Getting a good night's sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. But if you're having trouble sleeping, it can be hard to know what to do. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your sleep quality and get the restful sleep you need. To start, avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime.
This includes phones, tablets, and TVs. Instead, create an environment that suits your needs by using room darkening screens, ear plugs, a fan, or other devices. Doing relaxing activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, can also help promote better sleep. Strategies like listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, meditating, taking a deep breath, and visualizing can all help you relax and prepare for sleep.
It's also important to finish moderate to vigorous workouts at least three hours before bedtime. If you're still having trouble sleeping, try changing your workouts even earlier. Low-impact relaxing exercises like yoga or gentle stretching at night can also help promote sleep. Establishing a regular sleep routine is key; by doing the same activities in the same order every night, your brain will come to recognize them as a precursor to sleep.
A comfortable bed is also essential for good sleep. That could mean splurging on a better mattress or pillows (science says pillows will likely need to be changed every 18 months due to dust mite buildup). And if you're looking for the best sleep experience, your furry friends will have to find their own places to sleep away from your bed. Your sleeping subconscious is a powerful tool that can help you make difficult decisions and come up with innovative ideas.
To make the most of it, take the time to ask for help and listen to its answers. You can make time to write a little freedom, or just take a moment to reflect on the problems you're facing, the day that passed, or your hopes for tomorrow. Or try a simple meditation practice. Of course, there is no substitute for adequate sleep time, but healthy and successful people know that a few simple actions can ensure that they wake up rested and ready to go out. Eating breakfast increases appetite, eating behavior, and exploratory markers of sleep quality compared to skipping breakfast in healthy young adults: study finds eating breakfast reduces unhealthy snacks, improves perceived sleep quality and sleep initiation. Heavy meals and drinking alcohol before bedtime can cause indigestion, acid reflux, and going to the bathroom in the middle of the night that disturb sleep.
Other studies have highlighted that irregular sleep patterns can alter circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, telling the brain to sleep. It affects the brain, body and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it's time to go to sleep. But remember that it's not all-or-nothing; you can start with small changes and move toward healthier sleep habits - also known as 'sleep hygiene'. An essential tip to fall asleep quickly and easily is to make your room a place of comfort and relaxation. A daily yoga routine has been shown to improve sleep quality, and a few stretches or massages before bed can prevent cramps. If you give in to sleepiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble going back to sleep. One of the inspirations behind the launch of Sleep by Headspace was that many Headspace members said they practiced meditation at night - even before bedtime - to help them de-stress and fall asleep.
You can also use a fan (which will double duty - keep your room cool) or try one of the many relaxing sleepwalkers or some sleep music from the Sleep experience in the Headspace app. While there is a wide range of causes and types of sleep problems, expert consensus points to a handful of concrete measures that promote more restful sleep. But if you experiment with these tips - such as avoiding light-emitting screens before bedtime; doing relaxing activities; establishing regular routines; creating a comfortable sleeping environment; using meditation; eating breakfast; avoiding heavy meals; exercising regularly; stretching or massaging before bed; and using fans - you can improve your chances of getting better quality sleep every night.