Sleep is paramount in improving and maintaining your body productivity. Apart from ensuring your body functions correctly, it also has a significant effect on your health. Lack of enough sleep has an adverse impact on your health. It increases the chances of heart disease and weight increase; therefore, you must ensure you cop enough sleep every night.
If you’re an insomniac, chances are your lifestyle is to blame for your lack of sleep. From what you eat to how you conduct yourself during the day, all these impact your sleep one way or another. Fortunately, if you find it hard to get enough sleep at night, worry not for there are things you can do to improve on your sleep. Read on to find out how your sleep can get better with time.
Exposure to light
Ever heard of the circadian rhythm? Well, it’s more like a 24-hour internal clock that runs in the background of your brain to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain’s hypothalamus controls it; however, external factors like light and darkness have an impact on your circadian rhythm. When it’s dark, your eyes send a signal to your hypothalamus, which in turn releases melatonin that tires your body to sleep.
So, avoid light one to two hours before resting to induce the production of melatonin, which in turn tires your body to sleep. If you have to use your phone at night, reduce the blue light or curb it via third-party apps if your phone lacks a feature to cut it. During the day, make sure you expose yourself to enough light to manage your circadian rhythm.
Improve your Sleep Environment
For you to sleep well with minimal to no disturbance, your body needs to be comfortable. Your sleeping environment is primary in providing comfort to your body. Things like neck pains, back pains affect your sleep and cause your body to be restless. To avoid this, get neck pillows that provide comfort to your neck and a mattress ideal for your sleeping position.
Apart from just what you sleep on, the surrounding is also essential in ensuring you sleep better. A hotter bedroom is not comfortable to sleep in, and so is a colder one. To get your bedroom to a sleep-friendly environment, you can opt to use humidifiers. They provide a serene sleeping environment by reducing dryness and improving air conditioning.
Check on What you Eat and Drink
According to a study, foods with high sugar content adversely affect your sleep. Avoid taking too much white rice and a lot of carbohydrates. Sugar makes you hyperactive, and if taken in large quantities, it’ll definitely turn you into an active body at night when you ought to be asleep.
Also, limit your coffee intake, coffee has caffeine that can have you awake and active for more than 6 hours. If you have to take coffee, opt for the decaffeinated option. Another thing to avoid or limit is alcohol and nicotine. Alcohol induces snoring and affects your sleeping pattern; on the other hand, smoking before bed makes you hyperactive hence affecting your sleep.
You should figure out the number of hours you need for enough sleep, schedule a stipulated time to go to bed and stick to that pattern. Having a regular, consistent sleeping pattern keeps you refreshed and energized to tackle the following day’s activities. Do not alter this pattern and if you have to, do it by one to two hours, this is because the primal part of your brain has programmed itself to rest at that time. Altering that pattern will affect your sleep cycle.
The urge to take power naps during afternoon hours is unavoidable for many adults. So, if you are an afternoon nap type, make sure you limit it to 20-30 minutes. Anything more than half an hour will have an eventual effect on your sleep.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, chances are sleeping hacks may not entirely work for you. Fortunately, scientists have created artificial melatonin. This melatonin works just like your brain’s natural melatonin; it tires down your body hence inducing sleep. Melatonin can easily be found over the counter in some states, while on others, you have to have a doctor’s prescription.
Either way, it is a quick option if your body is easily stressed to produce enough melatonin or if you have a sleep apnea disorder. Nonetheless, if you’re experiencing sleep apnea, make sure you seek your doctor’s advice.
Exercise your Brain and Body
If you constantly experience sleep shortage in the middle of the night, then your stress levels are to be blamed. Training your brain on how to curb worry levels and reduce stress is vital not only for sleep but for your general health too. You can achieve this by developing a bedtime ritual like listening to soft music or laying on your back while breathing slowly and meditating. These relaxation techniques and many more have proven to work on individuals who experience the day’s residual stress.
Also, exercising your body during the day improves your sleep. Exercising your body speeds up metabolism and stimulate the production of hormones. Once your body has undergone vigorous training during the day, it utilizes the night for restorative purposes.
Time to Wind Down
For your body to prepare for sleep, it needs to shift to sleep mode automatically. To achieve this, a before bedtime ritual is necessary, things like reading, having a warm bath or just peacefully gazing on the ceiling while meditating. However, avoid any vigorous bedtime ritual before going to bed, such a routine interferes with your sleep pattern. So, narrow your bedtime routine to a calmer one.
Avoid using electronic devices, they may seem the perfect tools for a before bedtime routine, but in a real sense, the light from such devices has an adverse impact on the production of melatonin.
The tips above will come in handy in improving your sleep, and if you follow them to the latter, you’ll be enjoying a good night’s sleep in no time. However, if you have sleep apnea or your insomnia persists, make sure you check with your doctor.