A good night’s sleep is directly related to your mental and physical well-being. Insufficient sleep can negatively affect daytime energy, work performance, feelings, and body weight. However, many people struggle to sleep at night, unable to obtain adequate sleep.
The idea of getting a good night’s sleep may seem impossible when you’re wide awake at 3 in the morning. Fortunately, you have considerable influence over your sleeping patterns since how you feel during the day is often influenced by the quality of your sleep at night.
Having unhealthy habits during the day and poor lifestyle choices can cause you to toss and turn at night and negatively affect your mood, mind, physique, and immune system. But by following these eight tips, it is possible to sleep better at night and improve your overall health and general well-being.
1. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol
Drinks containing caffeine, like coffee, tea, and sodas, have become popular worldwide. Some people use caffeine as an energy source to fight daytime sleepiness, which is unsustainable and can impair sleep quality in the long run.
Therefore, as a preventative measure, monitor your caffeine intake and limit caffeine consumption in the evening if it interferes with sleep.
Similarly, the effects of alcohol can cause drowsiness, which is why some people enjoy a nightcap before bed. Unfortunately, excessive alcohol affects the brain in a way that impacts sleep quality in the long run. Alcohol addiction may even lead to sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. If you are overly addicted to alcohol, get help at a rehab center like Delphi. Many patients have successfully overcome their addictions and achieved a healthy and happy lifestyle with professional help.
2. Eat foods that promote sleep during dinner
Just as there are foods you should avoid before bedtime, there are also foods that can help you sleep better. Turkey, fish, green vegetables, white rice, and whole grains are all known to promote better sleep. Alternatively, large, heavy meals, fried foods, and sweet desserts can upset your stomach and prevent you from sleeping.
For maximum benefit from these foods, eat dinner at least three hours before bedtime, giving your stomach plenty of time to digest the food. Keep your late-night snacking to a minimum, but if you’re hungry before bed, opt for light and nutritious snacks such as cheese, biscuits, or peanut butter with apple slices. A small bite of an apple contains tryptophan and fiber that will help you fall asleep more quickly.
Exercising regularly, especially in the morning or afternoon, increases your body temperature, which affects sleep quality. At the end of the day, your internal thermostat will drop back to its normal range, causing drowsiness and making it easier to sleep.
Moreover, by exercising outdoors, your body is exposed to natural light, helping it develop a good sleep-wake cycle.
4. Manage your worries
Many of us have experienced extra anxiety or concerns before bed, which can negatively impact our ability to fall asleep and our sleep quality.
Your day can be made easier by doing things that help you manage your worries, such as talking to a trusted friend and staying away from the news.
To put your mind at ease if you often lie awake worrying, write down a list of things to do the next day before bed.
Using techniques such as reframing might also help to redirect unhelpful thoughts.
5. Stick to a sleep schedule
A good night’s sleep usually lasts no more than eight hours, so limit your sleeping time to that amount.
Establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time every day, even on weekends. Consistency reinforces the sleep-wake cycle in your body.
When you cannot fall asleep within about 20 minutes after going to bed, get out of bed and do something calming. You can relax by reading or listening to soothing music. When you’re tired, go back to bed. Repeat as necessary, but maintain your wake-up and sleep schedules.
6. Turn off electronic devices before bedtime
As everyone knows, light hinders sleep. No one can fall asleep in a bright room or next to a glaring screen.
Light from sunlight, blue light, or any other light source influences your circadian rhythm (also called your sleep-wake cycle). When exposed to light, your brain interprets it as a signal to stay active and consequently decreases melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep. In the absence of light or dim lighting, melatonin production increases and prepares the body for sleep.
To avoid your devices disrupting your sleep, switch them to Night Mode. Ideally, avoid using any gadget 2-3 hours before bed. If you enjoy watching television before bed, dim the brightness of your screen, and use minimal lights in your living room. An environment conducive to relaxation helps you unwind and prepare for sleep.
7. Take a warm bath before bed
Taking a shower before bed can benefit your sleep for several reasons.
For one, most people prefer to climb into bed after a long day feeling refreshed and clean. Getting rid of the day’s stress helps you relax and drift off to sleep more easily. Secondly, heating your body in a hot shower or bath facilitates the cooling-down process needed for sleep.
So, if you’re having trouble falling asleep, take a hot bath and lie in bed. You’ll feel relaxed, and the temperature in your body will gradually decrease to the level needed for slow-wave sleep.
8. Use breathable bedding
Breathable bedding can improve your sleep cycle, but how?
A breathable mattress helps regulate your body temperature overnight, preventing you from waking up too warm or cold. Cotton is an excellent fabric for all seasons, as it is insulating enough to keep you warm during the winter and lightweight enough to keep you cool during the summer.
The best way to ensure that your body and mind get enough sleep is to sleep naturally. By trying the above methods, you can increase your chances of falling asleep without using sleep aids.
Sleepless nights are common for nearly everyone. However, if you find it hard to sleep regularly, talk to your doctor. The best way to get better sleep is to identify and treat any underlying causes.