You are surely aware of the importance of sleep. It can provide you with many health benefits such as a lower risk of stroke and heart disease, it can improve your metabolism, productivity, and concentration, and it can maximize your athletic performance. On the other hand, poor sleeping is often linked with depression, increased inflammation, and impaired immune function.
So, if you are not satisfied with the current quality of your sleep, here are some tips that can help you improve it. Take a look.
Set a bedtime for yourself
For starters, you should get in sync with your body’s circadian rhythm. To do that, you should do your best to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. That can help your body’s internal clock and can improve the quality of your sleep. Pick a time when you’re normally tired and try to wake up without an alarm. You might need an earlier bedtime if you need an alarm clock to wake up. What is more, it’s also recommended to avoid sleeping in on weekends and napping for more than 20 minutes during the day.
Another thing that can help improve not only the quality of your sleep but your overall health as well is regular physical activity. Exercise can cut down the amount of time that it takes you to fall asleep and allow you to sleep longer. However, keep in mind that working out can increase alertness and hormones like adrenaline, which may cause sleep problems. Therefore, you should not exercise too late in the day.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening
Besides exercising too late, you also don’t want to consume caffeine and drink alcohol in the evening. While caffeine has countless health benefits, it also stimulates your nervous system, meaning that it can prevent you from relaxing and impact your sleep. Try to steer clear of it at least six hours prior to going to bed. What is more, alcohol can reduce melatonin production and cause disruptions in your sleep pattern.
Don’t eat too late
Something else that can disrupt your sleep is eating before you go to bed. There are some late-night snacks that are actually healthy for you like tart cherries, yogurt, and eggs but you should refrain from big meals in the evening. While the amount might vary from person to person, keeping your snacks under 200 calories should be fine.
Create a calming bedroom environment
Perhaps there are steps you can take in order to create a more calming bedroom environment for yourself. From looking for the right kind of mattress and pillow to setting the right temperature and eliminating noise, there are many ways how you can improve the sleeping conditions in your room. Various additions like a knitted throw blanket for when it gets chilly and black-out blinds that can block out light from street lamps can also be of great help.
Reduce exposure to blue light
To create a calming environment, you should also consider making your bedroom a technology-free zone. For instance, as tempting as it might be, you should not have a TV in the room. Moreover, you should also make it a habit not to use for phone, tablet, or laptop before bed. These devices emit blue light that can reduce melatonin, the hormone that relaxes you and prepares you for bed. Look for apps that block blue light on your electronics to lower your exposure.
Take a supplement before Sleeping into bed
As melatonin plays a vital role in telling your brain when it’s time for sleep, you can consider taking a melatonin supplement before going to bed. It can not only help you fall asleep faster but it can actually also improve the quality of your sleep. Some other supplements you can think about taking to induce relaxation include glycine, valerian root, lavender, magnesium, and ginkgo biloba. Just remember to try them one at a time.
Have a bath or shower before Sleeping
If you’re having a hard time relaxing before bed, you can try taking a bath or shower in the evening. What is more, simply soaking your feet in hot water can also improve sleep. Having a hot shower some 90 minutes before turning in can get you more deep sleep and aid in falling asleep faster.
Clear your mind before Sleeping
It can be difficult to fall asleep if you have a lot on your mind. If you’re not sure how to clear your mind and relax, there are some strategies you can try. For example, reading a book, listening to relaxing music, meditation, and visualization are just some of the methods that many people find useful.
Consult with a doctor
Lastly, if you’ve tried various strategies and nothing seems to work, you should consult with your physician. They can help you get to the root of your problem. Perhaps you are suffering from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or sleep movement disorders. Your doctor will then advise you on how to proceed. However, if you don’t have the time to physically visit your doctor, you could just download the Confidant Health app and they will accomodate your needs accordingly.
From not consuming caffeine and avoiding blue light to optimizing your sleeping environment and clearing your mind, there are various ways how you can improve your sleeping quality. If nothing seems to be working, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.