9 Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep
We all want to sleep better and that is a normal need all of us have. However, we live in a very fast-paced world that has so much going on and that means we cannot sleep as often or as well as we would like.
You may want to wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready to face your day, but toss and turn in bed at night because you are struggling to fall asleep.
Well, there is some good news that can give you some hope, the sleep habits you acquire are entirely in your hands. You no longer need to wait to feel sleepy before you get some shut-eye. All it takes to sleep better is taking charge of your habits and orient them to your advantage so that you do not struggle with your sleep time.
It is also easier than you may realize as you will see in our 9 methods of getting better sleep.
Increase your exposure to bright light during the day
Your body has a natural clock that controls your wakefulness and sleeping time and is known as the circadian rhythm. It controls every aspect of your body, including the release of hormones, telling the body when to sleep, and signaling the body to wake up.
To keep it in check, it is important to expose yourself to bright light during the day. This will also reduce grogginess, improve your daytime mental awareness, and boost the nighttime duration and sleep quality. If getting sunlight is not possible for instance, during a cold winter morning, then consider investing in bright artificial light devices.
Reduce your exposure to blue light in the evening
During evening and night hours, the priority is for the body to fall asleep and rest, which is why nighttime light exposure is not a good idea. It has a negative impact on the circadian rhythm because it tricks the brain into thinking it is still daytime.
This ultimately reduces the sleep hormone melatonin. Aim to reduce your exposure to blue light which comes from devices such as computers and smartphones. These measures include installing apps that block blue light when it reaches a certain time in the evening, wearing glasses that block blue light, and switching off your TV two hours before bed.
Avoid caffeine before bed
Caffeine is great when you take it at the right time and in the right amounts. However, it can prove to be a mistake when you take it late in the day because it stimulates the nervous system.
It is important to note that the effects of caffeine remain in the blood for six to eight hours, so it is best to avoid entirely in the evenings especially if you have issues with sleeping or you are sensitive to caffeine.
Instead, you can consume decaffeinated coffee if you experience e caffeine cravings in the evenings, as it is a good alternative.
Reduce long or irregular napping sessions
Napping is good only in short amounts. In fact, your body clock is prone to go into confusion when you sleep in the daytime for too long, which makes it difficult to sleep during the night; in addition to feeling sleepy after taking a long daytime nap.
If you need to have a nap, do it for thirty minutes or less. This will help to restore and boost brain function, but anything longer than 30 minutes will have negative effects on your sleep and health quality.
Train yourself to sleep and wake up at specific times
The circadian rhythm functions on the basis of a loop, which aligns with sunset and sunrise. That means that it functions better when you train yourself to wake up at specific times and sleep at specific times, which ultimately improves the quality of your sleep.
The case also applies for weekends as well so avoid the habit of sleeping in. The brain also learns to recognize your sleeping patterns, so it will release melatonin and remove it inline with these times.
You will not even need an alarm anymore.
Alcohol might seem as though it has the effect of putting you to sleep, but there are plenty of clinical studies that show its negative effects on the sleep cycle. In fact, they show that alcohol tends to increase the signs of sleep apnea, a condition where the airways block and lead to stoppages in breathing.
It also interferes with the production of melatonin, as well as HGH (Human Growth Hormone), both which play an important role in regulating sleep patterns and cycles.
Optimize your bedroom for better sleep
It is very important to ensure a conducive environment for you to sleep properly and having a good bedroom is key to achieving that. These factors include furniture, noise levels, temperature and external lights.
When your bedroom is in the middle of a noisy area, for instance, it is very hard to get proper sleep, or when there are very bright lights shining on you. In contrast to that, having your bedroom in a quiet space and with dimmer lights will help in improving the quality of your sleep, as the environment is more enjoyable.
Optimize the bedroom temperature
You will probably notice that when your bedroom is too cold or hot, you cannot sleep properly and it is actually true. In fact, some studies have shown that the temperatures in your bedroom have a greater effect than noise levels.
Your individual habits and preferences on your bedroom temperature will differ, but the general consensus is maintaining temperatures of about 20OC (70OF).
Avoid eating very late in the evening
Heavy eating before heading to bed can actually affect melatonin and HGH levels negatively, which reduces the quality of your sleep. It is important to eat early, at least two hours before your bedtime. In addition, you may not need carbs to ensure you sleep well, as people who follow a low-carb diet also experience better sleep.
Getting improved quality of sleep might seem difficult at first, but it does not need to be. With these tips, you can improve the quality you get, and boost your productivity and long-term health.