Having a good night’s rest is just as important to your health as regular exercise or maintaining a healthy diet.
Here’s a guide on how you can build healthy sleep habits to ensure a better sleep night.
Daytime Eating Habits - Watch what you eat and drink.
Your diet plays a role in how well you sleep, especially in the hours before bedtime.
Keep a cap on caffeine. It comes as no surprise that caffeine can keep you up at night. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. It can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers. Try to steer clear of caffeine four to six hours before sleeping.
Avoid eating late at night. Eating too late at night may be a recipe for insomnia. Eating late at night may negatively affect both sleep quality and the natural release of HGH and melatonin.
Cut back on sugary treats and refined carbs. Eating lots of sugar and refined carbs can trigger wakefulness at night and pull you out of the deep, restorative stages of sleep.
Steer clear of alcohol before bed. While a nightcap may help you relax, it interferes with your sleep cycle. Alcohol is known to cause or increase the symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring, and disrupted sleep patterns. It also alters nighttime melatonin production, which plays a key role in your body’s circadian rhythm.
Here are some bedtime snacks that can help promote sleep:
- A small bowl of whole-grain, low sugar cereal
Create A Soothing Night Time Routine - Have some relaxing activities before bed.
Taking steps to ease your transition from your waking time to sleeping time. Establish some soothing activities for an hour or so before bed.
Take a bath. The rise and the fall in body temperature promote drowsiness.
Read a book. Keeping your mind distracted by something else will keep your focus away from stressing about falling asleep.
Practice relaxing activities. Stretching or meditation can help you calm down and prepare for bed. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities such as doing work, discussing emotional issues. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness.
Try a deep breathing exercise. Deep breathing can activate the relaxation response and lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels to help you drift off to sleep.
Turn Your Room Into A Peaceful Sleep Environment - Keep it quiet, cool, and dark.
A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote slumber.
Keep the noise down. Try to avoid noise distractions. Lower the volume of outside noise. Mask it with a fan or sound machine. Earplugs can also help.
Keep your room cool. Keep the temperature comfortably cool. Between 60 and 75° and keep the room well ventilated. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep.
Make sure your bed is comfortable. Your bed covers should leave you enough room to stretch and turn comfortably without becoming tangled. A weighted blanket will be ideal. And make sure your bedroom is equipped with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
Reserve your bed for only bedtime activities. By not working, watching TV, or using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed, your brain will associate the bedroom with just sleep, which makes it easier to wind down at night.
Follow Through - Gain your habits and stick with it.
These tips may seem easy to include in your nightly routine. However, maintaining them may be difficult for some. The most important thing is not just gaining good sleeping habits but sticking with them. If you stick with them, your chances of achieving restful sleep will improve.
That said, not all sleep problems are so easily treated and could signify the presence of a sleep disorder such as apnea, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, or another clinical sleep problem. If your sleep difficulties don’t improve through good sleep hygiene, you may want to consult your physician or a sleep specialist.