Sleep is equally as important as routine exercise and eating organic healthy food for a healthy lifestyle. When you don’t sleep well, this negatively impacts your mental health and physical performance. Researchers say that if one doesn’t improve their sleep, it could result in weight gain and an increase in susceptibility to illnesses, and indeed, it is vital for your health to sleep better. Unfortunately, most of us toss and turn round during bedtime and hardly get quality and quantity sleep. Most people struggle to get a good night’s sleep regularly because of the life choices they make. But how do you know you need to improve your sleep?
Signs You Need to Improve Your Sleep
- Waking up more than twice during sleep time
- Staying awake over 30 minutes before you sleep after settling in bed
- You have insomnia
- It takes you more than 20 minutes to get back to sleep when you are interrupted
- You only have a real sleep less than 85% of your time
What you might not realize is that there are ways to improve your sleep. And you have control over your sleep patterns more than you can imagine. Here are some research-based tips on how to improve your sleep quality. Try them and see how your life changes for the better.
How do I Improve My Sleep
Optimize Your Sleeping Area
You don’t want bedbugs to bite you all night as you sleep. Fumigate your home to get rid of them. To some people, though, it is not bedbugs that interfere with their sleep. Factors like external noise, bright lights, temperature fluctuations also impact the quality of sleep. How to improve your sleep habits in such circumstances? Optimize your bedroom for sleep.
That means you should switch off any noise-causing devices, including radios, TVs, phones, and any other gadget. Buy yourself a good quality air conditioner to regulate your room temperature accordingly. It is advisable to sleep in complete darkness, making it important to eliminate all light. You can do this by covering your windows and turning off lamps. Buy yourself a good mattress and quality blankets for a cozy night’s sleep. Make it clean, comfortable, and quiet.
Have a Natural Sleep Pattern
Another great way how to improve your sleep pattern is to have a sleep-wake-up cycle that you follow. Your body knows when it needs to sleep and will tell you when to wake up. Do not interfere with this circadian rhythm, even with a few minutes. Go to bed every day at the same time and wake up after sleeping for a particular period. You’ll realize that this routine is so natural that you don’t require an alarm to wake up.
This pattern also applies to your napping time. If it is twenty minutes every day in the afternoon, always do it. You might feel drowsy after you’ve taken a heavy meal in the day. If it’s not your naptime, find something to do like taking a stroll, washing, playing a game, among other activities.
Regular exercise has a way of making you feel less sleepy during the day and improving your sleep at night. If you have illnesses like sleep apnea and insomnia, exercise makes the symptoms less effective to your body. If you undertake rigorous exercise, the more sleep benefits you can expect. But even light exercises like walking for 15 minutes would still improve your sleep.
Be warned that you will need to take time to build an exercise routine before you can experience its benefits on your sleep pattern. It could be several months of regular body activity. Another thing you need to consider is doing your exercise right. Exercising early in the morning brings about better results than doing it later in the day. But if you have to exercise close to bedtime, go with gentler exercise routines like yoga.
Eat and Drink Healthily, At the Right Time
What and when you eat and drink can significantly affect your sleep quality. Caffeine and nicotine intake will deny you sleep if you take them close to bedtime. You also want to avoid any foods that cause heartburn or stomach aches like spices and acidic dishes. Taking alcohol interferes with sleep as well (even though it might help you relax).
Guess what happens when you take a lot of fluids before going to bed? You’ll need to make frequent visits to the bathroom during bedtime. And that does not just interrupt your sleep but also eats up your sleeping time. Don’t sleep on an empty stomach, either. Eating and drinking nutritious meals will improve your sleep and improve your memory while you sleep.
Learn How Restart Interrupted Sleep
Not all nights will be calm and cozy. Something might happen in the neighborhood, or an emergency might occur in your home. And some households have children who can wreak havoc at any time. You, therefore, need to learn how to get back to sleep when such stuff happens. Do this by not thinking about how to improve your sleep or why you don’t sleep fast. Doing this will be followed by a chain of thoughts that will only make you stay awake longer.
Focus on what you feel in your body and breathe in and out without thinking about anything. If that is not working out, try relaxing your body and mind. Consequently, you’ll start visualizing, meditating, and have continuous muscle relaxation that will lead to sleep. You can as well try doing a non-stimulating activity like reading a book and fall asleep in the process. Remember to keep the lights dim.
Relax and Clear Your Head
While bedtime can be a tempting time to brainstorm and worry about your problems, try to relax and clear your head. Anger, concerns, and stress about life can wake you up in the middle of the night to try and come up with solutions. You, therefore, need to have a bedtime ritual of making your mind realize only sleep is required.
Take a warm shower, dim the lights, listen to an audiobook, and do anything that will calm you down. Listen to your favorite music while you lie in bed and set it to run for several minutes before it switches off by itself. If you work in a busy environment that requires you to juggle several activities at a time, it’s important to have a schedule for everything. Otherwise, your brain will be seeking stimulants, making it harder for you to relax.
A good night’s sleep will make you refreshed and ready to tackle other life activities during the day. The tips we’ve mentioned above will help you have the quality and quantity of sleep for a healthy lifestyle. So if you’ve been wondering how to improve your sleep habits, try them out.