10 Tips to Help Improve Your Sleep
There are many tips that you’ve probably heard about how to lead a healthier life. The tips might sound pretty obvious, like the need for exercise or that changing your diet could significantly improve your health. You are also probably aware that getting a good night’s sleep is important to both physical and mental health.
This isn’t just anecdotal, either. Research shows that lack of sleep is actually linked to diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, increased risk of depression, obesity, and heart disease. What is some actionable advice that can help you get a better night’s sleep? Here are ten tips to improve the way that you sleep.
Schedule Your Sleep and Be Consistent
The first tip is pretty obvious: you should try and make sure that you get as much sleep as possible. Even if you work a night shift, you should do everything that you can to make sure that you get eight hours of sleep per night (or close to it).
Ideally, you should remain consistent regarding a sleep schedule. Irregular sleep patterns can alter your circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, which can affect your health and your ability to go to sleep and stay asleep.
Some people might enjoy a long afternoon nap. Generally, there is nothing wrong with doing this once in a while, or even regularly if you feel like you need to. However, multiple or extended naps each day will affect your sleep schedule. Consider reducing the number or length of naps so you can stick to a sleep schedule that works.
There are some situations where you might need some help to get to sleep. One of the best things to do in this situation is to take a melatonin supplement to fall asleep faster. It can do more than improve the quality of your sleep - you may even find that you have more energy the next day! Take it a half-hour or hour before going to bed.
Consider Caffeine Intake: Cut Off Caffeine Intake After A Specific Time of Day
Many people love their caffeine, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with a morning cup of coffee or the occasional energy drink. However, if you are consistently drinking coffee into the afternoon and evening, it will almost undoubtedly affect how you sleep and how much sleep you end up getting.
A good tip is to stop drinking coffee or consuming any caffeine whatsoever in the evening. At the very least, you may want to consider drinking decaf coffee later in the day.
Alcohol can also affect your sleep patterns. It can also increase the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring and reduce nighttime melatonin production. A glass of wine with dinner is one thing, but multiple drinks could disrupt your sleep patterns to the point where it affects sleep quality.
If you are used to drinking several beers right before bed, consider cutting out this habit. If major changes aren’t possible, try to drink earlier rather than later to get a better night’s sleep.
Change Your Environment
You might be used to falling asleep while watching TV or playing with your phone but consider changing your environment before you sleep. If you limit both noise and light, you may find that you sleep much better.
It might also help if you make small adjustments to make sure that your bedroom is as quiet, comfortable, and relaxing as possible.
Don’t Eat Too Late
If you are eating late at night, it can affect your sleep. Let’s say that you decide to eat a massive meal right before getting in bed. It’s easy to see how it might be harder to fall asleep, and it might also depend on the sugar/carbs in the meal.
Consider eating around 3-4 hours before bed, and you should be fine. Eating too late can affect more than just melatonin; it can also affect HGH’s natural release.
Use Relaxation Techniques before bed
If you are serious about getting better sleep, it might take some changes on your behalf. One of the smartest things you can do is start doing more “relaxing” things right before going to bed. For some people, this might involve reading a good book. For others, it might be a hot bath or listening to some relaxing music.
It doesn’t matter whether you turn to meditation, breathing techniques, or a hot bath - consider trying out some relaxation techniques and figuring out what works best for you. In fact, taking a hot bath around 90 minutes before going to sleep may improve sleep quality considerably.
Invest in Your Bedroom
Have you ever noticed that you might sleep better in a very nice hotel? It might be because that hotel purchased the right bed, pillows, or mattress that helps make guests extremely comfortable. If you haven’t replaced your mattress or pillow in a while, you might find that it could be the missing key to better sleep.
Of course, not everyone can afford to replace their bed or mattress immediately. Regardless, this is something to consider. If you stick with low-quality bedding, it could even lead to back pain and other physical ailments.
Exercise plays a role when it comes to sleep, and a good afternoon workout might help you get more sleep than usual. Regular exercise can not only improve your sleep, but it can reduce the chance of insomnia, as well.
One of the things to remember here is not to exercise right before you go to sleep. That might lead to a situation where your blood is pumping, and the last thing that you want right before you go to sleep is a new wave of energy.
You probably already know that not getting enough sleep can lead to a terrible day, whether it involves you underperforming at work or school, feeling groggy, or simply feeling like you’re going through the motions rather than being productive. If you can aim for 7-8 hours of sleep, that is ideal for adults, though some people need more, and some less.
If you are serious about your health, make sleep a priority. We hope that these tips can help you improve the way that you sleep. And remember, it might take some adjustments - but it’ll be worth it the next day!