Sleep may sound pretty simple. You go to bed, make yourself comfortable then close your eyes. Yet, as the nighttime comes, it can sometimes be difficult. You end up tossing and turning and gravitating towards your phone and anything else that surrounds you. Then, the next thing you know, it’s already morning and you’ve got dark circles under your eyes.
It’s common knowledge that sleep is vital for a person’s health and survival. During your sleep cycle, your body gets the chance to repair and rejuvenate itself for the next day ahead. When you haven’t slept well in the past, you may have noticed that you were easily irritated and grumpy. Poor quality sleep can take a serious toll on your body’s energy level, productivity, and emotional balance.
So, why didn’t have a good sleep last night? Your sleep quality is often influenced by daytime habits, lifestyle choices, and even nighttime routines. If you’ve found yourself wide awake at 3am, you’ve probably done something that triggered your brain to remain active until the wee hours of the morning.
However, there are ways to potentially aid your sleep and alter any disruptive habits. Read on below for six ways that can help you achieve a good night’s sleep.
Improve Your Sleep Environment
Begin with improving your sleep environment because sometimes, your sleep is influenced by your environment too. Make sure your bedroom is organized and clean enough to sleep in, as a cluttered space can sometimes be stress-inducing.
Furthermore, make sure your bed’s mattress is comfortable enough for you to sleep in. Each person is a different type of sleeper and may need a specific type of mattress. If you want to learn more, there’s a review at Reclaim The Internet’s website, exploring the best mattress-in-a-box for different sleepers. Thus, don’t forget to consider your preference and the type of sleeper you are when choosing your mattress. The same goes for your pillows.
As for your bedroom’s lighting, make sure the lights are dim enough as too much bright light may trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Temperature regulation is also key for a comfortable night.
Keep Track Of Your Body’s Sleep-Wake Cycle
One of the crucial strategies to consider to achieve a better night’s sleep is to be in sync with your body’s circadian rhythm. For those who don’t know, your circadian rhythm is responsible for regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle. The best way you can fix your circadian rhythm is by strictly following a sleeping schedule.
You can do this by going to bed at night and wake up in the morning at the same time, including your day-offs and weekends. Make sure your chosen sleeping schedule will fit your lifestyle and other plans. Soon enough, your body and brain will be used to sleeping and waking up at the same time without even needing an alarm. Additionally, avoid sleeping in during the day or taking long naps as this could ruin your body clock.
Establish A Healthy Nighttime Routine
If you have a morning routine before going off to work, it’s also recommended that you have a nighttime routine. Nighttime rituals can help prepare your brain and body for sleep. Some of the nighttime routines you can start doing include:
- Taking a warm bath
- Listening to a piece of soothing music
- Reading your favorite book
- Drinking your favorite tea or glass of milk
Avoid using your phones or laptop as part of your nighttime routine, as this will only keep your brain active, making it harder for your mind to adjust and prepare for sleep. Moreover, the light emitted on your screens can also trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime.
De-stress And Wind Down
Despite having a nighttime ritual, do you still find yourself being unable to sleep? Perhaps you’re still carrying your problems and overwhelming emotions to bed. Being stressed, worrisome, or angry over someone or something that happened during the day can also make it difficult for you to achieve a night of peaceful sleep. Thus, it’s essential to learn how to manage your stress levels and difficult emotions.
You may do this by doing yoga poses, meditation, or even simple breathing techniques. Deep breathing exercise is done by breathing from your belly rather than from your chest. This is suggested to help drop your blood pressure, heart rate, and street levels, leading to a night of better sleep. Additionally, save yourself from all the worries and remember that tomorrow is another day and another chance for you to resolve any problems you had the day before.
Be Smart With Your Drink And Food Intake
Avoid going to bed starving, and at the same time, avoid eating large and heavy meals when it’s close to bedtime. Consuming big meals at night will keep your digestive system busy and stimulate your brain to work actively. Too much food could also cause stomach trouble or heartburn.
At the same time, you also need to be mindful of drinking alcohol and caffeine at night, as they may disrupt your sleep. Instead, drinking one serve of caffeine in the morning is preferrable. Alcohol may also temporarily make you feel sleepy but may disrupt your sleep later on during the night.
Be Physically Active During The Day
When you’re physically active during the day it’s actually easier for you to sleep at night. As you exercise, your metabolism speeds up, your body temperature increases, and your cortisol production speeds up. Your body’s energy is used up due to physical activity, increasing your chances of sleeping easier at night. However, doing exercises close to bedtime may stimulate your brain and instead interfere with your sleep. Thus, make sure your workouts are scheduled in the early morning or afternoon for better results.
It’s possible to function properly during the next day if you help yourself get enough sleep at night. After all, you can control your sleep quality to some extent, so make sure you don’t deprive yourself of it. Following these tips above will help you achieve the rest your body deserves.
Sleep doesn’t have to be an expensive and lavish thing, but rather a necessity that everyone should get adequate and refreshing amounts of. Additionally, if your brain tells you that your body needs sleep badly, don’t ignore it but instead listen. Your body knows well what it needs, and it is your responsibility to take care of it.
Some nights, quality rest feels impossible to come by. When that happens, it’s important not to stay in bed tossing and turning. Frustration over sleeplessness could lead you to develop anxiety around the bedroom. Instead, go to another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Don’t use electronics, as the blue light from screens disrupts circadian rhythms.
If poor sleep or insomnia is an ongoing issue, keep a sleep diary. A sleep diary can help you identify habits that are interfering with your sleep, like drinking caffeine in the afternoon or eating certain foods at dinner time.
Sometimes, the cause of poor sleep is medical. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Untreated sleep apnea prevents deep, restful sleep and increases the risk of other health problems. Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea.
Along with diet and exercise, quality sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re practicing good sleep hygiene and still struggling with nighttime restlessness or daytime fatigue, it’s time to talk to a healthcare professional.
Chronic sleep problems may be a sign of an underlying health condition, and the sooner you get help, the sooner you can start enjoying quality rest.
If you think you have sleep apnea, contact Alaska Sleep Clinic for your free sleep assessment at any of our four sleep clinics in Alaska: Anchorage, Wasilla, Fairbanks and Soldotna.