A good night’s sleep is beneficial in so many ways. Aside from helping you prepare for the day ahead, quality sleep improves the brain function, keeps your mind and body alert and helps you maintain a healthy waistline.
Here are 11 ways to enjoy a better night of sleep:
1. Take a Warm Bath or Shower: A relaxing shower or a hot bath is one of the best ways to sleep better at night. If you can’t be bothered to take a shower, then a foot bath in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes should relax you enough to get you quality shut-eye.
2. Have a Pre-Sleep Ritual: Most people who sleep better have a pre-sleep ritual to help them relax. The good thing about this is that you can come up with your own pre-sleep routine, whether it be reading a book, listening to meditative music, taking deep breaths or doing some stretches. Try out a few and see which one works best.
3. Get a Comfortable Mattress: The quality of your mattress will have a direct effect on how well you sleep at night. In short, a cozy mattress should give you better sleep as compared to an old, lumpy one. New bedding can improve quality of sleep by as much as 60% while reducing back stiffness, back pain and shoulder pain by a significant amount.
4. Bedroom Temperature Matters: Did you know that bedroom temperature affects sleep quality more than noise? Increased temperature can affect comfort and increases the chances of waking up. Optimal room temp should be somewhere around 20 degrees C or 70 F, or set at the temperature you prefer.
5. Drink less Alcohol: A few bottles of beer can affect your hormones and sleep pattern. Alcohol in particular is a known offender in terms of disrupting sleeps patterns and causing sleep apnea. Moreover, melatonin production is altered, which changes your natural circadian rhythm.
6. Don’t Take That Late Coffee: While caffeine can help you wake up in the morning and power on through the day, having it late at night can cause you less quality of sleep. Stimulating your nervous system late during the day can impair your body’s ability to relax during night time. Caffeine can stay inside the body for about 6 to 8 hours. With this in mind, it’s best to refrain from taking coffee after 3 or 4 pm.
7. Reduce Blue Light Exposure: Make sure you’re not exposed to blue light in the evening so you can get a good night’s sleep. Blue light is particularly disruptive to your internal circadian rhythm, tricking your system to think that it’s still daytime. Conversely, less melatonin is produced, which affects deep sleep quality as well. Stay away from exposure to electronic devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones and turn off the television 2 hours before you sleep.
8. Increase Bright Light Exposure: Get bright sunlight during the day whenever possible. If you’re in an area where there’s little sunshine, invest in a bulb or any artificial bright light device to keep your circadian rhythm healthy and functional.
9. Follow a Wake and Sleep Schedule: Following a certain sleep and waking timeframe helps develop a rhythm that improves quality of sleep over time. Having an irregular sleep pattern can lead to poor sleep. Get into a regular wake and sleep cycle even during the weekends.
10. Create a Good Sleep Environment: Reduce the amount of external noise and lighting as much as possible. This means you should take out the TV, the alarm clock and other devices that emit light or noise. You should have a relaxing environment free of distractions.
11. Consider Taking Supplements: Melatonin supplements can help you get better sleep at night. Start with a low dose and adjust if needed. You can also consider taking other sleep aid supplements such as lavender, magnesium, valerian root, glycine and gingko biloba, which helps you relax, calm down and fall asleep faster and deeper.
These are some of the best ways you can get better sleep if you’re constantly tired, stressed out or struggling with weight issues. Remember that sleep plays an important role in overall health, so you should make it a point to get a great night’s sleep each and every day.