It is well-known that sleep is vital for our mental and physical well-being. We all know an adequate amount of sleep is necessary to function at full capacity, but what many people don’t realize is there are specific things we can do to enhance the quality of our sleep.
A good night's rest not only makes us feel better and happier but also helps us maintain a healthy weight and lowers the risk of developing serious health conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. It may even be linked to longevity! Here are eight ways you can improve your sleeping habits:
Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow
Investing in a high-quality mattress and the right pillow can make all the difference when it comes to sleep quality. If you wake up feeling uncomfortable, this could be why. Talk to your local bedding specialist or look at what's being offered online as there are a ton of options. One of the things you should look up is an adjustable bed mattress as these can make a huge difference in your sleep. Just imagine having the ability to raise your head and feet whenever you want, depending on your sleeping mood or current need.
Avoid using electronic devices before bed
You may be tempted to text, update your Facebook status or read a few pages of that best-selling novel before going to sleep, but all these activities stimulate the brain and make it difficult for us to relax and fall asleep. Electronic devices such as TV screens and cell phones give off blue light which is particularly disruptive in the evening hours. However, we don’t realize how much damage we are doing until we try sleeping without them for a few nights. On top of being unable to relax, you will probably feel tired on waking equipped with very little energy the next day!
Taking some time out from our technology during the night can help us sleep better later on. If you can, turn off all electronic devices an hour or so before going to bed. Read a book instead of scrolling through your newsfeed and if you must check those messages before sleeping, try using an e-reader instead.
Try not to nap during the day
If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, resist the urge to take a siesta. You might think that catching some Zs in the middle of the day can make up for lost sleep at night, but naps are actually bad for us if we’re having trouble sleeping at night. If you set an alarm to wake yourself from a midday nap, it can actually make falling asleep easier at bedtime.
Go to bed at around the same time
It’s best to be consistent with your sleep schedule and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – even on the weekends. Try not to vary your routine by more than one hour, as this will throw off your circadian rhythm and can cause a decrease in overall sleep quality. Moreover, sleeping in late on weekends will leave you feeling tired the next day, because while your body might want to sleep longer, it’s not used to that schedule.
Keep your room quiet, dark, and cool
It’s important that you keep your bedroom as dark as possible, so invest in black-out shades if necessary. A good rule is the darker your room is, the better off it will be when it comes to sleeping well. Noise levels should also be kept at a minimum – unless soothing sounds are your idea of bedtime music. It’s also best to have your room between 60 and 67 degrees, as studies show that being too cold or too warm can affect overall sleep quality.
Find out what’s causing your insomnia
Insomnia is a term used for when we have trouble sleeping, and it often feels like you’re tossing and turning all night. However, insomnia can be characterized by other symptoms such as waking up too early or struggling to concentrate during the day. If this sounds like you, then the first thing you should do is take a look at your current lifestyle and make some changes.
If you’re struggling with getting a good night’s rest, it could be due to some health conditions. If you're stressed, experiencing anxiety, or are just not getting enough exercise during the day, these things may be affecting your ability to fall and stay asleep at night. Talk to your doctor about what might be causing this and how they can help - it is certainly worth the trip.
Don’t eat too close to bedtime
There are many foods that are good for you before bed, but there are also some you should avoid eating right before going to sleep if you want to get a restful night’s rest. Foods high in sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and spicy spices can cause indigestion that might disturb your sleep. You should also give yourself at least two hours after eating dinner before trying to go to bed – especially if you ate something heavy!
Avoid - Caffeine nicotine, and alcohol
These can also be disruptive to your sleep cycle. It’s best to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day and snacking on chocolate before bed. If you don’t want to give up your cup of joe in the morning, it's best to drink it earlier in the day or use a smaller cup so that you don’t have a caffeine overload. Smoking is a habit that has been linked to disrupted sleep patterns, so try not to smoke for three hours before going to bed. Alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first but it actually causes disruptions in later stages of the night when deep sleep occurs, which will leave you feeling tired and unrested come morning time.
To make sure you get the most out of your sleep, it’s important to maintain a consistent sleep schedule and avoid eating foods that disrupt sleep. It can also be helpful to know what might be causing your insomnia so that you can take steps towards improving the quality of your rest. We hope this article proved to be helpful in giving you some advice on how to enhance your sleeping quality!
Posted 11 months ago by Allen Brown