Sleep is essential to overall health and quality of life. However, some people find it difficult to fall into restful slumber and get-enough shut-eye recommended for each day.
Insomnia, jet lag, working in shifts, or uncomfortable surroundings can affect a person’s quality of sleep. Regardless of these situations, there are ways to help you sleep better. Here are seven easy and effective ways to do so.
1. Create a conducive sleep environment.
Your quality of sleep has a lot to do with your surroundings. If you want to make bedtime as restful as possible, you need to create a comfortable atmosphere in your room. Keep it quiet, well ventilated, and dark. Use curtains, shades or eye masks to block the light. If necessary, use earplugs so you can lower outside noise. Use comfortable mattresses, pillows, and sheets so that your body can relax and sleep well.
2. Build a relaxing routine before sleeping.
Transition your body into bedtime through a pre-sleep routine, which includes relaxing activities at least an hour before sleeping. Take a bath, watch television, or do relaxation exercises to help your body prepare for bedtime. Meanwhile, avoid activities that will stimulate your alertness such as strenuous activities or discussing stressful topics.
3. Go to bed when you’re ready.
It can get frustrating to lay on the bed and not fall asleep. If you experience this, don’t dwell on it too much and feel bad. What you can do is get up and do light activities such as reading or listening to music. Once your eyelids are drooping, it means that you’re ready to hit the sheets and that you can fall asleep easier this time.
4. Steer clear of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before bedtime.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you up at night, so it’s best to avoid it four to six hours before bedtime. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda. Tobacco products should also be avoided before going to bed as they can affect sleep quality.
Alcohol typically causes you to become drowsy or sleepy, but it can act as a stimulant hours later and interfere with your sleep.
5. Get enough light exposure.
Light exposure is not the culprit for poor sleep quality. In fact, it’s an important component that’s essential for your health. It’s just a matter of managing how much light your body absorbs within the day.
During daytime, expose yourself to sunlight and let as much natural light in your workspace or living area as this will help you stay more alert. However, during nighttime, avoid looking at screened devices two hours before bedtime and keep the lights dimmed or turned off as you sleep.
6. Follow a sleeping schedule.
Go to bed and wake up on the same time everyday even on weekends. This will create a foundation for your internal clock, which will teach your body to go to sleep or be alert on particular times of the day. With that, you can lessen the struggle of getting out of bed or going into slumber especially on days when you have to go to work.
7. Get moving!
Exercise is essential for metabolism, body temperature, fitness, and alertness. But aside from these health benefits, it can also contribute to a better quality of sleep if you time your workouts accordingly.
Vigorous workouts should be done at least three hours prior to bed or even earlier, This way, you body can cool down enough and reach a relaxed state conducive for sleeping.