We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, which shows how important sleep is for our physical and mental health. Sleeping affects our day as we feel energized throughout the day after a good night’s sleep. Sleeping too much or too little will make us feel exhausted and stressed. Sometimes, we have difficulties falling asleep and can struggle to find the cause. Our daily habits and diet can affect our sleep patterns and quality considerably. If you are experiencing exhaustion or stress, it is time to improve your sleeping habits. Here are 6 ways optimizing your sleep habits will improve your health.
1. Stick to a Sleeping Schedule
It is essential to get a sufficient amount of sleep, and setting a bedtime will help you keep track each night. Healthy adults need from 7 to 8 hours of sleep to wake up energized and well-rested. Keep a consistent sleeping schedule as you go to bed and wake up at the same time whether on weekdays or weekends.
Your body will be accustomed to sleeping during those times and you will find it easier to fall asleep. If you don’t fall asleep in 20 minutes, get up and engage in a relaxing activity such as reading, listening to soothing music, or meditating then try sleeping again.
2. Unwind Before Bedtime
Unwinding before going to bed will prepare your body for sleep. Keep it a daily routine to make your body recognize that it is going to bed soon, which will help you fall asleep quickly. Start your routine 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime to have enough time for winding down.
Do anything that makes you relax as long as it doesn’t involve electronic devices. You can have a warm shower as it makes your body temperature drop which can make you feel sleepy. You can stretch gently, listen to relaxing music, read a book, or meditate.
3. Create a Sleeping Environment
Creating a room suitable for sleeping is essential for having good quality sleep. Keep your room dark, quiet, and cool to relax your body. Turn off bright lights in the evening as they will keep you alert.
Your bed must be comfortable to help you sleep quickly and restfully. The pillows should keep your head parallel to the bed, and you should choose among the best mattress brands to offer your body the right support, so you won’t wake up feeling any discomfort. Turn on a fan or air conditioner to keep your body temperature cool as warm bodies tend to find it difficult to sleep.
4. Exercise Daily
Exercising has various benefits including improving sleep quality. All you need is at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to feel the difference in your sleeping habits and the quality, besides your overall health. Exercising outside increases the benefits as you get exposed to nature and natural light which helps regulate the sleep cycle.
However, don’t exercise before bedtime by 1 or 2 hours as it raises your energy levels, and can stop you from falling asleep easily. Start easy and don’t overwhelm yourself. You can do any activity that you enjoy such as dancing, hiking, cycling, or walking.
5. Dedicate Your Bed For Sleep and Sex Only
Beds are very tempting to lay down on and read, chat, watch TV, or work on your laptop. However, your body cannot relax this way, as your subconscious will be prepared to do an activity.
Make sure you only associate rest with your bed so that your brain will believe it’s time to unwind once you’re tucked in. It will be easier to sleep once you get into the bed as your body is prepared for sleeping. If you like to read before sleeping, read on a couch or comfortable chair.
6. Watch What You Eat and Drink
Going to bed hungry or overstuffed will affect your probability of sleeping and its quality as well. Don’t eat heavy meals within 2 hours of your bedtime as it can cause discomfort while sleeping. Stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, tea, and other caffeinated drinks will keep you up at night and even if you sleep, your sleep will be interrupted. The effects of nicotine and caffeine wear off after several hours and will affect sleep.
These 6 tips will ensure you sleep well and wake up the next day well-rested and full of energy. It is essential to have a sleep routine that includes a schedule and unwinding period, and creating a sleeping environment. Make sure your bed along with the rest of your surroundings set the right tone. Exercise for at least 30 mins and don’t eat right before bed; you’ll quickly notice a difference in the quality of your sleep.