Ten Tips for Better Sleep
When it comes to leading a healthy life a regular good night’s sleep may be the most influencing factor. Healthy sleep is pivotal in maintaining emotional balance, strong immunity, good metabolism and a healthy heart.
The fact of the matter is despite the known benefits of sleep, very few people will actively get the proper sleep they need each night. This is partially due to societal norms which endorse overworking and “putting in the extra hours”. A detrimental side to this mindset involves frequently sacrificing essential sleep for of better results or more accomplished. Proponents of this approach view sleep as an enemy of progress and an apparent symptom of lethargy and poor discipline.
The scientific facts are quite contrary to the above line of thinking. Without proper sleep it is impossible to sustain our health and successes. People are generally not aware of the importance of sleep nor are they familiar on habits which promote quality sleep. It's important to be aware of why sleep is so important in order to apply the knowledge in your life. To create better awareness on the subject of sleep, we shall discuss in depth, ten tips guaranteed to improve your sleep quality.
Tip #1: Reduce Caffeine Consumption
Caffeine is a proven energy booster and helps keeping a person alert. It is one of the best things to keep you active and help conquer the day. Unfortunately when it comes to sleep, caffeine is one of the biggest enemies without question. Caffeine is readily present in items such as tea, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate. To induce better sleep it is highly recommended to avoid this category of food items. Failure to do so, will cause heavy interference your sleep cycle. It is advised to limit the intake of caffeinated drinks during day time as well since it provides an artificial jolt to the system which interferes with the biological clock of the body. High intake of caffeinated drinks may lead to sleep deprivation and other sleep disorders.
Tip #2: Moderate or Eliminate Tobacco and Alcohol Use
Alcohol and tobacco (more specifically nicotine) are category of items that are known to decrease the quality of sleep. As a depressant, alcohol is known to cause drowsiness and therefore some people prefer drinking before sleep. This however is a bad idea as alcohol adversely affects the quality of sleep and leads to fragmented sleeping.
Additionally, nicotine has shown to have adverse effects on your sleep quality. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University and Harvard University found that a pre-sleep cigarette can reduce sleep time by up to 42 minutes in insomniacs! Consumption of both these items close to the designated sleep time can have detrimental effects on your health in the long run as well. Abstaining from both is your best option and one of the best tips for better sleep.
Tip #3: Use a Sleep Mask At Night
Your sleeping environment should be void of light and a fair temperature in order to make falling asleep a smooth process. Any artificial light should be blocked out to prevent any disturbance to your body’s sleep rhythm. This can be accomplished by using heavy blackout curtains. Sleep masks are also extremely effective in blocking out any light.
Light sources such as LED, Fluorescent lights and electronics emanate artificial lights including blue light which is known to be highly disruptive when it comes to sleep. In fact, Blue light has been shown to suppress production of melatonin compared to other types of artificial light. Comparisons between green and blue lights demonstrated startling results. The results showed that Blue lights suppressed secretion of melatonin for double the duration of green lights and shifted circadian rhythms by the same duration as well. The reason for melatonin suppression is attributable to the shorter wavelength of the blue light.
What is melatonin? Melatonin is a pivotal hormone in regulation of sleep. The hormone is responsible for influencing the circadian rhythms inside the human body. Circadian rhythms include critical 24 hour processes such as sleep-wake cycle and body temperature cycle. According to Harvard Researcher, Stephen Lockley, light sources as dim as 8 lux (think a low dimmed light) can affect the production of melatonin. Disruption in the Circadian rhythms for a sustained period of time can increase probability of incurring cardiovascular problems and depression.
To counter these health issues, it is highly advisable to use visual and auditory aids to prevent any disruptions to your sleep. This can be accomplished with sleep masks. The effectiveness of regular masks is rather limited. The massive leaps in technology have brought us new luxuries that didn't exist before. New sleep masks not only help block the harmful artificial lights, but remove auditory barriers such as noise from the environment. Some come equipped with bluetooth capacity to help you relax and get rid of distractions. These little changes can have massive contributions towards a good night’s sleep, especially for people that require sleep while travelling.
Sleep masks are a necessity for people that are traveling frequently. During times of travel it is virtually impossible to mimic the same conditions the comfort of your home provides. There will be presence of excessive lighting, unwelcome sounds and movement especially if you are traveling in an airplane. Additionally, hotel rooms don't always provide the same luxuries that your own home does, further disrupting what is an already disturbed sleep schedule. In these situations, sleep masks are a necessity as they eliminate the different barriers to proper sleep at home or while traveling.
Tip #4: Creating a Perfect Sleep Environment
It is no secret that in order to receive quality sleep, a suitable environment that promotes quality sleep needs to be created. The less barriers there are between you and your sleep, easier the process will be. The bedroom should be a dedicated space for relaxation and comfort. This may seem like an obvious statement but too many people make a wide range of mistakes when it comes to bedroom etiquettes. People consistently use screens while in bed which severely impacts quality of sleep due to intensity of light emanating from the screens. This isn’t just cell phones, but TVs and computers as well.
Another common mistake is not properly managing your thoughts before sleeping. People often replay the negative or positive events of the day and begin thinking about what the next day will bring. However, for most people the negative emotions of the day are harder to let go of, and these carry with us through sleep and into the next day. These activities should be avoided at all costs and the primary focus should be on getting yourself relaxed and comfortable. Any simple meditation technique prior to bed can help in putting your mind into the proper state of mind for sleep. If you’ve never meditated before, there are countless guided meditations available online.
