15 Essential Tips to Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
15 Essential Tips to Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
And so to bed. It should be the time when we’re relaxed and ready to settle down for a good night’s sleep. If this is not the case for you then you’re certainly not alone. A modern lifestyle that includes 24/7 technology at our fingertips has brought about a cultural shift in how we even view sleep at all. For many of us, it’s considered something we can do without. It is thought vital to how we operate biologically. Sleep deprivation brings with it the risk of severe medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. It also shortens your life expectancy. We’re here to change all this and help you get a good night’s sleep. You need it to stay healthy and function at your best. We’ve broken down the myths around sleep and compiled fifteen essential tips that will help you drift off and stay asleep.
15 Tips on How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
1. Bright Light in The Daytime
Our bodies have their own time-keeping clock called the circadian rhythm. This takes its cue from the environment around us, and that includes daylight. The amount of light we experience during the day will affect our natural clock. Exposure to bright light during the day will help you fall asleep at night. This is because your body gets to understand the contrast with darkness in the evening. This signals melatonin production to start. Melatonin is the hormone that gets us to sleep. There are many trials that have proved that exposure to natural light during the day will help keep your circadian rhythm staying healthy. It may not be possible to get sufficient natural light exposure during the day. If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, then it may be worth investing in a bright light device.
2. Get Rid of Blue Light at Night
Night time exposure to light has a negative effect on our circadian rhythm because it makes your brain think it’s still daytime. The big offenders here are our electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. These emit large amounts of blue light. If you can’t live without your device by your side, then there are things you can do to help. There are apps that you can download to block out the emission of blue light from your phone, for example. You should also avoid watching TV immediately before you turn in. Leave at least two hours before switching off your favorite program and clambering into bed
3. Keep It Regular
“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” the old proverb says. In the modern world, it may not always be possible to follow that mantra. However, waking up and going to sleep at regular times and thus creating a pattern can really help. This will all aid in a good night’s sleep by supporting the natural circadian rhythm we all have.
We spend around a third of our lives asleep in bed, so having a mattress that’s comfortable and supports us properly seems like a no-brainer. Your mattress and your body will change over time. Older mattresses wear out and may not provide the support you need. Pillows need to be updated once a year or so to be sure you’re getting the right support for your neck and spine. Go for quality every time. Investing in a great mattress will really pay off in the long run.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation has a broad range of benefits. Once you understand how it works, you’ll be able to practice it ‘on the go,’ and that includes when you’re lying down getting ready to sleep. This practice focuses the mind on breathing and awareness of the present moment. One study has shown that it can actually help with disturbed sleeping patterns.
6. Get Regular Exercise
There is a wealth of scientific evidence that shows that getting regular exercise will keep you healthy and help you to sleep. There is a potential caveat though. It may be best not to exercise too late in the day as this could produce the wrong effect. This is because exercise can stimulate hormones like adrenaline and make us more alert. Individuals react to exercise in different ways, so it’s best to work-out at a time that suits you and your body.
7. No Liquids Before Bed
Getting up to use the toilet overnight will affect sleep quality. It’s wise to avoid drinking large amounts of liquids before bed. Hydration is very important to our health but it’s better to reduce our fluid intake when the late evening comes. If possible, try not to take in any fluids one or two hours before turning in. It’s also a good idea to use the bathroom before you go to bed for the night as this may lower the chances of you waking up during the night.
8. Relaxing Baths or Showers
A relaxing bath or shower will get you in the mood for a better night’s sleep. There are plenty of studies that show that having a warm soak an hour or so before you go to bed can improve sleep quality. If you aren’t able to have a full bath at night, then try bathing your feet in warm water. This can really help you to relax.
9. Don’t Eat Late at Night
Eating late at night could decrease your chances of falling asleep. This is because it can affect the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. The quality and type of food you eat may have an impact as well. It’s thought the body may find too many carbs more difficult to digest when they’re eaten late at night. Try leaving a few hours after your last meal before going to bed. If you do have to snack before bed, then keep it light.
10. Cut Down on Alcohol
Many of us enjoy unwinding with a cocktail at the end of a long and difficult day. Alcohol though is a major cause of disrupted sleep patterns and snoring. It’s therefore vital that you keep your consumption down right before bed. Although alcohol can help you get to sleep, it disturbs REM sleep, one of the most important parts of your sleep cycle. It can also alter the production of melatonin which we know plays a vital role in our body’s circadian rhythm.
11. Create the Right Environment
You’re going to spend a large chunk of your life in the bedroom so it’s important that you make it your haven. Make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature, and that any external noise is reduced. Your curtains or blinds should be effective so that they block out natural light. Your bedroom should be a clean, cozy environment that you enjoy stepping into. It’s always a good idea to invest in good bedding and if possible take a look at an adjustable bed their quality has gone up while their prices have come down.
12. Don’t Take Long Naps
Short daytime naps can have a really positive effect on our general well-being. This is proven in countries which culturally encourage a siesta or rest in the afternoon. Although napping can affect us all in different ways, it’s important to get the length of the nap right. Long or irregular naps can confuse our body clock and may cause us problems getting to sleep at night. As a general rule, try not to nap more than twenty to thirty minutes during the day.
13. Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day
Caffeine can help to focus the mind and increase our sporting performance. Before bed, it’s best to avoid anything that’s going to make us more alert. It’s thought that caffeine can stay in the blood for up to eight hours. It’s therefore important to be mindful about when you have your last cup of coffee of the day. Check the ingredients of any soft, fizzy drinks you enjoy. Some drinks contain added caffeine which you may not even be aware of.
14. Put Your Alarm Clock out of Sight
Some alarm clocks may emit light that could have a harmful impact on our sleep. It’s wise then to turn your clock away from you or even place it somewhere it’s out of sight. If you wake up during the night, it’s best to avoid checking your alarm clock. This could increase anxiety about getting back off to sleep and whether or not you’ll wake up in time. Checking the time acts as a prompt to wake you up and can increase your arousal level. This can make it harder to get back to sleep. Try putting your clock in a drawer or under your bed. Resist checking the time if you wake up before you have to.
Many of us spend a large part of your day working on a computer. Practicing some stretching or yoga techniques could be extremely beneficial. It can also help you to sleep better. Yoga can be energizing but it can equally have a relaxing effect. There are a number of exercises that can easily be performed before you go to bed. Postures that promote good sleep are mostly seated forward bends. The forward movement of the spine can have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Everything You Need for a Good Night’s Sleep
We want to make your dream come true and help you to get the sleep you deserve. Our top tips will set you on the right road to achieving a good night’s sleep every day of the week. Sleeping well brings with it enormous health benefits. We’re here to help you with a range of issues that can affect your ability to sleep properly. Please get in touch so that we can give you more useful help and advice.
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