Sleep. Good sleep, bad sleep. We all know how it feels. Getting a good night sleep is vital to our overall health and well-being and many of us don’t get the quality of sleep we need to function at our best.
This article helps highlight a number of simple things you can do to help ensure you get those precious Zzz’s.
1) Limiting screen time before bedtime
Studies have shown that being exposed to the blue-and-white light given off by electronic devices at night prevents our brains from releasing melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that tells our bodies it’s night-time. In short, this means it takes us longer to fall asleep.
Some experts have suggested that we should avoid looking at our devices roughly an hour before bed time to help us fall asleep faster.
2) Avoiding caffeinated or sugary drinks
A side effect of those miracle drinks (I’m looking at you tea and coffee) is that the stimulating effects can take hours to wear off. This can wreak havoc on your quality of sleep. You should be careful and limit your caffeine and sugar intake just before bed time to avoid those times where you’ve reached 984 sheep and still haven’t fallen asleep!
Although caffeinated and sugary drinks should be avoided, there are numerous ‘sleepy drinks’ available to help yourself relax before bedtime. A popular choice is chamomile.
3) Having a sleep schedule
Everyone has a schedule of some kind. Be it a a work schedule, exercise schedule or another kind of schedule. Everyone likes a good ol’ schedule! Your body likes a schedule too – in particular a sleep schedule. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day reinforces your bodies sleep-wake cycle and helps promotes a better night sleep.
4) Avoid naps
You’ve had a busy morning and you didn’t sleep very well the night before. How about a nap in the afternoon? Naps often seem very tempting but be careful that the ‘quick five minute nap’ doesn’t turn into a few hours as it will make trying to get shut eye later much harder.
5) Physical activity
Sleeplessness can be caused simply because you have not been active enough during the day. A study has shown that people who exercised for two 20-minute sessions four times a week felt their quality of sleep improved, that they had more vitality, less depressive symptoms, and felt less sleepy during the day.
And that’s it for now! Hopefully this post has highlighted a few of the many ways in which you can improve the quality of your sleep. #goodsleep