Deadlines. Responsibilities. Social life. Life Goals. These are the driving forces of a large part of the population around the world. We hardly take time to rest and, even when we do, it isn’t resting. We are either on our phones or thinking about what we didn’t do and what we need to do. In short, we are an anxious population, a worrying lot and, it is no surprise that the number of depression cases reported is on a steep incline.
Do you know what else suffers in the process, sleep? Sleep allows you to rest in this bustling life, extreme worrying and our inability to stay at the moment, falling asleep is harder. Worse, we aren’t getting enough sleep; voluntarily or involuntarily.
Unfortunately, we all know that we can’t function without enough Zzzz hours. Your hormones will go haywire, your brain and physical performance will tank making you moody, angry, sad and if it continues, you will add on some weight. In short, lack of sleep is bad for you.
How can you go about it and regain a standard sleeping regime? How can you end the endless tossing and turning that sends you to your working desk? Here are 50 sleeping tips for a better night sleep:
1. Exercise regularly
Weight loss is a great motivation besides exercising. However, that isn’t all you get when you work out. Regular exercise improves your ability to sleep, and it reduces your symptoms of insomnia. You will also get to fall asleep faster, your anxiety will go down, and you will sleep more.
You should be careful though; exercising can make sleeping harder if you work out just before bed. This happens because exercising has stimulatory effects and falling asleep when you have adrenaline pumping through your system is hard.
2. Lower your blue light exposure in the evening
Simply put, limit the usage of smartphones and computers in the evening. However, since we are always trying to finish work or we are catching up with friends on social media, we can’t avoid using these tech devices. The problem is that blue light tricks your body to think that it is daytime.
Instead, you can download apps that block blue light from these devices. You may also get glasses that block blue light or turn off the TV and bright lights two hours before going to bed.
3. Increase your exposure to bright light during the day
Your sleep-wake pattern is called a circadian rhythm. This is simply an internal mechanism that controls your waking and sleeping hours. The circadian rhythm controls hormones which affect your brain and your body as well as other hormones. The rhythm tells your body when it’s time to sleep or wake up.
Bright light keeps this rhythm healthy by improving daytime energy levels and determining the duration and quality of nighttime sleep. Exposure to bright light during the day reduces the time it takes significantly the time it takes for someone suffering from depression to fall asleep. If you can’t get daily exposure to the sun, you should consider getting artificial bright lights.
4. Go to bed and wake up at consistent hours
This has to do with your circadian rhythm as well. As the name suggests, it is a rhythm and all beats (hours and hormones) have to be in sync for effective performance. Irregular sleep patterns alter your circadian rhythm by affecting the levels of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep pattern. By being consistent, you increase your chances of falling asleep. High melatonin levels at night will send signals to your brain letting it know that it is time to sleep.
5. Power naps
If you take power naps at irregular hours or nap for too long, you will throw your sleep cycle off balance, and you won’t sleep too well. Again, this affects your circadian rhythm or your internal clock.
6. Reduce external distracters
Noise and bright lights affect your ability to sleep. You can eye masks, and earplugs especially if you are a light sleeper and if you don’t live alone.
7. Right temperature
If the room feels too warm or too cold, you won’t be able to fall asleep. You can remedy the temperature issue by keeping the room temperature cool. You sleep better in a cool room of about 70 degrees F or 20 degrees Celsius.
8. Avoid consumption of caffeine late in the afternoon.
Let lunch time be your last call for caffeine. By midafternoon, you should have had your final dose of caffeine – tea or coffee. While caffeine is an incredible beverage/ stimulant that increases your productivity especially in the afternoon, intake of caffeine in the afternoon overstimulates your nervous system, and your body won’t be able to relax at night.
So, to improve your quality of sleep, don’t take caffeine 6-8 hours before your bedtime as that is the amount of time caffeine stays in your body. If you must have coffee, go for decaf.
9. Put down that glass of wine
Even though you may feel groggy after downing a few glasses of wine, or any other alcoholic drink, alcohol disrupts sleep patterns, causes snoring, and it may also cause sleep apnea. These affect the quality of your sleep. Alcohol lowers melatonin levels and also night time growth hormone levels. Read on the side effects of alcohol abuse to understanding what you are dealing with.
10. Avoid eating late in the evening
You should limit your last bites of sugar and spicy food to two hours before sleeping time. Sugar will make you energetic, and you don’t need energy at night while spices may trigger digestive issues and heartburns.
Also, large meals just before your bedtime will most likely lead to poor sleep because the food disrupts your hormones.
11. Reduce your fluid intake before bed
Excessive urination at night also called nocturia would affect your daytime energy and lower the quality of sleep. Though hydration is important, you should reduce your fluids intake at least two hours before bedtime, especially if you are extremely sensitive.
12. Leave the bed and the bedroom to sex and sleep (and when you are sick)
The main reason why you aren’t sleeping too well is that you take work and social media to bed. If you aren’t ready to sleep, hang out in another room besides your bedroom. No snacking, binge-watching TV or shopping online when on the bed. Your work emails can wait for when you wake up.
These are some of the most effective ways to help you regain control over your sleep pattern. Keep in mind that if the problem persists then, you should see a doctor.
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Till next time everyone! Have a good day! cheers, Jane 💋
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