Sleep deprivation can have a major impact on your quality of life. If you find yourself tossing and turning on a nightly basis, the long-term effects can be highly damaging. For starters, your brain forms connections that help you remember and process important information. With less sleep, you diminish your memory recall. Core problem-solving skills, concentration, creativity, and stress levels are all negatively impacted by a lack of sleep as well. To ensure you’re always working with the best version of yourself, here are seven tips to getting a better sleep:
Get a New Mattress
Sometimes, what’s happening around you isn’t always the problem—it may be what’s underneath. The logic is simple: if you aren’t comfortable on your mattress, chances are you find yourself changing positions throughout the night. The right mattress can relieve aches and pains that impact your comfort levels as you sleep.
Everyone is different, and it’s important that you find a mattress that caters to you. For example, if you’re a hot sleeper, you might check this cooling mattress for a more seamless bedtime experience. If you have different mattress preferences than your partner, you might look into a mattress that allows you to address those different areas in the same product.
Avoid Coffee in the Evening
It’s no secret that caffeine plays a big role in American culture. But studies have shown that consuming coffee beans up to six hours before the end of the day could stimulate your nervous system too much to make a good night’s sleep easy to get. After all, a single cup of coffee can remain in your system between 6-8 hours of consumption, long after your body believes it’s gone.
Meditation is a great pre-sleep routine that will also benefit you in other areas of your life. Because so many sleep issues are a direct result of stress and anxiety, you can use meditation to combat that. Meditation increases melatonin in the body (which you can also take in supplement form on an as-needed basis—but don’t rely on it for everyday sleep), reduces your heart rate, and activates areas of the brain that are responsible for sleep.
There are dozens of highly-rated meditation apps you can leverage to your benefit, especially if you’re a beginner and don’t know where to start. Just a few minutes before bed and when you wake up is all it takes to become comfortable with this practice.
Integrate White Noise
Your sleeping environment can alter your comfortability. While certain external noise factors, such as outdoor traffic, can hurt your sleep, gentle white noise can actually help it. But what is white noise, exactly? Technically speaking, white noise is any consistent sound that is emitted evenly across all hearing frequencies.
These consistencies create a masking effect of noise that makes you comfortable. This might be the sound of a fan, rain on the roof, or the rhythmic tug and pull of an ocean. You can find white noise music on YouTube and plenty of playlists to choose from on major streaming platforms like Spotify and iTunes. Alternatively, you can purchase a white noise machine.
Maintain a Sleep Schedule
Your body’s circadian rhythm is so important for better sleep. Your circadian rhythm is the 24-hour clock that runs in the back of your mind, and this is also referred to as your sleep/wake cycle. The more consistent you are with your sleeping patterns, the better your long-term sleep quality will get.
If you struggle, use an advanced alarm system that alerts you when it’s time for bed and wakes you up peacefully in the morning. There are plenty of mobile applications that can serve as an effective alarm and method for getting you into the habit of a regular sleeping routine.
Don’t Take Long Naps
No matter how worn out you feel, you should absolutely avoid taking longer naps before bedtime. While research suggests short power naps are helpful for increasing daytime brain function, daytime naps affect sleep quality and are often ineffective; once you wake up up from a daytime nap that’s gone on a little too long, you’re actually more tired during the day than you would have been if you stayed awake or opted for a power nap instead.