How To Get Better Sleep
The quality of your sleep directly impacts your emotional and physical well-being.
Without enough sleep, you might experience tiredness, lack of productivity, emotional imbalance, and even weight gain. Despite this, many of us toss and turn at night, unable to get enough sleep.
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It might seem impossible to get a decent night’s sleep when you’re wide awake at 3 a.m., but you have a lot more control over the quality of your sleep than you may realize.
The solution to sleep problems is often found in your daily routine, just as how you feel during the day can be influenced by your sleep at night. Now let’s take a closer look at this. Last updated
How To Get Better Sleep
If you have unhealthy habits and lifestyle choices during the day, you are likely to wake up tossing and turning at night, negatively impacting your mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, and vitality.
It is possible, however, to improve the quality of your sleep, your health, and your overall state of mind by experimenting with these suggestions:
- Establish a bedtime routine
- Take a hot bath or shower before bed to help your body relax
- Limit screen time and exposure to light
- Make smart choices when it comes to your diet
- Find ways to manage stress, such as meditation or yoga
- Exercise regularly – even just 15 minutes can make all the difference!
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Getting in tune with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm is one of the most fundamental ways to sleep better.
When you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, you will be more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your schedule by two or three hours.
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. As a result, your body’s internal clock is regulated, and you get a better night’s sleep.
To avoid tossing and turning while you sleep, go to bed during the time that you are normally drowsy. Getting enough sleep should allow you to wake up naturally without the need for an alarm clock.
Even on weekends, avoid sleeping in. The more your weekend and weekday sleep cycles diverge, the more you’ll suffer from jetlag-like symptoms. If you need to make up for a late night, take a nap throughout the day instead of sleeping in. This way, you can repay your sleep debt without disrupting your regular sleep-wake cycle.
When it comes to napping, be strategic. While napping might help you make up for lost sleep, it can also make things worse if you have difficulties sleeping or staying asleep at night. In the early afternoon, limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes.
Take a Warm Bath or Shower before Bed To Help Your Body Relax
Sleep has been shown to be improved by relaxing baths and showers. Older adults mustn’t over-stimulate their brains by trying too hard, which can lead to difficulty sleeping.
In a previous study, taking a hot bath before bedtime increased both relaxation before bedtime and the deep stages of sleep (good for quality sleep).
Researchers have already established that our bodies’ temperature and sleep are regulated by a circadian clock. In the late afternoon or early evening, you are two to three degrees warmer. During sleep, it is at its lowest.
The average person’s body temperature drops by 0.5 to 1°F (about.3 to.6°C) around night. It reaches its lowest point during the middle and late stages of nighttime sleep and then begins to rise as we prepare to awaken.
A warm bath or shower activates the body’s thermoregulatory system, prompting blood circulation from the central core to the peripheral areas of the hands and feet, which may seem counterintuitive. However, this can aid in the removal of body heat and the reduction of body temperature.
The basic idea behind nighttime warm-water bathing is that a dip in core body temperature causes the pineal gland to create melatonin. For the most part, this occurs between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The rationale behind bathing timing is that once the body temperature rises above 100°F (38°C), it must drop. This simulates the natural decline.
Make sure you soak for 10 minutes when you take that precisely timed hot shower or bath in the evening since this has been determined to be the ideal period in a lot of studies.
Limit Screen Time and Exposure to Light
Within 1-2 hours after going to bed, stay away from bright screens.
Blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or television is particularly bothersome. Use devices with smaller screens, lower the brightness or use light-altering software such as f.lux to reduce the impact.
Refrain from watching late-night television. The light from television not only suppresses melatonin production, but many programs are stimulating rather than restful. Instead, listen to music or audiobooks.
Backlit devices should not be used for reading. Backlit tablets are more distracting than e-readers that lack their own light source.
Make sure the room is dark when it’s time to sleep. To hide the light from windows, use heavy curtains or shades, or a sleep mask. Consider addressing light-emitting electronics as well.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, turn off the lights. Install a dim nightlight in the hall or bathroom, or use a small flashlight, if you need some light to move around safely. It will be easier for you to get back to sleep as a result of this.
Make Smart Choices When It Comes to Your Diet
Your eating habits during the day, particularly in the hours leading up to the night, have an impact on how well you sleep.
