The average person spends about a third of their life sleeping. High-quality sleep can improve your mood, cognitive function, and overall energy. It is imperative that you consider the effects of sleeping on your overall health. Your daytime choices significantly impact your nighttime tendencies. Waking up at 2 a.m., tossing and turning, and even snoring can be cared for during your waking hours. You must get a consistent nighttime routine, have proper light exposure, exercise regularly, and eat well to set the stage for achieving blissful dreams.
Best Way To Get A Better Night's Sleep
It’s important that everyone gets a good night's sleep. Below are some tips for getting a better night’s sleep.
Keep In Synch With Your Sleep Cycle
Every person has an internal clock, better known as a circadian rhythm. This is when your brain naturally decides when it is best to sleep. Typically, people go to bed when it's dark, and when it’s light out, people are awake. It’s best to get the same amount of hours of rest each night. For most Americans, that means about seven to nine hours a night. If you nap during the day, it can drastically affect the quality and quantity of sleep you have at night, so be sure to start and end your rest at the same hour each day.
Go To Sleep and Get Up At The Same Time Everyday
Having an evening routine is beneficial since it shows your body that you are preparing for rest. Dimming the lights, putting on white noise, and getting under the blankets all signal to your mind that it is time to wind down. Decide on a bedtime around the point you begin to feel drowsy. If you are getting proper rest, you won’t need an alarm. If you do, you likely need an earlier bedtime.
Avoid Sleeping In
It can be tempting to spend your weekends dreaming away until noon. However, it is not recommended to do this because it will make rising for work on Monday quite difficult. If you have had a late night or an extra tiring day, try a mid-day snooze as an alternative. It means you may not sleep as long or as deeply later, but you will feel better getting the rest you need. Try to keep naps to about 15-20 minutes if you are napping regularly.
Start The Day With Breakfast
You already know! It’s the most important meal of the day. When you ingest food after a long night, it signals your body to get going. It boosts your glucose levels and makes you more alert. Some habits like eating right before bed, consuming sugary breakfasts, and fasting outside of your circadian rhythm throw the whole natural process out of whack. Try not to eat an hour or two before bed and within an hour of waking up to keep in sync.
More Exposure Outside During The Day
Don’t be afraid to let the sunshine grace your skin. Sun on your face first thing in the morning helps you feel awake and kick starts your body clock. If you can get at least 15 minutes of outdoor time each day, you will increase your serotonin which in turn increases melatonin which helps you fall asleep. It makes you happy and assists your slumber; that's a win-win!
Avoid Bright Lights and Screens At Night
Screens and bright lights confuse your natural clock. Your brain thinks it’s daytime if you are watching a TV show at night. Electronic devices also emit blue light. Avoiding electronics a couple hours before bed is the best way to get a good night's sleep.
Incorporating movement into your daily routine is a simple way to improve sleep. Disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, and other sleep problems may be alleviated by walking for 15 minutes a day. Starting small and increasing in vigor over time will help build your workout stamina and get to 60 minutes of exercise about three times a week. Being physically active at least two hours before bed increases your body's time in deep, restorative sleep.
Focus On Nutrition
Healthy diets that are rich in essential nutrients can improve an individual's sleep quality and overall wellness. If you are participating in unhealthy eating habits, start by replacing one meal per day with something new and better for you. Trade out your morning pop-tart for a banana. It’s an easy swap that can get the ball rolling in the right direction. Caffeine is well known for helping eyes stay open at any time of day. Avoid caffeine anytime after lunch, so it clears your system before it’s time to sleep. Also, limit fluids one to two hours before bed to keep you from rising for a midnight trip to the bathroom.
Improving Your Sleep Environment
Your bedroom is a haven for your mind and body to rest. Keep the space clean so the mind doesn’t focus on little things out of place, but most importantly, keep it quiet. People sleep best in a silent room that is completely dark. If it’s impossible to eliminate the sound of traffic or loud neighbors, try using a sound machine that creates white noise to help lull you into a deep slumber.
Body temperature drops one to two degrees right before you fall asleep. This helps conserve energy throughout the night. Going into a cool room will help your body get to the desired temperature more quickly, therefore helping you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. A room that is too hot or very cold may wake a person in the middle of the night.
Sleep Well Tonight
Think about what you can do today to change the way you sleep tonight. Minor changes like eating breakfast, getting outside, and taking a walk may impact the way you dream. Take the time and make an effort to get the rest your body needs and deserves!