Sleep habits are essential to getting a good night’s rest.
With workplace stress, family concerns and other kinds of unexpected challenges during the day, sleeping at night can be challenging sometimes. These factors are out of your control, but the sleep habits you have established for yourself may lull you to sleep whatever the odds.
The correlation between sleep and health should not be underestimated. There are studies supporting the strong relationship between the two, as sleep deficiency is proven to put a person at risk of different illnesses and health problems.
If you ever find yourself finding difficulty sleeping as soon as you lie down on your bed, this article is for you. If you want to improve your sleep habits, this one’s also for you.
Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute’s philosophy revolves around helping a growing population improve their quality of life and cognitive function. One of the best ways to achieve that is to have a good night’s rest.
Natural sleep habits you should develop
The inability to sleep can be worrisome and unhealthy for many people. In moderate to worst cases, sleep disorders can be more serious that you might even need some medication. However, there are more natural ways to create better sleep habits at night.
Before things escalate, you might consider changing your sleep habits. You can always start now! There are some who do a light reading before bed, for example. Others meditate and follow mindfulness techniques. You can also set the right room temperature. The bottom line is to find what works for you given your lifestyle and environment.
Practicing good sleep habits
Today’s busy world doesn’t embrace the role of adequate sleep. Everyone wants to keep moving. And it’s becoming more and more challenging to create sound sleeping patterns that could make you productive in the day. It’s common to see people sleeping less, with its quality deteriorating. What can you do to improve this vital part of your health?
We’re listing down the best sleep habits that you should reflect upon:
No phones before bed
People’s dependence on smartphones has become so out of hand, that they sleep beside them too. However, studies show that devices and screen time interferes with sleeping habits and suppress melatonin production which is crucial for rest.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that tells your body it’s time to sleep and wake up. Since phones and other electronics emit blue light, they delay the said substance which decreases the feeling of sleepiness, preventing you from getting a good night’s rest.
So, do your retinas a favor and ditch your gadget before sleeping. You can start by observing a schedule when not to touch your phone. Toggle your notifications off so you won’t be tempted to check your messages. And lastly, place your electronics away from your bed. If it’s your alarm clock, a regular one is still available! Use that instead!
Maintain a regular sleep schedule
A good night’s sleep is crucial in your immune system. Research suggests that people who regularly sleep, six hours or less, are more likely to get colds than those who complete the ideal eight hours. Thus, maintaining a regular bedtime schedule is just right.
Sleeping schedule doesn’t only pertain to duration. It’s a consistent time that you discipline your body to rest and snooze. Keeping up with this is challenging at first, but training yourself to follow a sleep routine, timing and duration is good for the heart.
Harvard University supports a study that an inconsistent sleeping schedule puts you at a higher risk of heart attack and other related problems. Irregular bedtimes are also the cause of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and stroke. Thus, schedule your sleep! It’s a win-win!
Limit your caffeine
Caffeine is a common stimulant, and it has a massive following all over the world. It’s the best bud of those people who need to stay active and awake. They rely on this drug for that dose of energy they need. However, some have become addicted to it leading them to sleep problems.
The overuse of caffeine, like coffee, maybe the culprit to symptoms of insomnia, or if you’ve been suffering from this condition, it could get worse. Caffeine consumption prior to bedtime leads to anxiety, disturbed sleeps, sleeplessness – and just poor sleep. It’s possible to come across people who experience the opposite with caffeine, but it isn’t the common case.
To avoid any sleep problems that caffeine stimulates, drinking not more than four cups of coffee in a day is advisable. Timing is also everything. If you can afford to not consume a cup after midafternoon, that would help you get a good rest at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics also discourages adolescents and children from consuming this stimulant.
Dim the lights, or turn them off
Sleeping with lights on isn’t for everyone, and there’s a reasonable explanation for it.
Exposure to light prevents a person from creating sleep because the brain finds it difficult to shut off. Since you’ve been under light during the day, your mind and body associate it with alertness and energy – which may be a problem during bedtime.
Darkness has a positive impact on sleep. When light is absent, your body gets the signal that it’s rest time! When you fail to achieve this, you alter your sleep clock. So, start utilizing room-darkening blinds. You can dim your lights, or go to bed at the same time each night. Turn off your electronics too!
Have a going-to-bed routine
If you don’t have a bedtime routine, it’s never too late to have one! Humans will always be creatures of habit. As they establish good habits, they allow their brains to recognize a lifestyle that works for them. This is also true when it comes to your sleep habits.
Deciding on a bedtime routine includes setting a sleep schedule, turning your electronics off, eating light before snoozing, taking a refreshing bath, listening to music, relaxing to shake off the stress, and practising meditation. You can customize this depending on your preference. Establishing a routine for sleep will be your best friend, and only you can tell what relaxes you!
Exercise during the day
How does exercising affect sleep?
Experts believe that working out has a great effect on your sleep hygiene. It doesn’t matter how simple or serious your fitness program is, it’s beneficial to the quality bedtime that you get. Your physical activity reduces symptoms of sleep-related disorders which are common to almost 70 million people in the United States alone.
With this is the ongoing debate about exercise and sleep timing. Studies recommend at least 150 minutes of workout weekly, which is 30 minutes daily for a week. They further support that the entire sleep duration increases when your exercise extends for an hour.
Exercising has quick sleep-inducing exhaustion, and that will solely knock down a person to snoozefest. Staying active sends a chemical effect on the brain. It produces more adenosine which is responsible for making you sleepy. This means that when you exercise harder, you drive your body to get more sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep: Yes or no?
There are many “hacks” to help you have a good night’s sleep. Some say, count the sheep. Others say, play nature’s music like a white noise humming in the background. It helps to also relax your body so you can easily drift off to sleep.’
If, at all possible, your bed should only be used for sleeping. Separate your other rooms for recreation or work so that your body is conditioned to rest in bed. You’ll find your bedroom more relaxing this way.