There are some recommended tips for better sleep to induce relaxation. One thing often overlooked is a proper mattress and pillows. This is an investment that everyone should make in themselves. A good quality pillow and mattress provides maximum comfort to help you relax while also supporting the natural curvature of the spine. Be sure that your current mattress is providing you the support that your body needs, and if not its time for a new one!
Aromatherapy is a well known concept which is popular all over the world. The effects of pleasant aromas have a healing and soothing on the mind, body and soul. Scented candles and essential oils can provide an excellent environment for a person to relax and fall asleep quicker. In addition to pleasant aromas, setting the ideal temperature is equally important. Temperatures which are vary too much from out resting body temperature can disrupt the sleep process and undo the work you've done to improve sleep your quality.
Tip #5: Develop a Sleep Routine
A major obstacle in getting a good night’s sleep is a poor pre sleep routine or no routine at all. The lead up time to the sleep cycle is a crucial period which dictates the quality and duration of sleep. This is especially problematic for frequent travelers since they are always on the move and implementing a fixed pre sleep routine may be challenging at a bare minimum.
There are still some common actions that can be executed regardless of the person’s situation or geography. Actions include winding down and easing yourself to sleep by reading, listening to soft music and stretching if possible. Refraining from negative thoughts prior to bed is an absolute must. Disconnection from mobile devices and laptops is necessary as they impede with the production of melatonin. These tips can be easily followed regardless of whether a person is at home or requires sleep while travelling.
Tip #6: Stick to an Exercise Regimen
Exercise is vital when it comes to boosting metabolism and quality of sleep. A good exercise routine prevents apnea and sleep deprivation. It keeps you energized throughout the day and uplifts the mood through the release of chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin.
Regulating emotions is a critical part of the sleep cycle. People that suffer from anxiety tend to spend excessive amount of time over thinking about their problems throughout the day and during night time as well. Exercise is an excellent eliminator of stress and boosts the immune system helping you live longer and healthier. The healthier the body the more efficient its systems will be which will in turn ensure the Circadian rhythms are running efficiently as well.
A healthy exercise regimen is bound to provide immense sleep benefits in the long run. An important thing to remember is that exercise comes in all forms and will look different for a lot of people depending on their circumstances. It could be lifting weights at the gym, calisthenics, yoga, swimming, cycling or anything that you enjoy! As long as you’re active each day, you’ll reap the benefits of better sleep and a healthier mind, body and life.
Tip #7: Maintaining a Clean Diet
Besides exercise, a healthy diet is essential for your body to function at its full capacity. Healthy eating habits improve immunity and prevent a number of deadly diseases from occurring and recurring. A balanced diet assists tremendously in maintaining a proper sleep schedule. A diet consisting of a combination of proteins, carbohydrates and essential fats are vital for the body.
One of the best tips for better sleep is having a healthy breakfast and a much lighter dinner well in advance of the designated sleep time. Dinner 3-4 hours before sleep is highly recommended as it does not lead to the feeling of discomfort or nausea due to a full stomach and helps prevent bloating of the stomach as well.
Tip #8: Consult a Medical Professional
If you are someone who is constantly facing difficulty sleeping despite experimenting with different approaches, it well advised to get a check up from the doctor at the earliest possibility. The tell tale signs of health problems include drowsiness throughout the day and difficulty focusing on anything in particular for a period of time. There may very well be an underlying medical issue which is preventing proper sleep.
A frequent health problem is sleep apnea which creates obstruction and inconvenience in respiration during sleep. Sleep apnea is extremely common and affects approximately 1/4th of the male population. Similarly approximately 10% of the female population experiences sleep apnea. Besides sleep apnea there may be other sleep disorders that may be affecting your physical and mental health. In such circumstances getting diagnosed is a wise course of action on how to improve sleep quality.
Tip #9: Activities When You Can’t Sleep
A common occurrence for some people is lying in your bed, restless and anxious for hours. This repeated behavior can lead to a habit in which your brain associates the bed with a lack of sleep and discomfort. This will only exacerbate the sleep issue. A good rule of thumb is if 20 minutes have passed and you’re not remotely close to falling asleep, you can get up and engage in a relaxing activity such as reading or listening to light, calming music.
We don’t recommend putting on your favorite songs or anything that your brain will associate with waking activities. Additionally, whatever you choose to do needs to be done in a low light setting otherwise the brain will be triggered back into a state of activity.
Tip #10: Hydration, But Done Right
The amount of fluid consumed should be balanced and that is not always a straightforward task. Understanding your body requires time and attention. Perfecting this specific tip will require regular practice. A person needs to determine the level of water which will not lead to thirst or result in the person going to the bathroom in middle of the night. Once a person wakes up from sleep they may face difficulty sleeping again immediately. This is especially tricky when a person requires sleep during travelling.
In conclusion, there is no argument that sleep is perhaps the most important function of the body in order to maintain the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. By following the valuable tips given above you can develop and implement a healthy sleep process that will have tremendous physical and mental health benefits in the long run.
Everyday we face unique challenges and a good night's sleep should be an absolute given for everyone. That's why we developed the perfect sleep mask designed to guide you into a perfect night's sleep. If you're not getting the rest you need with your current sleep habits, let our Wundr Sleep Mask help you drift into your dreams!