Sleep better with our 5 tips. Having a good night’s rest is just as important as maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise. Yet, there are many factors that can interfere with sleeping well, from stress, academia, family responsibilities or medical illnesses. Even though you may not be able to control these factors that occur unexpectedly in life, there are a few habits that you can adopt to perhaps encourage you to have a good night’s sleep.
Create A Peaceful Environment
In order to increase sleepiness, it is important to create an environment that is ideal for sleeping. For many people, this type of environment is quiet, calming and dark. Practising a daily relaxing bedtime routine is a great way to fall into a regular habit and encourage you to fall asleep easier.
It is recommended to stay away from any form of bright lights, such as your phone, as this can create excitement or stress. Studies have shown that being exposed to blue light- omitted by electronic devices- prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, a hormone which tells our bodies that it is the night. Thus, this results in you being unable to fall asleep quicker. If you find it difficult to create a peaceful environment, consider using ear plugs, an eye mask, black-out curtains and/or a fan in order to suit your needs.
Maintain A Regular Sleep Schedule
As stated in the previous tip, maintaining a regular night time routine can encourage you to sleep better. For a healthy adult, the recommended amount of sleep you should be getting is a maximum of eight hours, however many adults do not feel they need that many hours of sleep. You should try waking up and sleeping at different times before you settle into a routine in order to find out what works for you best.
In order to create and stick to a bedtime routine, you should go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If you wanted to tweak your routine for the weekends, try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule by no more than an hour. Sticking to a regular routine will reinforce your body clock. If you find it difficult to fall asleep within half an hour try doing something relaxing, such as reading or using some relaxation techniques in order to help you drift off.
Reduce Midday Napping
Excessive napping may interfere with your sleep during the night. This is because napping during the day can confuse your internal body clock which will lead you having difficulties to drift off at night. Although short power naps are shown to be beneficial, naps that are longer than 60-90 minutes or irregular napping can ultimately negatively affect your sleep schedule.
However, some studies have also shown that those who take regular midday naps, did not suffer from any difficulties falling asleep at night. This shows that every person’s sleep schedule and body clock is different, and you may need to experiment to find out what works for you and your sleeping habits.
Try not to Eat/Drink Heavily Before Bed
If you were to go to bed straight after eating a big meal or drinking alcohol or caffeine, you may find some discomfort and difficulty to fall asleep. Try to eat earlier in avoid any discomfort as you try to sleep and also try to avoid heavy, rich foods a few hours before bed time. Eating these types of foods, as well as acidic or spicy foods can upset your stomach. In addition, drinking caffeine can stimulate your body, causing you to fall asleep less easily. While it is recommended to stay hydrated, it is important to avoid drinking too many liquids during the night which may cause frequent trips to the bathroom, disrupting your sleep.
If you find yourself in need of a light snack before bed try eating yoghurt, a banana or perhaps drinking some warm milk.
Find A Mattress That Is Perfect for You
If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep and have tried the tips suggested above, perhaps the issue is the mattress itself. The quality in your bed can have a big impact in your sleeping habits. It is recommended for you to replace your pillows every year and replace your mattress every five to ten years. If you struggle with any form of chronic pain, allergies, back pain or just discomfort, perhaps look into changing to a mattress that will support the issues that disrupt your sleep. If you are looking for a mattress, have a look at our best mattress guide