Quality sleep is essential if you want to feel healthy and be able to function well. The reality is, though, that many adults are not getting the quality or amount of sleep that they need to function properly each day. Instead, many get through their days of poor sleep. While this may be the reality for many, it shouldn't have to be. There can be lots of simple ways that you can start improving your sleep quality, or at least getting to the bottom of why it isn't ideal. If you are looking for some ideas that can help you understand why your sleep quality is what it is and how to improve it if necessary, then here are some things to keep in mind.
Check Your Mental Health
One of the first things you should do when you are looking to improve the quality of sleep that you get looks into your mental health. What many don't realize is that a mental health issue could be the root cause of their inability to sleep well. From depression to anxiety, there are many different mental conditions that can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep at night. To make sure that it isn't a mental health concern that is keeping you up, it can be beneficial to seek out an ADHD doctor online or another mental health professional.
Make Adjustments To Your Diet
After you have figured out whether or not it may be a mental health concern that is keeping you up, it can be a good idea to begin focusing on your diet and how it may be impacting your sleep quality. Even though most are aware that what they eat can affect how they feel in general, they may not understand how their diet can impact their sleep quality. When you eat lots of foods that are high in refined carbs, or that contain high levels of sugar it can cause your blood sugar to spike and crash. This means that your energy levels will also be spiking and crashing and that you may find yourself feeling tired when you should be awake, and wired when it is time for bed.
Understandably, this can make it more difficult for you to sleep well. One of the best things you can do to avoid this is to begin cutting down on the number of sugars and carbs that you consume on a daily basis. While you are cutting down on sugar and carbs, you should also be working to include more fresh produce and lean meats, which can be great for stabilizing blood sugar. If you aren't sure where to begin when it comes to improving your diet, then it can be a good idea to start keeping a food journal. While some may think that they are eating a healthy diet, they may realize that they weren't eating as well as they may have thought after tracking some of their meals. By keeping a food journal, you can gain a clearer picture of your eating habits, and be better able to cut out the foods that are holding you back.
Avoid Certain Beverages
Just as it can be important to track what you are eating, it can also be important to track the beverages that you are consuming as well. This can be particularly important when it comes to drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol.
Caffeine can be great for waking up in the mornings. This is because it is a nervous system stimulant. Stimulating your nervous system can be helpful for staying alert, which can be beneficial if you are trying to feel energized. However, if you want to be able to rest and fall asleep, it can be highly detrimental and can prevent you from getting the rest that you and your body need.
One good way to make sure that your caffeine consumption isn't causing issues when you try to sleep is to make sure that you are limiting your intake in general. The less caffeine you consume, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep at night. Not only that, but it is also important for you to keep track of when you are consuming it, as well. This is because caffeine can stay active in your system for up to several hours after you have consumed it. By making sure that you only drink it during the early hours of the day, you can prevent yourself from being awake all night.
Along with caffeine, it is also important to watch your alcohol consumption if you want to sleep well. Some may not think that alcohol causes sleep issues because they can fall asleep easily after drinking. The reality is, though, that while you may be able to fall asleep easily after consuming alcohol, it can still be difficult to stay asleep. This is due to the fact that alcohol disrupts sleep cycles. So, while you may find it easy to fall asleep, it may be hard for you to stay asleep throughout the night. By limiting your intake to only a few drinks, or opting to drink only on an occasional basis, you can help ensure that your alcohol consumption isn't ruining your sleep quality.
Create a Comfortable Environment
Along with the foods and beverages that you consume, the kind of environment that you sleep in can have a lot to do with the overall quality of sleep that you will be able to get. A bedroom that is too hot or bright can make you uncomfortable, and prevent you from falling into a deep sleep. This can also be true of a bedroom that is exposed to too much noise, as well.
Before making any changes to your bedroom, it can be a good idea to assess it thoroughly, and zero in on what specifically could be making it uncomfortable or difficult to rest well in. If it is too bright, then getting room darkening blinds could be a good idea. If it is too hot, then you may want to begin turning down your thermostat before bed. Additionally, if your bedroom is too loud, then noise-canceling panels may be helpful. By taking the time to improve your sleeping environment, you can often improve your sleep in a meaningful way.
The Bottom Line
Good sleep is essential for good health, and to function well throughout the day. That being said, many still struggle to get the sleep they need. The upside is, though, that there can be many simple ways to start getting the quality rest your body needs.
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.