Sleep is essential to our mental and physical health. Despite its obvious benefits most people find themselves deprived of quality sleep. There are many causes of poor sleep patterns. Beyond making you moody and tired, poor sleep habits could lead to serious health concerns such as type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity.
To prevent these disorders here are a few often overlooked and simple tips for getting better sleep suggested by major organizations such as the CDC, National Institute on Aging, and the National Institutes of Health.
Create Sleep-Friendly Bedrooms
One of the essential tips for ensuring a good night’s sleep is to make your bedroom a comfortable place to relax. Though this seems obvious, it is a factor that is often overlooked. You should design your bedroom such that it facilitates a good night’s sleep.
1. High-performance Pillow and Mattress
You spend hours on your mattress each night. Therefore, investing in the right mattress is paramount. A good mattress provides support and comfort for you. Your mattress should be able to spread your weight evenly and relieve pressure points. You can read more in this article on what pressure is recommended as relieving.
2. Limit Light Disruption
Excess light in your bedroom could disrupt your circadian rhythm and cut-off your sleep. Having a sleep mask or dark curtains over the windows can block excess light that might interfere with your rest.
3. Quality Bedding
Your blankets and sheets play a mega role in making your bed feel more inviting. Go for bedding that is soft and comfortable on your skin, and maintain comfortable temperatures during the night.
4. Regulate Temperatures
Too high or too low temperatures can interfere with your ability to sleep. The ideal temperature for a good night’s sleep varies from individual to individual. Research says that the ideal temperature that supports sleep is 65 degrees.
Adopt a Sleep Schedule
To facilitate a good night’s sleep, you have to take control of your daily sleep schedule. Here are some strategies you can implement.
1. Fixed Sleep and Wake-up Time
Sleeping and waking up at the same time every day will help your internal clock to adjust, and you can get quality sleep. You know you have achieved your target when you are able to wake up without an alarm. Stick to your sleep schedule even on weekends.
2. Regulate Naps
To get better sleep at night, avoid taking long naps during the day. Also, avoid napping too in the afternoon and evening as it will be harder to sleep at your usual sleep time. The best time to take a nap is after lunch and do not nap for more than 20 minutes.
3. Get Adequate Sleep
Considering the set bedtime and wake-up time you set, you can work backward and set the number of hours you want to sleep in a night. You should ensure you get the recommended amount of sleep every night. To achieve this without affecting your sleep schedule, give yourself a few extra minutes before bed to wind up the day, and get ready for sleep.
4. Create a Pre-Bed Routine
If you have sleep problems, it’s natural to think that the problem starts when you get in bed. The truth is, the time leading to bedtime plays an important role in preparing you to fall asleep. When you get to bed, do not focus on getting asleep. Instead, focus on relaxing. Here are some pre-bed routines that can improve your sleep.
5. Wind Down 30 Minutes Earlier
It is easier to fall asleep if you are at ease. Soothing music, quiet reading, mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, relaxation exercise, and low impact stretching can help you wind-up and get into the right mind to sleep.
6. Put Away Your Devices
Laptops, phones, and tablets can keep your brain active, making it hard to wind down. The light from devices also suppresses the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. Blue light from technological devices lowers the production of melatonin. Avoid your devices at least thirty minutes before bedtime.
Whether you are waking up in the middle of the night or finding it hard to get asleep, these tips will help you get a better night’s sleep. Most people are not able to implement all these changes at once. You could start with small adjustments and work your way up towards better sleeping habits.