It is estimated that we spend approximately one-third of our life span sleeping. But that’s not to say that this amount of time is the same for everyone nor enjoyable for all.
For many, tossing and turning, getting up during the night, or even counting sheep are regular occurrences in the quest to get some good quality shut-eye. If this applies to you, you are not alone.
It is estimated that 70 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, namely the big 5, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Restless Legs Syndrome and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder. But even if you are fortunate enough to not to have to deal with persistent sleep problems, we should all be concerned about getting a better nights sleep.
A good quality night’s rest can lead to major health benefits. It has been linked to improved brain function, avoiding heart disease, improving your immune system, weight loss, and much more. It’s fair to say that if it was a drug, sleep would be the most prescribed by doctors all over the world.
So with that in mind let us share with you 5 ways to improve sleep at night that will be sure to give you sensational results.
1. A Better Night Sleep Starts During the Day
Many focus on what they can do to improve sleep when they get into bed, without realizing that their daily activities will have a major role in their sleep quality.
On a biological level, our circadian rhythm dictates our body clock, giving us the cues needed to fall asleep. One of the greatest factors in this working correctly is sunlight, so making sure that we get outdoors, especially in the morning, will be of tremendous benefit.
In fact, increased serotonin from sun rays greatly improves your mood and if you are happier and less stressed during the day you will be sure to notice a vast improvement when you get to bed. So what are you waiting for? Get out there!
Another habit to be in control of if you struggle to fall asleep at night are those sweet daytime siestas. Try to keep them to a minimum and not later than 3 or 4 pm.
2. Control Your Diet
The food you eat also can play a major part in the troubles faced with falling asleep.
If we eat too late this can mean that our digestive system is essentially doing a night shift using up to 15% of the body’s energy sources depending on what you eat. So try to make sure that you do not eat too late or too heavily at night.
Some foods are known to be linked to giving people trouble sleeping. These include spicy food and anything high in citrus. It was previously thought that having carbs before bed also was counterproductive, however, research has shown that this applies to refined carbohydrates, so avoiding things like white bread and rice, pasta pastries, sodas, and candies would be good too.
Alchohol, long thought to aid sleep can actually have the opposite effect, making it harder to stay asleep.
Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants, so if you needed more of an excuse to quit the cigarettes there it is. Caffeine can actually stay in the bloodstream for up to 6 hours, so try to keep your coffee strictly to your precious morning brew.
Rather than solely avoiding things, some foods can help you sleep. Kiwis, fish high in fat, and nuts among other things are thought to help. You can also try these amazing sleep gummies which are high in melatonin the hormone vital in helping you fall asleep.
3. Have a Nighttime Routine, and Stick to It!
If there is one thing guaranteed to help you fall asleep quicker, as well as sleep better, it is having a consistent nighttime routine. We are creatures of habit and once our body knows that it’s time to go to sleep, it will start to become easier.
This involves going to bed at the same time every night.
Yes, that includes the weekends too, I’m sorry!
This helps to reset your circadian rhythm, which along with getting your sunlight in the day, signals to your body that it’s time to sleep.
Having a hot bath or shower also is an aid in distressing before bed along with having other sleep benefits. And if stress is a major factor in preventing you from getting some shut-eye then try going to bed 30 minutes earlier to focus only on these problems. Write down an action plan and then try your best to leave those problems on the pad.
4. Make Sure Your Room Is Sleep Centric
Making changes in your room can be one of the main ways to improve sleep at night.
Firstly, room temperature is something that can be adapted to send you off to sleep faster than ever. Have you ever found yourself being awakened by the cold when you’ve fallen asleep in front of the TV and reached out for a blanket?
This is because our bodies drop in temperature when we sleep in a process called thermoregulation. So having a cooler room will help you get better sleep because you should reach this point quicker. The optimum temperature for a room designed to help you sleep is 65°F (18.3°C).
While we have made mention of the benefits of sunlight to help you sleep, at night darkness is your friend. Darkness helps the penial gland to produce melatonin which is the hormone controlling our circadian rhythm.
So get some shut out blinds and aim to have your room as dark as possible.
Making changes to your mattress and pillow can also help, as what makes a bed comfortable changes from person to person due to our differing sleep positions.
5. Keep the Tech to a Minimum (Meaning Zero)
Blue light is particularly helpful at keeping you awake. There are two main sources of blue light that the average person comes across daily.
One is the sun….and the other?
Whether it is our phones, TV, or PC, digital light can wreak havoc on someone’s circadian rhythm, as it is essentially telling our bodies that it’s day time.
So keep all screentime to a minimum, allowing for at least 30 mins of no screens before you head to the bedroom.
In fact, leaving your phone outside of your room or on a do not disturb function can ensure that you don’t get distracted by notifications making sure you focus on the only thing you need to be doing, getting some beauty sleep!
Nighttime Bliss Can Be a Reality
Getting better sleep can leave you invigorated and energized to face whatever the day may have for you. Given that there are many things that we cannot control, aiming to ensure that you receive all the benefits to be had from improving your sleep seems like a no-brainer.
So put into practice our recommendations for better sleep and you should be enjoying sweet dreams in no time.
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