8 Ways To Improve Your Sleep Quality
The importance of a quality sleep experience for overall health cannot be undermined. Experiencing healthy sleep is vital for both the mind and the body and also helps improve productivity and the overall quality of life. People who do not sleep well can follow these 8 ways to improve their sleep quality and get a good night’s rest:
1. Avoid Caffeine & Nicotine Later In The Day
Caffeine is a stimulant that is typically used to boost alertness but in excess can also bring about headaches, dizziness and nervousness. The same has also been linked with irritability, anxiety and insomnia. This occurs because caffeine can present a stimulating effect in as little as 15 minutes after ingestion.
Once consumed, it can take coffee a couple of hours to be expelled from the system, so it is best to avoid drinking coffee too close to bedtime.
Another source of caffeine that might affect you is from your weight loss supplement. Some fat burners contain caffeine as a main ingredient to help boost your metabolic rate but it can also disrupt your sleep if you are sensitive to it. The best thing to do is to use one that contains natural ingredients like Ultra Omega Burn which you can read more of at Ultracrown.com.
2. Avoid Exercising In The Evening
Everyone should exercise during the day not only for fitness but also to improve the quality of sleep at night. Exercise brings about an increase in body temperature and the post-exercise drop in temperature can help promote falling asleep.
That is why it is important to exercise during the day and not too close to bedtime as raised core body temperatures also increase heart rate and cause the body to release adrenaline. Together, these factors may prevent you from falling and staying asleep at night.
If you wish to exercise in the evenings or night, a session of Yoga will be more beneficial towards a better sleep quality.
In addition, daytime physical activity has been associated to increased time spent in deep sleep which is the most physically restorative phase of sleep. Exercise has also been considered as a natural therapy for cases of insomnia.
3. Eat Smaller Meals In the Evening
Anyone who suffers from disturbed sleep patterns, should avoid eating large meals later on in the day. This is because food needs at least between an hour and a half to three hours to be fully digested.
If you suffer from digestive discomfort such as acid reflux or heartburn then nighttime eating can aggravate the discomfort and impair the quality of your sleep. Lying down soon after eating can make these symptoms worse so it is best to eat smaller meals as well as eat them at least two to three hours before bedtime.
If you are really hungry and wish to snack, make it a healthy one like some salad or an egg which is rich in nutrients.
4. Avoid Drinking Alcohol In the Evening
While some people may find that alcohol actually helps them sleep faster, drinking in the evening my cause the opposite effect as well. Since a moderate amount can have a stimulating effect, alcohol consumption in the evening may prevent you from sleeping soundly.
If you have alcohol too close to bedtime, its effect may kick in as you try to sleep. This can impact the quality of your sleep or even prevent you from sleeping altogether.
5. Limit The Duration Of Daytime Naps
Sometimes a short power nap is what you need to feel reinvigorated. But if you start sleeping for longer periods during the day then your sleep at night will suffer.
The urge to nap in the afternoon may be stronger for people who are already sleep deprived. And most often excessive daytime sleepiness is a common symptom. If you must, short, early naps are the best allowing you ample time to be ready for sleep at night.
6. Limit The Use Of Electronic Devices
Although a no-brainer, this may actually be the most difficult thing to do for many people. With an addiction to devices and social media, the last thing most people do before sleeping is check their devices, update their social media status or play a new level of their favorite game online.
However, these practices impact sleep significantly as the blue light emitted from screens inhibits melatonin, a hormone produced by the body to regulate the sleep wake cycle. Disturbances in melatonin production can make it difficult to fall asleep.
7. Keep Your Bedroom Sleep Friendly
Your bedroom should be a place for sleeping and an abode with minimal distractions. This means keeping it free of devices, electronics, work desks and any other clutter that can keep your from falling asleep.
At the same time, it is also important to keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature which is neither too warm nor too chilly to fall asleep. Ideal sleep conditions also demand that you sleep in the dark so keep it as dark and as quit as possible.
And finally make sure to use comfortable bed linen to make the most of your sleep experience.
8. Pay Attention To Your Sleep Mechanisms
There are two internal biological mechanisms that work together to regulate sleep patterns.
Of the two, the first is known as the circadian rhythms which direct an array of daily functions such as body temperature, hormonal release and metabolism. In addition, they also control your sleep timings, causing you to become sleepy at night and waking you up in the morning at sunrise. These circadian rhythms also synchronize with environmental cues such as light and temperature and continue the cycle even in the absence of cues.
The second mechanism, known as sleep wake homeostasis, tracks your need for sleep. Essentially, it reminds the body that it needs to shut down at a certain time and regulates the intensity of sleep. This sleep drive becomes stronger for every waking hour and causes you to sleep longer and deeper after a period of sleep deprivation.
People whose circadian rhythms are not in synch with sunrise and sunset often have trouble sleeping when they go to bed or may have trouble staying awake because of the disrupted sleep wake cycle. As an example, this may apply to night shift workers, or people suffering from jet lag as there is a discrepancy between their internal and actual clock.
The effects of sleep deprivation have the potential to impact general health, trigger mood swings, impair job performance, heighten the risk of accidents and put a strain on relationships. All in all, the quality of life is compromised and a negative impact is left to deal with.
Many of us take sleep for granted or are ignorant about the lack of quality sleep. We think as long as we get the stipulated hours we are fine. To some extent, yes, but you are depriving your body the proper rest it deserves.
That is why sleep hygiene including the 8 ways to improve your sleep quality mentioned above should be followed to take optimal care of your health.