Many of us have experienced sleepless nights and that’s perfectly normal. But it raises red flags when bad sleep starts becoming a regular occurrence.
Did you know that poor sleep can negatively affect our hormones, our day-to-day performance, our brain function as well as increase risk of weight gain and heart disease?
In contrast, a good night’s rest can help us be healthier, exercise and perform better and regulate our diet. It is important to pay attention to the quantity AND the quality of our sleep.
Here are 5 tips on we can sleep better at night.
1. Exposure to sunlight or bright lights
Our body has a natural time clock of 24 hours known as the circadian rhythm. It tells our brain when to stay awake and when to fall asleep.
If we step into the sunlight during the day or sit in a spot that has bright light, we can keep our circadian rhythm healthy. In turn, we’ll feel more energetic during the day and have improved night time sleep quality and duration.
2. Waking up and sleeping at consistent times
As mentioned in the previous point, our body’s circadian rhythm has a set loop. From sunrise to sunset.
By being consistent with our sleep and waking times, we improve our sleep quality and create a healthy pattern that boosts our levels of melatonin, the hormone that signals our brain to sleep. This means our body’s internal clock will naturally help us fall asleep and wake up more easily.
3. Optimizing the bedroom environment
We may not be aware but our bedrooms are a shrine for distractions. These distractions can come in the form of the chimes of our phones, the sound of traffic outside the window, the harsh lights in our bedrooms, or even the unrelaxing arrangement of the furniture.
For an optimal bedroom environment, we need to minimise external noise and light and make sure that the atmosphere in the room is quiet, calm, clean and enjoyable. We can start by eliminating all artificial lights like the ones from alarm clocks or laptops, investing in sound dampening curtains or soundproof our windows.
And yes, this also means keeping our phones, tablets and every other electronic distraction in a separate room.
4. Eating an early supper
While having an early meal may sound like something our grandmothers always told us to follow, science has proven that eating late at night can affect sleep quality and the natural release of HGH and melatonin.
So, does this also mean that late-night snacks are bad for our sleep? Absolutely!
A balanced dinner should be consumed at least 4 hours before bed so that our body has enough time to digest and doesn’t hinder our sleep cycle.
5. Clearing our mind in the evening
A pre-sleep routine is essential for those who suffer from poor sleep. Relaxation techniques like a calming massage, relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, meditation, or visualising can help improve our sleep quality. These techniques are also used to treat insomnia.
The fun part is, there are several different relaxation methods to test out.
The bottom line is, sleep is essential for our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night can help us fight risk of disease such as heart conditions or diabetes. Incorporating these easy steps can help make great sleep a priority.
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