6 Tips to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

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6 Tips to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Poor sleep patterns are linked to a wide variety of health issues, from weight gain to a higher risk of developing conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Sleep is restorative and crucial for a healthy life, but many people struggle to get enough of it for numerous reasons

Whether it takes you hours to fall asleep or you wake up repeatedly during the night, these six tips can help you improve your sleep.

1. Make Sure Your Mattress and Pillows are Comfortable

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, the first thing you should do is take a look at your bed. Your mattress,pillow, and bedding have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep.

Having a mattress and pillow that effectively supports your body while you sleep can reduce back, shoulder, and neck pain and stiffness, which improves the overall quality of your sleep. One study even discovered that sleeping on a new, high-quality mattress for 28 days improved sleep quality by an impressive 60%.

As well as buying a mattress that works well for you and replacing it every five to eight years, you should also consider upgrading your pillows. A pillow such as the King Flower of Life can give your head and neck support while ensuring you don’t get overheated during the night. Investing in a knee pillow can also help your sleep as it can ease niggling back and hip pains that can keep you up at night.

Once you’ve kitted your bed out with the most comfortablemattress and pillows for you, continue the makeover by putting on fresh sheets in an attractive style, adding stylish throw cushions, and spritzing some relaxing lavender essence on the pillow. By making your bed a place you want to be, a sanctuary of peace, you can start to undo the negative associations that build up after weeks of poor sleep.

2. Control Your Light Exposure

Your body’s circadian rhythm – the internal process regulating your sleep pattern and wakefulness – is affected by light. Regulating when and how you are exposed to different sources of light can dramatically improve your sleep.

Aim to spend most of your day exposed to either natural sunlight or, if that’s not possible, a bright artificial light. This can help you feel more aware during the day and make it easier to fall asleep at night.

During the evening, you should reduce your light exposure to signal to your brain that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. Use soft lights in the evening, such as lamps, including in your bathroom.

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Blue light, the kind of light emitted by electronic devices like smartphones, is the most damaging to your sleep. You can reduce your exposure to it by wearing blue light-blocking glasses or installing apps that block blue light on your devices; however, the best method is to avoid using them two hours before bedtime.

3. Develop a Nighttime Routine

Another way to assist your circadian rhythm is to stick to a sleeping routine. Aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. If you’ve spent time with young children, you may have experienced how breaking their sleep schedule can knock them off course for days; it’s the same for adults.

As well as turning off your lights and setting your alarm for set times, developing a series of steps you take every night before bed signals to your mind and body that it’s time to sleep. These steps could be anything, as long as it is not something that boosts adrenaline. Examples include writing in a diary, doing bedtime yoga, reading, or even switching your phone off.

4. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

It probably won’t surprise you that what you eat and drink and when you do so affects your sleep. To start with, you should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks several hours before sleeping as it stimulates the nervous system. Ideally, you should switch to decaf six to eight hours before you go to sleep. Be careful: many herbal teas contain caffeine, not just coffee!

Drinking alcohol can also impact your sleep by altering your production of melatonin and increasing symptoms of sleepapnea and other disruptive patterns. If you have problems sleeping, try cutting out alcohol.

It’s also recommended to avoid drinking large volumes of liquid before bed. While hydration is essential for your overall health, drinking immediately before you sleep can force you to get up during the night to use the bathroom, disrupting your sleeppattern.

5. Get the Temperature Right

Being too hot or too cold during the night can keep you awake in the same way that loud noises or too much light can. Everybody has a different ideal temperature for sleep, but the ideal average range is 65-68°F. If you often find yourself sweating or shivering at night, you should make some changes to your bedroom.

While air conditioning or heating can help you find your optimum temperature, sometimes the problem is your mattress or pillows. Certain materials can make you very warm, which, although fine in cold climates, is not conducive to good sleep in most places. Purchasing a mattress or pillow that allows air to circulate could make a huge difference to your sleep.

6. Rule Out Sleep Disorders

While making lifestyle changes can significantly improve your sleep quality, there are some instances where you may need help from a medical professional.

If you have prolonged sleep struggles or suffer from insomnia,you should rule out health conditions that affect sleep, such as sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, or mental health conditions like anxiety or depression, by consulting your health provider.

Makeover Your Sleep Routine

The benefits that go hand-in-hand with a good night’s sleep are so great that it’s worth putting in a little effort to maximize your sleep routine. Simple alterations such as getting new bedding, controlling your exposure to light, and reducing your alcohol intake can make a world of difference.

Once your sleep has improved, you should notice positive sideeffects such as increased energy, better focus, and a more positive attitude. So, what are you waiting for? Makeover your sleep routine today.

Sources:

1. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

2. Neuro Endocrinol Letters

3. Journal of Sleep Research

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