Sleep plays a vital part in keeping our bodies and minds in good health. Given that we spend one-third of our life under the blanket, the quality of our sleep is as important as the air we breathe, the water we drink or the food we consume. Good sleep has countless benefits, such as relieving stress, improving memory and boosting the immune system. We usually can’t go long without it.
In that spirit, we’ve put together a useful guide loaded with expert-recommended tactics and tools that are guaranteed to improve your nights’ rest and keep you energized throughout your busy days.
Be consistent with your sleep schedule
One of the first things towards better sleep is making sure you go to bed and you wake up at regular hours. Getting in sync with your internal clock (known as the circadian rhythm) helps regulate your sleep hormone, which ensures the body gets the rest it needs. Depending on your metabolism and weight, you should get between 6 to 8 hours of rest a night. Don’t be tempted to take extra naps or sleep in on the weekends either, as it can put your cycle out of balance and lead to a poor sleep pattern.
Adopt healthy habits before bedtime
What we put in our bodies and what we expose ourselves to can directly affect how well we’re able to rest at night. This is why it’s crucial to mind your diet and before-bed activities. For starters, avoid copious meals and drinks (especially alcohol) before bed. Consuming caffeine or nicotine after hours can disturb your chemical balance, causing insomnia. In a like manner, prolonged exposure to screens can also delay the process of falling asleep, due to the effects of artificial blue light. So, it’s best to keep stimulants away at least a couple of hours before bedtime.
Regulate your bedroom’s temperature
If you’re the kind of person who tosses and turns before finally being able to fall asleep, chances are this is your body adjusting to an environment that’s either too warm or too cool. Ideally, your room should be at a temperature of 63°F (or 18°C) for optimal sleep. A great solution would be to get yourself a sleeping fan; you can read more here about these practical appliances that optimize room temperature and allow you to get a full night’s rest. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you’re bound to find a model that fits your budget and preferences.
Invest in quality mattress and pillows
Comfort is an essential factor in achieving a full night’s rest. If you’ve been having trouble falling asleep or waking up tired, perhaps the issue is that your sleeping furniture isn’t suited for you. Consider upgrading your mattress, pillows, sheets and other bed essentials for a more comfortable and regenerating sleeping experience. You can visit your local specialized store and ask the clerk for recommendations on the types of mattresses available for you to test out.
Exercise during the day
Besides keeping you active and in shape, having a workout routine can significantly help you sleep better. People who exercise on a regular basis tend to feel less tired and sleepy during their day. You don’t have to lift weights or swim distances; a simple 15-minute daily walk will make you reap the benefits of quality deep sleep.
Practice breathing exercises
Nighttime relaxation can go a long way in helping you fall asleep quicker and get quality rest. Now that you’ve purchased the right furniture, lay on your back, close your eyes and stay still. Let your muscles relax. Take a deep breath in, hold it, and then breathe out. Feel the tension leaving your body. Do this a couple of times until you feel completely laid back. This is a great ritual to adopt which will maximize your rest and put you in the right mood for bed.
Try melatonin supplements
It’s a fact that millions of people suffer from sleep-related problems, an all too common occurrence in our stressful modern lives. If you prefer to stay away from pharmaceutical drugs, you can try over-the-counter melatonin supplements to help you sleep on time. Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone; when the first signs of fatigue kick in, this is an indicator from your brain that you need to rest. For those with insomnia, take 1 to 5mg of melatonin half an hour before bedtime.
All in all, sleeping is a natural need we can’t avoid. Paired with a balanced diet and regular exercise, the quality of our sleep can positively impact our energy levels, productivity, and mood during the daytime. With these recommendations, you’ll find a sleeping routine that works for you. Sweet dreams!