Concentrate on eating a heart-healthy diet. It’s your overall eating habits, not individual meals, that can have the largest impact on the quality of your sleep and your overall health.
A Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats—with less red meat—might help you fall asleep sooner and remain asleep longer.
Reduce your intake of sugary and processed carbs. Consuming a lot of sugar and refined carbohydrates during the day, such as white bread, white rice, and pasta, might cause you to wake up at night and pull you out of the deep, restorative stages of sleep.
Caffeine and nicotine should be avoided. You might be surprised to learn that coffee can disrupt sleep for up to twelve hours following use! Smoking, too, is a stimulant that can interfere with your sleep, particularly if you smoke close to bedtime.
At night, stay away from large meals. Dinner should be served earlier in the evening, and heavy, rich foods should be avoided within two hours of going to bed. Spicy or acidic foods might upset your stomach and induce heartburn.
Alcohol should not be consumed before bed. Even though a nightcap may help you relax, it interferes with your sleep cycle once you’re in bed. Don’t drink too much liquid late at night. Drinking a lot of fluids during the night may result in frequent bathroom trips.
Find Ways To Manage Stress such as Meditation or Yoga
Do you frequently find yourself unable to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of the night? Stress, worry, and anger from the day might make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
It can be simpler to unwind at night if you take steps to regulate your overall stress levels and learn how to break the worry habit.
To help you prepare your thoughts for sleep, try adopting a soothing evening ritual, such as practicing a relaxation technique, making a gratitude list every day, or reading before bed.
Before going to bed, try some easy yoga positions. According to a poll conducted by The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, over 85 percent of yoga practitioners reported lower stress levels and 55 percent reported better sleep.
To be able to relax in these poses, you must be able to control your breathing. In yoga, breathing is just as crucial as the physical pose, if not more so.
Use Ujjayi Breath, also known as Ocean Breath or Victorious Breath, a gentle and calming yoga breathing technique. Deeply inhale through your nose. Exhale through your nostrils while pinching the back of your throat as if you’re saying “ha,” but keep your mouth shut.
Make a Gratitude List
Every day, make a gratitude list. Many studies have found a link between gratitude and feelings of happiness.
Gratitude can have a variety of beneficial benefits in our life, such as lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of sadness and anxiety, and creating the ideal environment for better sleep.
Keep a thankfulness diary and write down a few things you’re grateful for a couple of times a week. There isn’t a right or wrong method to go about doing this.
Read a bedtime story to yourself, ideally in book form. Reading is a wonderful way to unwind. According to studies from the University of Sussex, just six minutes spent engaged in a tale can reduce stress by 68 percent. It’s a book, not a Kindle, iPad, or some other lighted device in the best-case scenario.
Even just 15 minutes can make all the difference! Regular exercisers have better nighttime sleep and are less drowsy during the day.
Regular exercise also helps with insomnia and sleep apnea symptoms, as well as increasing the amount of time spent in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.
The stronger the sleep benefits, the more strenuously you exercise. Even light activity, such as 15 minutes of walking every day, increases sleep quality.
It may take several months of consistent activity before you notice the full benefits of regular exercise. So be patient and concentrate on forming a lasting workout habit.
Exercise at the proper time for better sleep.
Exercise boosts your metabolism, raises your body temperature, and boosts hormones like cortisol. If you exercise in the morning or afternoon, this isn’t a problem, but if you exercise too close to bedtime, it can disrupt your sleep.
Work out at least three hours before you plan to go to bed on a moderate to vigorous level. If you still have problems sleeping, move your workout even earlier. We discussed previously that gentle stretching and low-impact exercises can promote restful sleep in the evening.
Exercising can also help you get healthier sleep during COVID-19 restrictions. Learn more about this in our article: A Guide to a Healthy Sleeping/Wellbeing During COVID-19.
The quality of your sleep can impact both your physical and mental health, which is why you have to make sure you get a decent night’s sleep that will allow you to feel great and function normally during the day.
To improve your sleep you simply need to change some of your daily routines. In this article, we’ve provided a few suggestions that might help you address your sleep problems and get better sleep, improve your health, and your overall state of mind. We hope it will be helpful to you.