Healthy sleep is essential to your wellness and self-care-two critical themes behind leading a well-conditioned life. It’s no wonder most of us are eager to learn how they can better their sleep.
Luckily, research in this area has been extensive, and it continues. Now we can establish healthy sleeping patterns that boost our moods and cognitive or physical ability. Furthermore, we can shake off practices that contribute to poor napping sessions. In addition, we understand the role our bodies and their circadian rhythm plays in our sleep.
Mornings are a critical time for my routine, and the previous night’s sleep is essential for a fantastic morning.
With good sleep, I wake up in time, free from the anxiety-inducing morning rush. Before heading out to a productive workday, I wake up fit for a morning run and a wholesome breakfast. Without comfortable sleep at night, I rush my mornings or feel too lazy. It is a recipe for unpreparedness and a gloomy day of work without my breakfast.
Therefore, having a good night’s sleep is a foundation for my constructive routine and a happy day. To inspire a healthy night’s sleep, I share some of my pre-sleep practices. Here’s how to sleep better at night naturally.
- Put Away Your Screen Lights at Night
- Let in Light During the Day
- Set Out a Sleeping Pattern
- Incorporate Meditation and Yoga Positions
- Take Melatonin Supplements
- Start Working Out
- Watch on Your Diet
- Quit Smoking and Alcohol
- Try Aromatherapy
- Cut on Daytime Naps
- Create a Mood to Induce Sleep
- Routine Check Ups for Sleep Disorders
- Your Bed Is Strictly for Sleep
1. Put Away Your Screen Lights at Night
Digital gadgets are shaping and part of almost all our daily activities. Your phone, laptop, iPad, smartwatch are like your companion, helping you keep informed, entertained, and trendy. However, one disadvantage is their blue light.
Part of the considerable part of light cast by communication and entertainment gadgets is blue light. This type of light affects your brain’s idea of time, causing it to behave like it’s still during the day.
Consequently, this increases the time it takes to fall asleep, also called sleep latency. It also speeds your heart and lowers the production of the melatonin hormone. The release of melatonin raises up your relaxation triggering quick ad deep sleep.
It is best to make prevention habits to keep away from blue light at least an hour before bed, if not the whole night. You can find software or mobile application that can manage a gadget’s blue light intensity levels if need be.
2. Let in Light During the Day
Your day serves as a great determiner of how your body manages to rest during the night. While blue lights can damage sleep routines, exposing yourself to natural daylight as much as possible helps keep your circadian rhythm well-balanced and in-tune.
Research shows that one solution to insomnia among seniors above 60 years is increasing their time in the daylight. Not only does daylight exposure boost how well or undisturbed they remained while in sleep, but it also increases their sleep time significantly.
Therefore, during the day, draw out the curtains and let bright light into your home. Also, ensure you enjoy some sunlight time, and you may just beat your insomnia.
3. Set Out a Sleeping Pattern
Our bodies and minds prefer a routine, which is key to a healthy circadian rhythm. Habits did consistently over time shape routines that can act as a body hack.
Having a sleep pattern in place will automatically mean your body gets into a sleepy mode within certain times. When we eat or sleep at a different time each day, our bodies will need to depend on external factors to induce sleep.
You can create your pattern around specific times when you eat your last meal of the day, retract away from screens, meditate, and a time to get into bed. Also, factor in the recommended eight hours of sleep before your waking time. A healthy sleeping pattern works wonders for your sleep latency, eliminating the tossing and turning your experience before sleeping.
4. Incorporate Meditation and Yoga Positions
Feeling physically exhausted can quickly knock you out. However, it is physical and mental relaxation that genuinely helps you enjoy a healthy night’s sleep.
Meditation which involves deep, slow breathing techniques, eases your mind, decreasing stress by silencing persistent racing thoughts. During meditation, we choose to intentionally focus on an item such as our breathing or natural sounds.
Via pairing up our meditation with easy yoga poses for sleep, we relax the body’s muscles and mind, tricking it into setting into a sleep zone. Meditation and yoga practices are perfect for calming the mind and reducing insomnia or the time you take to fall asleep. Research online or purchase a book detailing sleep-favoring yoga poses and meditation exercises.
5. Take Melatonin Supplements
At least four hours before your body or mind starts to feel sleepy, the melatonin hormone is released. How does the body know its time to sleep? Well, elements such as a decrease in the bright daylight or your circadian rhythm cue’s the release of melatonin hormones.
If your rhythm is off-balance and you continually expose yourself to blue light, you delay or lower the amount of melatonin released. Consequently, you find yourself struggling to fall asleep when you are in bed. In addition, you have an even harder time sleeping efficiently without multiple false waking times.
A lot of habits, in the long run, can increase your melatonin levels. If you are looking for an instant solution, consider buying melatonin supplements. It is best to liaise with sleep healthcare professionals for the best brand and dosage for these supplements.
6. Start Working Out
A mere thirty minutes a day of exercising can have remarkable effects on your sleep duration. Workout routines help boost the release of melatonin. It also frees your body from accumulating muscle tension that may make it hard to fall asleep.
If you take this route to solve your sleep problems, you should factor in when you work out. Exercises can fill you with a burst of energy. Therefore, work out in the early evenings or morning to avoid hype close to your bedtime.
