10 Tips To Help You Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep
In this article, we’ll share some powerful and easy to implement tips that might improve your sleep quality.
Good quality sleep is an essential aspect of human life. Our body utilizes the time we sleep to repair itself, reduce muscle and mental stress, improve memory, and even help in weight loss.
In this progressive world, sleep has become an issue due to job pressure, hands-on access to technology, and extensive working hours. Poor sleep can have negative effects on our brain function, emotional balance, and productivity as well.
Tips To Improve Sleep Quality
1. Decrease the consumption of “Caffeine”
It is a type of stimulant, well-known for its disruptive effects on sleep. It promotes alertness and improves mental performance, but it negatively affects the quality of our sleep.
The consumption of caffeine-containing products must be reduced or completely avoided for at least five hours before bedtime.
A few caffeinated products are coffee, energy drinks, tea, and chocolate.
2. Steer clear of alcohol and tobacco products
Alcohol is often used by people to induce sleep, which it does. But it even degrades the quality of our sleep. It is observed that after a few hours of sleep it starts to act as a stimulant, causing disruptive effects on sleep just like caffeine.
It hinders the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep cycle, which is contemplated as the most restorative form of sleep. This leaves you feeling unfocused and dazed in the morning.
Another product responsible for degrading sleep quality is tobacco. It contains nicotine (a substance with stimulating effects), which is why people who smoke often experience disrupted sleep patterns.
Smoking increases the risk of developing sleeping conditions like Sleep Apnea. Avoiding the consumption of these substances four to five hours before bedtime could help.
3. Bathe or shower prior to bed
A warm bath or shower before bed is an old remedy for sleep. According to research, bathing one to two hours before bedtime cools down the body, and improves the blood circulation to the hands and feet.
It even improves the “temperature circadian rhythm”, which enables people to fall asleep faster and notice improvements in sleep quality as well.
4. Follow a sleep schedule
Our body has its natural sleep-wake cycle, aligning our schedule with it has proven to be one of the best strategies for getting good quality sleep. According to a study, people who have irregular sleeping patterns have lower levels of melatonin, a hormone responsible for inducing sleep.
Fixing a time to sleep and wake could help in setting your body’s internal clock. Make it a habit to stick to this schedule, through this practice your body will expect to sleep at that particular time. Try to follow it even on weekends.
Exercising regularly could help you sleep better at night. While we exercise our body produces a hormone known as cortisol, it helps in activating the alerting mechanism of our brain. Due to the quick transfer of information in the form of neural signals, this enables us to work efficiently in the daytime and sleep well at night.
The best time to work out or exercise is in the morning. But if due to any reason you are unable to, then try to finish exercising at least four hours before your bedtime as it could leave you pumped up and deprive you of sleep.
Exercise has produced positive results in people with insomnia as well. It has proven to be more beneficial than drugs for people suffering from insomnia. Remember, consistency is the key.
6. Eat light at night
The type of food you consume can negatively affect your sleep quality. Having large meals at night might cause indigestion, intestinal discomfort, and adversely affect the quality of your sleep.
To improve sleep quality, one must finish their dinner approximately 3 hours before bedtime. This provides your body time to properly digest food before going to sleep. Refrain from eating heavy meals at night, instead, try to stick to a light meal.
Eat well during the day and if you feel like having snacks at night try having more water which would leave you feeling less hungry and more hydrated.
7. Restrict daytime naps
Daytime napping makes you feel refreshed but it could interfere with your sleep cycle, and leave you struggling to sleep at night. However, according to a study, only a handful of people who are used to taking naps during the day have such experiences.
The effect of napping depends on the individual. If it does not affect your sleep cycle then there is nothing to worry about.
8. Tryptophan-rich food
Try including tryptophan rich-foods in your diet. They are known for their ability to induce sleep and can be found in ordinary food supplies. Foods like seeds, dairy products, and nuts contain this nutrient in high quantities.
9. Create a sleep-inducing environment
A peaceful, cool, and dark room would help you relax, and achieve a good deep sleep. Many studies have pointed out the fact that external disturbances can interfere with sleep patterns and even cause health issues in the long run.
Dim the lights and curb the external sources of noise so that a sleep-inducing environment could be formed in your bedroom. This would help you improve your sleep quality, and you would wake up feeling energized like on days you slept well.
10. Choosing the right bed
Bed quality also plays a key role in improving your sleep, reducing back pain and stiffness. Choosing the right mattress, bedding, and pillow could make a huge difference.
Make sure you have changed your mattress at least once in the past six to eight years.
If you want to spend your life happily and in optimal health, then you should keep sleep as your top priority. It plays an important role in the well-being of your mental and physical state. A study has shown that the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease can increase in people getting less than 7 hours of sleep.
Some people suggest taking melatonin supplements for better sleep. As research suggests it is safe if taken in monitored amounts, you should go for it if you wish to.
Sedating antihistamines such as Cyclizine, Doxylamine, and diphenhydramine can help people who struggle to fall asleep despite a healthy lifestyle. If you prefer non-sedating antihistamines then consider consuming Loratadine, Cetirizine, and Fexofenadine. Keep in mind, both these categories of medicines may become less effective over time and you would need an alternative in place.
Try these methods to improve the quality of your sleep, but if the issue persists never hesitate to visit a doctor and diagnose the accurate issue.
July 7, 2020 Sam Bell