Everyone needs sleep. The quality of sleep we get, the number of hours we sleep, and the number of nights we sleep each week all significantly impact our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In fact, the length of our sleeping hours and the recovery time between nights are a little more significant than other factors. But with so many people suffering from insufficient sleep, what can we do? How can we improve our sleep?
Reduce Blue Light
With all the technology we have around us, it’s easy to let blue light sneak into our lives. The blue light you are probably aware of is the blue light emitted from your computer, phone, and tablet screens. This is because they release radiation known to suppress your body’s natural circadian rhythm or the natural body clock that regulates your sleep/wake cycles. Now that light-emitting phones and tablets are so ubiquitous, it’s easy to forget that they can have a significant impact on our sleep. Certain types of light are known to suppress melatonin levels and keep us awake, and this isn’t just bad for our sleep; it can affect our mental health too.
Choose the Correct Bed
A mattress is the most crucial piece of furniture in your bedroom. It has a massive impact on your health and contributes to the overall quality of your sleep. It’s essential to make the right choice when it comes to buying a mattress. The best mattress for you will depend on your sleep style and your preferences. However, there is more to it than the materials; the size of your bed can also influence sleep quality. When looking for the best bed size, you need to think about what kind of sleeper you are. For example, if you are the sort of person who tosses and turns at night, you will probably need a larger bed. This is especially true if you sleep with a partner and are keeping them up at night. However, there are times when having a mattress that is too large for your needs is also detrimental. To drift off to sleep better, you need to feel secure throughout the night.
Get Enough Movement Throughout the Day
Are you moving enough during the day? If you find that your sleep is not of the best quality, this could be the reason. In particular, this may be true if you work sedentary jobs that require sitting for the majority of your day. Not only is it imperative that you get enough exercise for your overall good health, but it can also affect how well you sleep. By ensuring that you are getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day, you will discover that your sleep will begin to improve over time. The main issue with office work is that it creates mental tiredness rather than a physical one, and although it may seem as though you are ready for bed, your body is not and is craving more movement.
Nevertheless, there is a caveat to this point. You should try not to exercise before you go to bed because it will energize you too much, and you will find it difficult to fall asleep quickly. Instead, the best option would be to wake up at least 30 minutes earlier and engage in some simple exercises like stretches, jumping jacks, and even jumping rope, if possible. This will wake you up and get you ready for the day, as well as fulfilling your physical requirements.
Cut Down on Caffeine After 4pm
This tip should be obvious to most people. We drink coffee to wake us up, so it follows that too much will make it more difficult to sleep. However, it may not be possible for coffee lovers to remove this drink from their lives; however, it is possible to reduce caffeine intake after 4 pm. Why this time? It usually takes around 5 hours for the effects to wear off, and you need some extra time to wind down after its effects.
Create a Sleep Routine
One of the most essential parts of good sleep is having a good sleep routine. This can help you fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly, and start each morning feeling refreshed. Even if you wake up at the same time each day and have the same alarms, you will still feel refreshed if you practice a routine. While you don’t have to be extreme with the times, it is best to stay as close to them as possible. The whole idea is that you are training your brain to know when it needs to turn off, so to speak, and when to turn back on.
Make Your Bedroom For Sleep Not Work
If you work from home or come back from work late, you should absolutely try to avoid using your bedroom as an office. The temptation is high because you might think that by finishing off some work on your bed, you will be able to fall asleep more conveniently. However, this is not the case and has been shown to reduce your sleep quality. When you bring your work into your place of sleep, you are keeping your brain in working mode. When you leave your job at the bedroom door, you will find that your mind instantly relaxes upon entry to this haven of tranquility. So the bottom line is to keep work and sleep separately from one another.
This technique is fantastic for clearing your mind and getting it ready to focus on the present. This is important because when you think about what happened at work today or what you need to get done tomorrow, your mind will remain overactive, resulting in a restless night. A simple 10-minute meditation before bed and in the morning after you have woken will do wonders for your mental health and ability to focus.
The truth is, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things we can do to ensure our health. And yet, most of us don’t get enough sleep. Some people can sleep for a few hours and still function correctly. Others need a full night’s sleep. Some of us need more than one night’s rest. Whatever you choose to do, there are plenty of methods to get a better night’s sleep – so here’s to happy dreaming!