7. Watch On Your Diet
What you eat and how you eat it also has a say on how well your sleep is. The interlink between sleep and our nutrition goes way beyond the popular stimulant coffee beans. Our diets influence our energy levels, heart health, and digestion.
If you overeat or skip a meal before you sleep, chances are you may feel uncomfortable during sleep and wake up from sleep in a couple of instances. The same can be said when you eat late into the night or shortly before sleeping. This not only affects your metabolism rate but also means you may feel energized and oose sleep quicker than usual or wake up tired due to poor digestion.
On what you eat, meals with stimulant properties can affect how quickly you fall asleep. Some meals to keep away from hours prior to falling asleep include:
- Spicy food or chilli-based meals
- Meals/snacks with great amounts of sugar
- Meals high in fats such as french fries or burgers
Similarly, some foods may induce you to sleep or help you sleep better. They include:
- Fruits for instance kiwifruit, sour cherries, bananas
- Chamomile tea
- Nuts such as almonds, pistachio, or peanuts in moderation
8. Quit Smoking and Alcohol
Contrary to popular belief, alcohol only makes you sleep when you are passed out drunk—a state which is not also healthy for your body and mind.
Alcohol and wine are stimulants and will have your mind too active to have a proper sleep. So despite the sleepiness after one r two vodka shots, you will likely have trouble staying asleep. The first stage of your sleep is significantly reduced when you are drunk; thus, you may fall asleep quicker. The second and REM sleep stages are harmed by alcohol intake due to disruptions and increased body heat.
In addition, alcohol is seen to promote one of the most common sleep disorders, sleep apnea. Liquor and beer will lower our breathing, setting the perfect conditions for snoring and sleep apnea.
Similarly, nicotine is also a stimulant, and smoking before bed may deter you from falling asleep. Furthermore, the need to smoke throughout the night may also cause you to wake up, shortening your sleep time frequently.
9. Try Aromatherapy
Research on the in-depth association of sleep and aromatherapy is still at its foundational stages. However, over the years, aromatherapy has been a critical theme in traditional and alternative medicine subjects. The use of essential oils and the burning of incense sticks have helped with relaxation in a bid to improve sleep from the earliest times.
When it comes to aromatherapy, the key is knowing the best ways to let out the essential oils and what amounts to use. Here are some essential oils that can improve how you sleep at night.
- Undoubtedly, lavender is at the top of sleep triggering essential oils. Once you inhale it, expect drowsiness with relaxing sensations of calm heartbeats, and a cool body temperature
- Chamomile oil is excellent for calming your mind before bed
- Ylang Ylang Oil
10. Cut On Daytime Naps
Power naps can maximize your productivity during the day, but only if they last for up to one and a half hours. However, sleeping for more than two hours during the day can have a negative impact on your night’s sleep.
Lengthy daytime naps or sleeping in the evenings can cause a lack of sleep at night. That is due to a shift in your circadian rhythm and more energy levels after a rejuvenating sleep not so long back.
Regularly falling asleep during the day for less than an hour can liven your day and improve your body’s reception to falling asleep. However, it is best to consider how your body feels or reacts to know whether daytime naps will benefit your night’s sleep.
11. Create a Mood to Induce Sleep
Your HVAC system can be a gamechanger in assisting you to fall asleep. Our bodies react to temperature changes differently. I tend to sleep quicker when it’s slightly cold or borderline chilly. For some, warmer temperatures laze them, and they will quickly fall asleep.
Depending on your body, tune indoor temperatures to a setting that aids you to fall asleep easier. However, program energy-efficient changes to avoid the stress associated with higher utility bills. In addition to indoor temperatures, indoor air quality matters as well.
Poor air quality lowers your breathing, thus impacting your sleep quality. You might also sneeze or cough through the night, disrupting your sleep flow. So, ventilate your bedroom well during the day.
Another pre-sleep mood factor to consider is your pets. Your cat or dog requires your attention and love. It’s no shocker if they wake you up in the middle of the night for no significant reason at all. If that is the case with your pet, make your bedroom off-limits during the night.
Soothing music or playing natural sounds such as ocean waves, rain sounds, white noise, and ASMR sounds may help you fall asleep. Streaming platforms such as YouTube or Spotify have sleep music for people more receptive to mood-setting sounds.
12. Routine Check Ups for Sleep Disorders
The majority of people are not well aware of sleep disorders beyond perhaps snoring and insomnia. As such, you or your loved one may be living with sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or Narcolepsy, among other disorders.
Make it a habit to visit a sleep healthcare professional when you seemingly can’t sleep well, are oversleeping, or feel exhausted when you wake up. There are multiple and effective medications and practices that can help you sleep better at night.
13. Your Bed Is Strictly for Sleep
Conditioning your mind that the bed is specifically for sleeping can reduce your sleep latency. Avoid stimulating activities such as using your phone, binge-watching Netflix shows on your bed.
Instead, practice relaxation habits such as meditation, aromatherapy, or reading a chapter or two to invite sleep. Do this every day, and your mind will know that being on the bed means time to fall asleep.
By following our guide on how to sleep better at night naturally, you stand to start enjoying your sleep. In addition, healthy sleeping practices also impact your physical and mental well-being. So, try these 13 steps out and contact My Sleep Source for high-quality mattresses to improve your night’s sleep.