Tips To Improve Your Sleep
Are you looking for tips to improve your sleep? Sleeping well is just as important as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Insufficient sleep can affect your overall health and make you susceptible to medical conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The good thing is there are a variety of practices and habits you can adopt – known as “sleep hygiene” – that can help you sleep better at night.
Here are five tips that encourage better sleep.
Improve Your Sleep Schedule
Your body’s sleep-wake cycle functions on a set loop, aligning itself with mornings and evenings. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect rest at a certain time each day. Try to be consistent with your routine even on weekends. Being consistent with your sleep and waking times can help improve sleep quality and avoid oversleeping and sleep deprivation.
Create Bedtime Rituals
Following a pre-sleep routine each night, in 30 to 60 minutes before bed can help you relax and fall asleep faster. So try doing something before bed that will psychologically train your brain that it’s bedtime. You can try taking a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, meditating, reading a book, visualization and deep breathing.
Be sure to avoid anything stressful or stimulating before bedtime like discussing emotional issues and watching TV. Stressful activities can trigger the release of cortisol, a stress hormone which is associated with extended wakefulness.
Improve Your Sleep Environment
A dark, cool and quiet environment can help promote sound, restful sleep. To achieve such an environment, keep the noise down, keep the room cool and well ventilated, turn off lights or screens and use blackout shades or heavy curtains to block light from outdoors. You may also want to invest in a comfortable mattress, pillows, and sheets. A mattress that’s comfortable is important especially for patients with medical conditions as they often have difficulty falling asleep or wake up a lot of times. For example, fibromyalgia sufferers need a certain mattress – a mattress that has good support and mould to one’s body. These include those with latex, memory foam and hybrid innerspring
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Your daytime eating habits play a significant role in your sleep quality, especially in the hours before you retire to bed. Avoid heavy or large meals foods within two hours of bed as your discomfort can keep you awake. Also steer clear of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other chemicals that interfere with sleep too close to bedtime. The stimulating effects of caffeine and nicotine can keep you awake for hours, wreaking havoc on your sleep quality. While alcohol may help you relax, it acts as a stimulant once you’re out, increasing the number of awakenings and interfering with your sleep cycle.
Exercise to Rest Easy
Physical activity is one of the best ways to promote better sleep. It enhances various aspects of sleep and has been used to reduce symptoms of insomnia. While exercise is essential for a good night’s sleep, performing it close to bedtime can cause sleep problems. Physical activity has a stimulatory effect on the body which increases hormones like adrenaline and epinephrine and increases alertness. So try to work out earlier in the day or finishing exercising at least three hours before bedtime.
You are not doomed to toss and turn every night. Just adopt these five habits to encourage better sleep at night. I do hope these tips to improve your sleep prove useful