triggers your brain to activate melatonin production, the hormone linked to sleep. This way, your circadian rhythm stays in check. For this reason, you need to increase your exposure to natural or bright light during the day as it boosts both sleep quality and duration. Studies show that exposure to natural or artificial light during the day improves the quality of sleep in people with insomnia by at least 2 hours.
Blue light, which mostly emanates from electronic gadgets like computers and phones, can disrupt your sleep by suppressing melatonin production in the evening. To achieve a better night’s sleep, avoid blue light at least 2 hours before bed and use devices with smaller screens. You can also block blue light from your pc using apps like flux or wear glasses that prevent it. In case you wake up at night, keep your bedroom’s light minimum by only using a bedside lamp, a flashlight, or a dim nightlight to help you move around.
3. Exercise and Watch Your Diet
According to studies, regular exercise reduces the time you need to fall asleep by 55% as well as anxiety. Physical activity during the day will, therefore, help you sleep better. However, since exercise stimulates your body and produces adrenaline, it is best to do it during the day to avoid remaining alert in the evening when you are supposed to be sleeping.
Other than exercise, the meals you eat, especially before going to bed, can determine whether you have a good night’s sleep or not. To sleep well, avoid heavy meals and spicy food as they can cause heartburn and discomfort during the night. Also, limit your caffeine intake as it is a stimulant that will prevent your nervous system from relaxing enough for you to fall asleep. While hydrating is essential, drinking liquids before bed may bring up the need to relieve yourself, thus disrupting your sleep.
4. Create a Relaxing Sleeping Environment
A relaxing sleeping environment will help you sleep faster and better. To create the perfect sleeping environment, minimize external noise, reduce light, and maintain ideal temperatures in your bedroom. You can experiment with different temperature settings and select your preference. However, a temperature of at least 700F is perfect for most people.
Sometimes, the reason you don’t enjoy your sleep lies in your choice of bedding. A comfortable mattress coupled with a calm sleeping environment will enhance the quality of your sleep. Although the type of mattress you choose solely depends on your preferences, the best mattress for a good-night sleep will depend on your sleeping style and individual needs. You should upgrade your bedding after a maximum of eight years for better sleep.
5. Practice Relaxing Techniques Before Sleeping
Going to bed with a relaxed mind free of anxiety and stress will improve your sleep quality and help you sleep better. To help you relax and cut down on stress, relaxing practice techniques to prepare your mind for sleep. You can use the last one hour before bed to calm yourself down and unwind through various activities like listening to audiobooks or relaxing music.
If you are a sports enthusiast, yoga sessions can help you clear your mind and attain a good night’s sleep. Other relaxation techniques that can enhance your sleep include meditation, breathing exercises, and taking a warm relaxing bath.
With the above tips, you can sleep better and enjoy the refreshing results of a good night’s sleep!