Sleep plays an important role in your physical and mental health. It helps the brain get rid of the toxins that build up when you are awake. It is also involved in the healing and repair of the heart and blood vessels.
Lack of enough sleep can affect how your body functions. It can have adverse consequences on your overall health. According to CDC, ongoing sleep deficiency can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and diabetes.
In today’s lifestyle, it is hard to manage work, along with family and social life. That has a significant effect is on sleep. Many people think that sleep deprives for various reasons such as stress, anxiety, workload, etc. Others think that not getting enough sleep is a grown-up thing.
Sleep deprivation is killing us silently. It is not only damaging your physical wellbeing but also affects your mental health and overall performance. In this post, we will share scientifically proven tips to improve your sleep.
1. Maintaining a good sleep hygiene
Many people ignore this step and head on to trying other remedies to improve sleep without knowing that it is the most essential. Good sleep hygiene refers to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Having a healthy and consistent sleep schedule is not only crucial for improving sleep, but it also has impressive effects on our overall health. It can help reduce anxiety, regulate mood, and keep you energized throughout the day.
Power naps can help keep you energized throughout the day. They can also help improve your concentration, but they can also hurt your sleep. If you are trying to improve your sleep, you should avoid afternoon naps. They increase the risk of having trouble falling asleep at night, and unfortunately, you can’t recover the missed night’s sleep with afternoon naps.
3. Limit blue light exposure
Smartphones, tablets, laptops, TVs, and other electronic devices emit blue light that has a damaging effect on the overall health of the human body. It tricks the brain and makes it believe that it is daytime. That reduces the release of the melatonin hormone that is responsible for relaxation and sleep. To improve your sleep, you should limit using smartphones and other electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime.
4. Get enough daylight during the day
Getting enough daylight during the day can help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. This is the natural internal process that regulates the sleep and wake cycle. The body relies on natural light to figure out what time it is. If your circadian rhythm is not working well, you are likely to experience trouble falling asleep. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, natural daylight and artificial bright light (light therapy) are great for insomnia and depression patients.
Regular exercise is good for your sleep, overall health, and brain function. The time your workout matters. You should avoid exercising two hours before bedtime. That is because exercise makes the body active and can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Even if it is a nap, your body and brain won’t get quality rest.
6. Go to bed only when you feel sleepy
Going to bed when you are not sleepy can affect your sleep. You will have difficulty falling asleep. If you are not feeling sleepy and it is time to sleep, you should consider a relaxing activity such as reading your favorite book or anything else that you like until you feel tired. Going to bed as soon as you start feeling drowsy will help you fall asleep quickly and give your body and brain a quality rest.
7. Resolve your worries before bedtime
Notting down what is on your mind and set it aside for tomorrow can help resolve worries and concerns that make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Stress management activities such as setting priorities and getting organized can also help improve your sleep. Meditation can also ease anxiety.
8. Get a quality mattress and pillow
The quality of your mattress might be the reason you are experiencing difficulty falling asleep and waking up tired. Your beddings need to be comfortable enough to make you feel relaxed. The older your mattress and pillow get, the more damages they do to your body and the more sleep problems they cause. They also accumulate dust and other allergens that cause various diseases.
Some of the above tips will be easy to include and maintain in your daily routine than others. However, if you stick with all of them, they will increase your chances of achieving restful sleep.