Do you often find yourself tossing and turning for hours while trying to sleep at night and thinking about how you could sleep better? Before you even know it, you’re just two or three hours away until sunrise and you still haven’t slept, yet. Well, you are not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 70 million Americans have sleep problems.
Sleep deprivation might look like just an ordinary and minor issue at the surface. However, the truth is it wrecks you from the inside and consistently hinders you from functioning at your prime. Besides, it can be so annoying to be wide awake while you are trying hard to sleep, and yet, drowsy when you are trying to be alert. We definitely know how you feel. Hence, we’ve gathered some simple tips that can help you sleep better and be more productive during the day.
Listen to Your Body’s Natural Sleep-Wake Cycle
Being in sync and consistent with your body’s natural sleep and waking time can help promote a good night sleep. If you keep a regular schedule for waking-up and sleeping, you will feel more energized and refreshed than if you sleep the same number of hours but at different times. Even if you alter your sleep schedule to just one or two hours, it will still affect your circadian rhythm.
To help you follow your normal sleep-wake cycle, choose a sleeping time when you normally feel tired. Stick to a regular sleep and wake-up schedule every day. You will know if you’re getting enough sleep and if your body has adjusted if you no longer need an alarm clock just to be awake in the morning. And like what was said earlier, upon waking up, you will feel more refreshed and energized.
Manage Your Exposure to Light
During the day, try to get as much exposure to sunlight as possible. It would be better to enjoy daylight closer to the time you get up. Try having your coffee outside, walk your dog at the park, or eat your breakfast by a sunny window. The kiss of sunlight on your face will energize you and help you wake up.
Getting ample sunlight exposure during the day won’t only boost your energy, but it will also help you get better sleep quality and duration at night. If getting daily sunlight exposure isn’t practical or possible for you, try to invest in an artificial bright-light device or bulbs.
At night, try to limit exposure to light, especially to blue light, as much as possible. Exposure to light at nighttime tricks your body into thinking that it’s daytime. Avoid bright screens and avoid watching TV 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Exercise Regularly – But Not Before Bedtime
People who exercise during the day don’t just have better sleep at night, but they are also more active and less drowsy during the day. Hence, it’s like hitting two birds with one stone. However, you should also consider the time. If you can’t find time to exercise in the day, try to do it early in the evening or at least three hours before bedtime.
Be Mindful with What You Eat and Drink
Your diet and daytime eating habits play an important role in how well you sleep at night. Consuming a large meal before bedtime can lead to poor sleep. It’s better to have your dinner early in the evening and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours before going to sleep. Drinking lots of fluid may also lead to frequent bathroom trips at night. Hence, it’s also advisable to avoid drinking fluids 1 to 2 hours before going to bed.
If you love caffeinated drinks so much, better take them during the day. Caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for about 6 to 8 hours. Hence, it is not recommended to drink coffee after 3 to 4 p.m., especially if you have trouble sleeping at night. And although drinking alcohol at night may help you relax, it can interfere with your sleep cycle once you are out. Alcohol is also known to cause sleep problems, snoring, and sleep apnea.
Take a Relaxing Bath or Shower
Taking a hot batch 90 minutes before bedtime can help promote a good night sleep. If you are not used to taking a full bath at night, you can simply bathe your feet in hot water. A foot bath before bed can help you relax and improve the quality of your sleep.
Relax and Clear Your Head at Night
Stress, anger, anxiety, and extreme emotions can make it difficult for you to sleep at night. If you often catch yourself preoccupied with these at bedtime, you should learn to embrace some helpful relaxation techniques. Try doing deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization. Aromatherapy and the sound of mellow music can also help you get that much-awaited good night sleep.
Make Your Room Conducive for Sleep and Relaxation
Having a relaxing sleep environment is one way of telling your body that it’s time to rest and let go of the stresses of the day. You will be surprised that even a small change in your room can lead to big changes in the quality of your sleep.
It’s not enough to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day. The quality of your sleep, which is widely influenced by a regular sleep-wake cycle, is equally important.
Everyone needs to hustle to earn a living, but in the process of doing so, we should not put sleep and relaxation in the sideline. In addition, sleep is crucial in order for us to achieve optimum health and well-being. So, better prepare your room, indulge in a relaxing hot bath and get yourself ready for an amazing snooze. Goodnight!
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