Sleep is an essential part of being a healthy human. At night, our bodies restore, and we gain energy for the next day.
Not getting enough sleep can make you more prone to medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. If you struggle to get to sleep at night or are consistently clicking for one more episode, we have ten proven habits to practice for a better night’s sleep.
A poor mattress can cause back pain, shoulder pain, and neck stiffness. When you can’t get comfortable, it’s harder to fall asleep.
Some people like firmer beds, while others prefer softer beds. Memory foam mattresses are the perfect choice because they come in a range of firmness. Here’s an article about the 14 best mattress brands in 2020 from Health.com.
Increase Light Exposure
All of us have a natural clock inside us created with the cycle of light and dark. Light helps us stay awake during the day, and the night promotes sleep hormones.
Having exposure to bright light at least two hours a day helps keep our clock in check. Our bodies are more awake during the day, which creates better sleep at night.
Don’t Consume Caffeine Late
A cup of coffee does the trick in the morning to get us moving. A single dose of caffeine can make us more focused, give us energy, and helps in physical performance. This is precisely what we need at 7 in the morning, but drinking caffeine too late will result in a restless night.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and can stay in your blood for up to 6 hours. Think about this when you’re reaching for a tea or soda after 4 or 5 pm.
Reduce Blue Light Intake
Blue light comes from computer, tablet, and phone screens. Looking at our screens at night can mess up our natural clock. Our bodies are tricked into thinking it’s still day time.
You don’t produce the sleep hormones, and then you stay up too late. You can wear glasses that block out blue light to help or stop looking at your devices 2 hours before bed.
Melatonin is the hormone we keep hearing about that makes us feel tired and relaxed. If you have insomnia or have trouble falling asleep from stress or anxiety, which doesn’t allow your body to produce melatonin naturally, a supplement can help.
The National Library of Medicine performed a study with melatonin and found that taking 2mg of it before sleep can improve your sleep by 15%.
Refrain from Alcohol
People think that alcohol and sleep go together. Although a little alcohol does make healthy people sleep faster and deeper, it reduces rapid eye movement sleep or REM sleep. When REM sleep is disturbed, the next day, you feel drowsy and lack concentration.
Don’t Have a Midnight Snack
When you eat something, your body immediately starts to process and digest the food. This can promote acid reflux or indigestion, which will create issues trying to fall asleep. If your body is working all night to break everything down, and not using this time to restore, you’ll never fully rest.
Exercising regularly will release all the extra energy we have built up. It’s a way to reduce stress and release toxins from the body. At night you’ll be able to relax and can fall asleep faster.
A brisk walk or jog for at least 30 minutes will do the trick.
Take a Bath
The warmth and aromatherapy from a bath can promote relaxation. A hot bath 90 minutes before going to bed has been proven to help people get deeper sleep.
Know When to See a Doctor
It’s common to have restless nights before an important event or big test, but when it’s happening every single night, you need to see your doctor. Common sleep problems are sleep apnea and insomnia.
You can benefit from prescription medication if your doctor diagnoses you with a sleeping disorder. The medicine will create better quality sleep for you.
The Bottom Line
If you want to be an overall healthy person, you need to prioritize good sleep. Use our tips to enhance your rest during the night, and you’ll be feeling more energized throughout the day.