Contributed by: Nancy Dixit
Your behaviours during the day, especially before bedtime, can significantly impact your sleep. They can promote healthy sleep or contribute to sleeplessness.
Many factors can interfere with a good night’s sleep — from work stress and family responsibilities to illnesses. It’s no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive.
As per research, poor sleep has immediate adverse effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function.
It can also cause weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children.
Here are some simple tips for better sleep, from setting a sleep schedule to including physical activity in your daily routine.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night.
You should make a habit of going to sleep and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends.
In case you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, you must leave your bedroom and do something relaxing like read or listen to soothing music.
Go back to bed when you’re tired. Repeat as needed, but continue to maintain your sleep schedule and wake-up time.
Create a restful environment
A relaxing environment is essential for a good night’s rest. You can create a restful environment by doing the following:
Sleep in darkness. Make the sleeping area very dark if possible.Reduce noise. Wear earplugs; silence cell phone calls and nonessential alerts.Keep temperatures cool.Avoid watching TV, reading, or working in the sleeping area.
As per studies, people simply sleep better when their bedroom is optimized for light and noise levels, temperature, and comfort.
Pay attention to your eating & drinking habits
You should avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. You should also avoid nicotine, coffee, and alcohol.
The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can interfere with sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Introduce pleasant aromas
A light scent that you find calming can help ease you into sleep. Essential oils with natural aromas, such as lavender, can provide a soothing and fresh smell to your bedroom.
Limit daytime naps
Be careful with naps, because short power naps are beneficial, but long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your sleep.
The best time to nap is shortly after lunch in the early afternoon, and the best nap length is around 20 minutes. While longer naps can harm health and sleep quality.
If you sleep during the daytime it can affect your internal clock, and you might need the struggle to sleep at night.
Did you know as per a study if you take daytime naps, you might end up being sleepier during the day?
Exercise regular – just not before bed
Regular physical activity or exercise can promote better sleep.
Although daily exercise is key for a good night’s sleep, performing it too late in the day may cause sleep problems.
Recent studies show that exercise decreases sleep complaints and insomnia in patients.
In fact, the effects of aerobic exercise on sleep appear to be similar to those of sleeping pills.
Regular exercise during daylight hours is one of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Choose quality bedding, high-performance mattress & pillows
Apart from the relaxing environment, bed quality can also affect sleep.
New bedding can enhance sleep and poor quality bedding can lead to increased lower back pain.
The best mattress for your needs and preferences is vital to making sure that you are comfortable enough to relax.
It also ensures, along with the best pillow, that your spine gets proper support to avoid aches and pains.
Try to buy high-quality bedding — including a mattress — every 5 to 8 years.
Try to manage stress and worries
High levels of stress impair sleep by prolonging how long it takes to fall asleep.
Sleep loss triggers our body’s stress response system, leading to an elevation in stress hormones, namely cortisol, which further disrupts sleep.
Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.
Your daily routines – what you eat and drink, the medications you take, how you schedule your days and how you choose to spend your evenings – can significantly impact your quality of sleep.
Even a few slight adjustments can make the difference between sound sleep and a restless night.
If you have difficulty sleeping or want to improve your sleep, you must try these healthy sleep habits. Talk to your medical provider if your sleep problem persists.
As an add-on, make a habit of taking preventive health checkups as they can help you in getting a complete insight into your health.
This will also help you with taking measures to promote your overall well-being.