Sleep deprivation can affect your mental function, mood, and motivation. Here are some methods you can use for a good night’s sleep.
Do you find yourself feeling exhausted during the day but then you find it impossible to get to sleep at night? You’re not alone.
In 1942, 8 hours of sleep was the norm but now it is 6.8 according to a 2018 study from The University of Surrey. Our lives are so busy sleep has become a luxury.
Lack of sleep can cause a plethora of issues including depression, irritability, low sex drive, lack of energy and even weight gain.
Try these top eleven tips to achieve a good night’s sleep:
Things like streetlights and sun-light can trick your body into thinking that it is time to wake up. If you find that your room doesn’t get dark enough, block-out curtains may be the answer for you. Block-out curtains will prevent you from being rudely awakened as soon as the sun rises, making for far more pleasant mornings.
Ditch the caffeine in the afternoon:
As caffeine can stay in your bloodstream for six to eight hours, it is not recommended to drink coffee within six hours before bed. Having caffeine in your system can make it hard for you to relax. If you can’t bring yourself to ditch that afternoon brew, try caffeine-free tea or coffee alternative.
Try swapping your afternoon for a decaf coffee, low caffeinated tea, or no caff at all, and opt for a herbal tea instead.
Avoid screen time before bed:
Blue light mimics the effects of natural light and can trick your body into thinking it is daytime. If you cannot avoid technology before bed, try using apps that filter out blue light or try wearing blue light filtering glasses.
Two hours before bed you can also start to prepare your home to ensure optimal sleeping conditions. Make your home dim and limit TV and phone time.
Instead read a book or magazine, to help unwind your mind before sleep.
Get into a regular sleep schedule:
Try to get your body familiar with a regular sleep schedule so that your body knows when it is time to switch off for the day. Try to do this consistently and not just on weekdays, as going back and forth on your sleep schedule can mess up your circadian rhythm.
Choose a time you can rely on your body to be in a restful state. Set up your bedroom so it’s a dark and peaceful atmosphere. Wear earplugs to block any noises which may disrupt your sleep, and wear a sleep mask to ensure it’s pitch black in your room when you are trying to go to sleep.
Limit liquid consumption before bed:
Having a full bladder can subconsciously wake you up. If you consume a lot of liquid before going to bed you risk waking up in the middle of the night and it may be difficult to get back to sleep.
If you have an empty bladder before going to bed, your body will be able to adequately relax without the worry of having to get up to use the toilet.
Reduce physical activity before bed:
Exercise can improve your ability to fall asleep, but not if you’re doing it right before bed. Strenuous exercise can increase your adrenaline levels and heart rate, making you restless and unable to sleep.
Make sure to allow plenty of time between exercising and sleeping, so your body has time to unwind and relax. Meditation is an easy way to help reduce stress and lower physical activity in the body and prep your mind and body for sleep.
Sleep in your own bed:
Assuming your bed is of a good enough quality, you will get a better night sleep in your own bed rather than anywhere else in the house. If you have guests staying over, you may feel obliged to give them your bed and for you to sleep on the couch, or a foldout sofa bed.
However, if they can sleep more easily than you, don’t feel bad about letting them sleep in these places instead.
Make sure bedding is clean and comfortable:
There’s nothing better than getting into a clean and comfortable bed. Consider investing in some quality bedding so that you have something to look forward to when you go to bed each night.
Plus, having clean sheets will ensure that your sleep space is free of allergens that can cause sleep discomfort.
Take a bath before bed:
You don’t want to get straight into bed after a busy day. If you struggle to relax, you should try to unwind and de-stress before trying to sleep. Try to find a relaxation routine that works for you.
For example, a warm bath or leisurely walk will prepare your body for relaxation, and in turn, improve your sleep.
Try a natural sleep supplement:
There are many natural supplements on the market that are designed to help you get to sleep. One of the best sleep supplements on the market is Melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that your body naturally produces at night to encourage you to go to sleep. It is a safe, effective alternative to sleeping pills.
With that said, depending on where you live, you may still have to get a prescription to use Melatonin, so keep this in mind when making your decision.
Use your bed for sleeping only:
You need to associate your bed with sleep and nothing else. You want your body to know that it is time for sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. Therefore, you should try to avoid eating in bed or watching television in bed for prolonged periods of time.
There are many ways you can try and improve your sleep. By combining some of the above eleven methods, you should be able to achieve a good night’s sleep in no time.