Getting a good night’s sleep is probably the best thing you can do for yourself. When you aren’t sleeping well, along with your physical health, it can deteriorate your mental health and brain functioning also.
Are you someone who is not satisfied with the amount of sleep you’re getting? Do you find it hard to fall asleep at night? If so, you’re probably in need for some lifestyle changes.
Here are some really easy tips that will bring your sleeping experience to a whole new level.
The Day is Meant to Be Bright
Did you know we all have a natural body clock, called the ‘circadian rhythm’? It basically lets us know when should we be sleeping and when should we stay awake.
When we are adequately exposed to natural sunlight during the day, our body clock becomes more efficient. We get better quality sleep and feel more energetic during the day.
In fact, a study conducted on elderly people found that being exposed to 2 hours of natural daylight got them to sleep 2 hours longer. Thus, making their sleeping experience 80% more efficient.
So, try and get more sunlight exposure during the day. And if that’s difficult for you, you can always install an artificial bright light bulb at work or in your room for the same function.
Ideal Sleeping Conditions
Factors such as noise, temperature settings, mattress toppers and even furniture arrangement can impact your sleep.
1. Keep it Dark
Being exposed to bright light at night messes up your body clock. Your brain gets confused and doesn’t produce the required amount of the hormone called ‘melatonin’, which is essential to fall asleep. Hence, try keeping it dark at night.
2. Keep the Noise to a Minimum
Ideally, noisy and cacophonous conditions are bad for falling asleep. You’ll notice that if you live near a highway, the sound of cars can keep you up all night. Make sure that your bedroom is quiet enough for you to fall asleep. If not, then you can always try wearing earplugs to avoid noise penetration.
3. Mattress Toppers Matter
You might experience great improvement in your sleep if you choose your mattress topper based on the type of sleeping position you prefer.
Among the various options, some common ones include specifically catered mattress toppers for side sleepers, back sleepers, and even stomach sleepers.
4. Check the Temperature
We all know how difficult it is to fall asleep when it’s hot. According to a study, bedroom temperature actually affects sleep even more than the noise.
The ideal sleeping temperature for most people is 20 °C or 70°F. However, remember, it always depends on what you are comfortable with.
Switch off Those Electronic Devices
We’re all guilty of spending an extra hour in bed scrolling through our phones or working late on our laptops when it’s actually time to sleep. If not that, we are usually binge-watching television, just to relax before we go to bed.
Well, these practices harm our sleep more than we can possibly imagine. Televisions, laptops, and phones emit large amounts of blue harmful light rays, which is the worst kind of light rays for falling asleep, as it greatly reduces our melatonin production.
Although it’s recommended not to use these devices before we sleep, the harsh truth is that we can’t really avoid it.
So, the best alternative is to follow these tips:
- Get the blue light blocking glasses and wear them while using those devices.
- There are special apps which you can download to block blue light from your laptop or phone.
- Try finishing your work early and switch off the bright lights at least two hours before you go to bed.
Stay Away from Caffeine at Night
Caffeine is amazing and boosts our energy during the day but when you consume caffeine later in the day, it amps up your body so much that by the time it’s night, your body can’t relax enough to sleep.
Did you know that the effect of caffeine continues up to 6 to 8 hours since you last drank it? Thus, it’s best not to drink caffeine after 3 or 4 pm. But if you still find a need of coffee in the afternoon, you can always opt for a decaffeinated one.
Cut Out the Long Naps
Taking random naps through the day for long periods is a favorite recharging strategy for many. However, this contributes greatly to your lack of sleep at night and sleeping at odd hours in the day can mess with your body clock.
A study actually found that the best nap duration is 30 minutes or less, as it allows our brain to function more efficiently but longer naps than that affect the quality of sleep negatively and harm our health.
Napping and its effects on night-time sleep actually vary for every individual. Now, if you are someone who is used to this schedule and still sleeps well at night, then that’s great.
However, if you suffer from a lack of sleep and you’ve been taking a lot of irregular, long daytime naps – it is probably the culprit! So, try taking shorter naps instead, during a set time every day.
Maintain a Proper Sleep Schedule
Our body is naturally adjusted to waking up at sunrise and sleep at sunset. It’s like a continuous loop, and this is important for our body to function properly.
Even if you don’t wake up or sleep at the same time as everyone, it is important that you have a consistent sleep schedule. You will see that if you set an alarm every day to wake up at the same time, after a few weeks, you will wake up automatically at that time. In fact, you might not even need an alarm.
Relaxation is Key
Before going to bed, let go of all your worries and try to keep your body relaxed. You could do this by practicing yoga or reading a good book before bed. For those of you who are lazy like me, a warm bath would actually be a great option as well!
These tips aren’t rocket science, but they can lead to some amazing improvements in your life. A better functioning body, a more productive mind, better skin, and hair are some of the benefits. Therefore, do yourself a favor – make the necessary changes and let yourself get some proper healthy sleep!