Not getting enough sleep at night?
Being sleep-deprived isn't much fun. It affects your daily life when you lose sleep. Simple tasks become difficult, focusing becomes difficult, and your patience is practically nonexistent.
See Related: Sleep Cycles
By the end of the workday, you feel like you’ve been mentally and physically drained, the drag of your eyelids combined with the overwhelming feeling of sleepiness pulling you down.
All of this can feel out of your control, especially when you’re trying your hardest to get some sleep but those metaphorical sheep just aren’t leaping.
Avoid the sleep medicines if you can and try out these natural methods to obtain a healthy sleep schedule!
See Related: Fitness Tracker with Sleep Tracking
Here are some sleep tips to help you sleep better
1. Relaxing is the key to a good night’s sleep
Wind down when you are in bed. Darken the sleeping area and muffle down any unwanted noises in the room.
Learning breathing techniques could go a long way to helping you fall asleep faster and have a better night's sleep.
Also, make a comfortable bed. Your mattress and pillow are crucial to how well you sleep. Invest in new ones if you don’t link your current ones.
Never rely on alcohol as a sleep aid because it makes your sleep less restful.
And finally, ban any electronics for 1-2 hours before going to bed.
2. Watch what & when you eat
Try not to eat 3-4 hours before going to bed at night.
For dinner, consider eating foods rich in Tryptophan. Tryptophan will improve the quality of your sleep. Such foods are bananas, turkey, milk & dairy products, almonds, cabbage, oats, etc.
3. Sometimes it’s hard, even for the best sleepers…
Consider taking some herbal medicine when it’s really hard to fall asleep. Try not to make it a daily habit though. Chamomile, valerian, and melatonin are great herbal sleep remedies.
4. Take control of stress
High-stress levels result in low sleep quality. Low sleep quality results in even higher stress levels. It’s a never-ending loop. And something has to be done about it.
Relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, guided imagery, time management skills, and daily physical activity are just some of the things that could help you reduce stress in your life.
5. Consider power napping during the day
Consider having 1-3 “power” naps during the day to reset your body. It won’t only increase your energy, but it will also boost your creativity and productivity.
Try not to nap after 5 pm because it will hurt your sleeping schedule and routines, thus resulting in getting less sleep.
6. Start your day with getting better sleep in mind
The morning is an integral part of how well you sleep during the night.
Consider moving your alarm clock further away from your bed so you won’t be able to use the snooze button. Also, consider sticking to a consistent wake-up time.
You'll find that once these become habits, your days will become much more nutritious and productive which will lead to weight loss success & better night’s sleep.
7. Get Away From Blue Light
Blue light can affect your body’s natural methods of encouraging sleep. Melatonin, popularly known as a medicine that helps with sleep, is actually a hormone essential for sleep! It can be suppressed by exposure to blue light which can affect the body's circadian rhythm (internal clock). Late-night habits like scrolling through social media and watching Netflix every night are examples of exposure to blue light. There are apps and filters on your electronic devices that can help reduce the effects of blue light at night. Check your screen time as well to measure time spent exposed to blue light. Watching out for overexposure to blue light before bed can improve the quality of sleep!
8. Use A Warm Bath
If you’re finding difficulty relaxing, take a warm bath! Light a candle, shake some Epsom salts or drop a bath bomb in, bask in the quiet or play music, whatever suits your fancy. Taking time to mentally step away from work or stress can help you reset! If you find yourself in Florida, where it’s really too hot for warm baths, take a cold shower to cool down!
9. Use a Sleep Tracker To Check For Sleep Problems
A quick note-- sleep trackers are not medical devices, so it’s not going to be as precise as a medical device. Do not use a sleep tracker as a method to diagnose any sleep disorders.
Sleep trackers can help raise awareness of the importance of sleep and issues that arise during sleep (unhealthy sleep habits). They are a cheaper method to allow help in considering underlying causes of lack in quality of sleep.
10. Sleep in A Cool Room
Our body temperature drops when we fall asleep, though some run hotter than most, so having your room run a bit cooler can encourage sleep to come faster (and stay longer). Poor body temperature regulation can cause certain forms of insomnia, according to research done at the University of South Australia (1). By dropping the temperature, your body can cool down enough to reach deep sleep.
11. Go For Total Darkness
As mentioned above, bright light can suppress the release of melatonin, a hormone essential for sleep. Darkness encourages the production of melatonin, while light exposure encourages the release of serotonin. With total darkness, the release of melatonin, as well as the amount, is put into full force and resulting in better sleep. Your sleep environment is essential in obtaining a proper amount of sleep each night!
12. Buy Earplugs
If you find yourself in a noisy area, buying earplugs is a great recommendation for better sleep. That can sound like cars driving past, noisy neighbors moving their furniture around at two in the morning, or a snoring partner (or pet). Eliminate noisy distractions and buy earplugs to obtain that much-needed sleep!
13. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is a widely known method in improving sleep (just try not to do it before bed so that the endorphins released have time to settle down). The benefits of exercise are wide and plenty, but they can help improve sleep by relieving stress and anxiety (by releasing feel-good chemicals) and tiring you out by getting rid of that excess energy,
14. Meditate or Yoga Before Bed
Yoga or meditating before bed can be extremely relaxing. It can also guide you away from stressful thoughts or feelings, as well as kinks or tight muscles, that are preventing you from settling down before bed. Use these methods as a relaxing bedtime routine to relax and destress before bed!
15. Test and Track
Test and track what method(s) work best for you! Finding out what is working and what’s not can help you get your sleeping rhythm down pat. If you find you've had a good night's rest the next day, track it and try it again! Some methods can even be combined together for ultimate relaxation for better sleep!
Lack Of Sleep And The Human Body
Sleep deficiency (short or long-term) coincides with chronic health issues (mental and physical health repercussions). According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke (2). Sleep plays a vital role in our health as human beings.
It’s necessary for our body to recover and rest, doing so can help our physical and mental health while rejuvenating our quality of life. Lack of sleep can have serious side effects. It can alter activity in the brain, leading to issues with coping mechanisms, focus, and problem-solving skills. It is also tied to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behaviors.
Do yourself a favor and invest in your sleep. Maintain a healthy sleep routine to obtain regular sleep to get those hours of bedtime rest needed for a healthier and happier you. Try out these methods for better sleep!