Sleep is so crucial for a healthy body and mind; it is just as essential as the right amount of exercise and eating a well-balanced diet. When you don’t sleep well, you can become sick, you can put on weight, develop conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, and you can even damage your mental health and become anxious and depressed. Sleep is, therefore, vital to ensure that you are as well as you possibly can be. Sometimes sleep can be hard to come by for a variety of reasons, and if that is the case for you, here are some great tips on how to get a better night’s sleep.
Improve Your Circadian Rhythm
Your body’s circadian rhythm is the natural clock within you that tells you when it is time to sleep and time to wake. Anything that affects that rhythm can then cause you problems because although you might be tired, your body won’t start to relax enough for sleep because it simply doesn’t realize the time has come. In order to reset your circadian rhythm and ensure that you are ready to sleep when you get to bed, you need to get more daylight where possible. Studies have shown that people who are able to get outside during the day, or who (at the very least) can see natural light through the window, have more energy when they are awake, and sleep better at night.
Reduce Blue Light Exposure
Just as daylight is essential to your good health, blue light (the light that comes from screens such as smartphones, laptops, and tablet) is bad for you when you are near it just before you attempt to go to sleep. Too much blue light at the wrong times of day will affect the production of melatonin in your body. This hormone is responsible for relaxing you and helping you get to sleep, and if there isn’t enough of it, sleep will be much harder to come by.
Although there are apps that you can download that help to block blue light from these devices, the best option is to stop using them at least two hours before bed and allow your body to produce the correct hormones at the right time so that you can really sleep well.
Be Less Stressed
Although it might be easier said than done in some cases, the less stressed you are, the easier it will be to get to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night. If it is worry that is causing you to lie awake and stare at the ceiling, work out exactly what it is that is concerning you the most. When you know what the problem is, you can more easily tackle it. If you are worried about your finances, for example, then you can solve that issue by researching installment loans for bad credit. If you aren’t happy in your relationship, talk to your partner about what it is that you don’t like. If your job is asking too much of you, search for a new one. There are always solutions to problems once you truly begin to think about them, and when the issue is clear of your mind, you should be able to sleep better.
Consume Less Caffeine
Caffeine is helpful in many ways, assisting with focus and productivity and even giving us more energy. However, if you consume caffeine too close to bedtime, those benefits that we use during the day will be hugely detrimental to your ability to sleep. The problem then becomes that you will probably have more caffeine the next day to wake yourself up because you are tired through lack of sleep, and the entire cycle starts all over again.
Caffeine can stay in your bloodstream for as much as eight hours, so you should leave at least that amount of time between consuming your last caffeine filled drink or food item for the day and going to bed.
Don’t Take Long Naps
Short power naps have been shown to be good for us during the day, but long naps should be avoided. When you nap for a long time during the day, your internal clock will become confused, and you just won’t be tired by the time you get into bed. In some cases after a long nap, people feel even more tired and ‘out of sorts,’ so they really are not recommended.
Short naps of less than half an hour, however, can enhance your energy levels and productivity and should be encouraged.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking in the evening might be a pleasant way to unwind, but it can also cause problems with your sleep. Alcohol has been shown to cause disruptions to sleep patterns because it changes the amount of melatonin that can be produced and can even be responsible for snoring and, in more severe cases, sleep apnea. Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink before bed can have a positive effect on how well you sleep and how energized and healthy you feel the next day.
The temperature in your bedroom can have a massive impact on how well you sleep, even if you don’t realize it. You might, in fact, be completely comfortable at night and think that there is nothing wrong with your bedrooms temperature, but lowering the thermostat by just one or two degrees can make all the difference. You’ll barely notice it, and you will still be comfortable, but your sleep will be vastly improved too. Experts recommend a temperature of around 70 degrees, but you can experiment with this number and work out exactly what works best for you. You’ll know when you’ve reached the right temperature because not only will you fall asleep easily; you’ll also stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
Don’t Eat Too Late
Although our lifestyles might dictate when we can sit down and enjoy our evening meal, and although sometimes that might mean we eat much later than we normally would, this is not something that should be done on a regular basis; eating earlier in the evening is much more conducive to a good night’s sleep. This is because our hormones are affected by what we eat, and it can lead to problems getting comfortable in bed. If you do need to eat late, a smaller snack is preferable to a more substantial meal.