5 Ways To Get Better SleepApril 28, 2021
Getting sleep is one thing – but getting better sleep? That’s something that all of us should be striving for due to its numerous health benefits. Far from just allowing our bodies to recharge, a good night’s sleep has been linked to reduced stress, improved concentration and productivity, better immune function, and – you guessed it – a healthier heart.
But how do you switch from ordinary sleep to one that leaves you energized and ready to go the next day? Here are five ways to make the transition so that you can be a healthier, more well-rested you!
1. Take a walk.
It doesn’t even have to be thousands of steps a day! Low-impact physical activity like walking has been linked to better sleep according to a study, especially for women. The fun thing about this is that it has nothing to do with how long you sleep either. The impact and improvement is on the quality of sleep itself. This means that if you need to wake up early or can’t sleep in as much as you want to, it’s ok! You’ll still wake up refreshed.
2. Consume food wisely.
The food we eat and drink can affect how restful our sleep is, and this is especially true during the hours leading up to bedtime. Caffeine, for example, has been known to cause sleep problems for up to twelve hours after consumption. And contrary to popular belief, alcohol isn’t as effective – studies show that instead, it can disrupt sleep patterns due to an increase in symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea.
It’s also recommended to avoid big meals right before sleep (within two hours of bedtime), so there’s an option to either move dinner earlier in the evening or opt for a much lighter meal instead. It’s best to avoid drinking too many fluids as well; this is so you don’t wake up needing to go to the bathroom multiple times during the night. Refined carbs and sugary food also has certain effects that may pull you out of deep sleep.
3. Nap in moderation.
Ever heard of power naps? They’re all well and good until they become a long and irregular daytime nap that disrupts your internal clock, confusing your body and causing difficulty in sleeping at night. For most people, napping for 30 minutes or less during the day helps enhance brain function – unless you’re part of the lucky few who take regular daytime naps and thus, don’t experience disruption in nighttime sleep. It’s different for every person, so check what works for you.
4. Say no to blue light.
There’s a reason why most smartphones and phone apps have a dark mode feature nowadays: it’s to help reduce blue light exposure. Blue light has the effect of making your brain think it’s still daytime (the sun is one well-known source!), which in turn affects the production of melatonin, the hormone that assists with deep sleep and relaxation.
If you can, turn off any bright lights including devices that emit blue light such as the TV, your mobile phone, or computers, at least 2 hours before going to bed. You can also get glasses that block blue light. If you really must use your PC or phone, download apps that block blue light so it doesn’t negatively impact your sleep.
5. Make changes to your environment.
Your bedroom setup is as helpful to better sleep than most of the items on this list. Factors such as noise, temperature, lighting, and even how the furniture in your bedroom is arranged can impact the quality of your sleep. Where you can, make the necessary adjustments by ensuring noise and artificial light is kept to a minimum. Keeping your bedroom as relaxing and calm as possible will also help you get better sleep in the long run.
Ready for some proper sleep? We hope so! These are just small things that you can take note of to have a more relaxing evening that ultimately leads to great sleep, and an even greater morning after. Just like eating nutritious food and getting some exercise in, good sleep is detrimental to improved health. That being said, have a good night and rest well!
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