The brain is quite active during sleep and carries out several functions. Sleep is essential to every process in the body and affects our physical and mental development. Our ability to fight diseases and the development of immunity and metabolism also depend on our sleep cycle. However, due to a sedentary lifestyle, for most of us, getting adequate sleep has become difficult. Here, instead of popping sleeping pills that will affect your well-being in the long run, it is better to work on certain methods for restful sleep, such as those mentioned below.
Simple tips to improve your sleep
- Reduce exposure to blue light in the evening
While exposure to light during the day is beneficial, it is contrary at night. There are several methods to reduce blue light exposure at night, such as wearing glasses that block blue light, downloading apps that fix the radiation of blue light on your devices, or apps that block blue light on your smartphone. Moreover, stop watching TV and turn off bright lights at least 2 hours before sleeping.
- Avoid consuming caffeine late in the day
Caffeine has multiple benefits like enhancing focus, energy, and sports performance. However, when consumed late in the day, it stimulates your nervous system and might stop your body from relaxing naturally at night. Consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bed can worsen the quality of your sleep. However, if you do crave coffee late in the day, stick to the decaffeinated one.
- Reduce long daytime naps
Sleeping during the day can confuse your internal clock and cause you to struggle with sleep at night. While longer daytime naps affect the body, the effect of napping during daytime depends on the individual.
- Try to wake up and sleep at consistent timings
The circadian rhythm of our body functions on a set loop by aligning itself with sunrise and sunset. Hence, being consistent with your sleeping and waking times can aid in long-term good quality sleep.
- Avoid alcohol
Having a couple of drinks regularly can negatively affect your sleep and hormones. Alcohol is known to increase the symptoms of sleep apnea, disrupted sleep patterns, and snoring as well. It alters the nighttime melatonin production, which plays an important role in the body’s circadian rhythm. It has been noted that alcohol consumption at night decreased nighttime elevations in the human growth hormone (HGH), which has several key functions.
- Optimise the environment of your bedroom
The bedroom and its environment together form key essentials to a good night’s sleep. These factors include noise, external lights, furniture arrangement, and temperature. To optimise your bedroom environment, minimise artificial lights and external noise. Also, invest in a good quality mattress and ensure that your bedroom is a place of enjoyment, relaxation, and peace.
- Avoid eating late in the evening
Eating late in the evening or waking up for late-night snacks can negatively affect your sleep quality and the natural release of melatonin and HCG. Here, eating high-carb meals 4 hours before bed helped people fall asleep faster, while in some cases, a low-carb diet also showed sleep improvement.
- Clear your mind in the evening
It is important to have a pre-sleep routine that helps you relax. Practising relaxation techniques before bed has been shown to improve sleep quality and treat insomnia. For some, it might be a relaxing massage, while for some, it could be reading a book, meditation, deep breathing, visualization, or listening to music. You can try different methods to see what works for you the best.
- Take a shower before bed
A relaxing bath or shower before sleep is a popular method to improve sleep. Studies indicate that this practice can help improve the overall quality of sleep in older adults and help them fall asleep faster. Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable taking a full bath at night, simply bathe your feet in hot water, which will help you relax and improve sleep.
Follow these tips diligently and you would notice a marked difference in the quality of your sleep.