You spend roughly one third of your life asleep, yet sleep is still low on many people’s priorities. A lack of sleep leads to mental and physical problems such as: attention lapses, delayed reactions, depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, and even an early death. Clearly good Healthier Sleep is important to having a better life. Here are some easy to follow tips in order to help you get your best night’s sleep and to increase your health and wellbeing.
1. Get Comfortable for Healthier Sleep
The most important thing for getting a good night’s sleep is getting a good mattress. When shopping for a new mattress there are several things to consider. How firm or soft do you want your mattress? Do you want a foam or innerspring mattress? What kind of budget do you have? Finding the answer to some or all of these questions can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep you get. Yet picking the right mattress is only half the battle. Splurging on good pillows is just as important. Whether you want greater neck and spine support with a foam pillow, or you want a soft and squishy downy one, the right pillow not only can make a big deal in how you sleep, but also prevent aches or pains you might feel during the day.
2. No caffeine or alcohol before bed
What and how you drink before bed can have a massive effect on the sleep quality you get. If you tend to burn the midnight oil, you might find yourself drinking coffee or tea at night, but this can have a major detriment. Doctors recommend limiting caffeine before bed to 4 hours beforehand. Any closer than and you can find yourself tossing and turning all night, limiting the quantity and quality of your sleep. On the other hand, while alcohol is a depressant and may make you feel like it puts you to sleep when you drink, the chemical process it has on your brain actually causes the quality of sleep to be diminished. Depending on how much you’ve drank, it can leave you just as sleep deprived as not sleeping at all.
3. Create a good sleep schedule
Having a good sleep schedule can positively affect your quality of sleep. It’s recommended that you head to bed around the same time every night and wake up the same time every morning. After a while, your brain will start adjusting leading to a more consistent sleep cycle, which will cause healthier and deeper sleep. A good way to set a schedule is to meditate or do some low-intensity wind down yoga for 10-20 minutes before bed every night, then set an alarm at the same time every morning. Make sure you actually get up with your alarm and don’t set it to snooze.
4. Cut out the screen time
In this day and age, it can be hard to take a break from electronics. Phones, tablets and TVs are constantly on and the blue light they produce can have many harmful effects towards your sleep cycle. Blue light mimics sunlight and therefore can alter your circadian rhythm. This can change your brain chemistry and can cause massive disruptions in your sleep schedule, because your brain is hardwired to cycle with the sun. Doctors recommend putting away your phones or turning off the TV 30 minutes before bed in order to allow yourself to adjust. If that isn’t possible, certain apps on your phone or tablet can alter the lights that your electronics put out, allowing them to mimic more natural lighting.
5. See a doctor for Healthier Sleep
If you are still having sleep issues after these meaningful changes, you might have a medical issue. Do you wake up with a sore throat, or do you tend to snore? This could point to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects 26 percent of the adult population in the US and it often goes undiagnosed. Getting that diagnosed and getting a CPAP machine can be the difference between a restful and fitful night’s sleep. Other things that doctors can check for are conditions like restless leg syndrome or insomnia. Check with a doctor and see if you have an issue that can only be fixed with their help.
It is no secret that feeling your best is often affected by your sleep quality. It’s not hyperbole to say that good sleep is a life changer. It will make you feel happier, healthier, and less fatigued. You will find yourself with more energy in the day to spend on things that benefit you, and will lead to a more fulfilling life. It’s why taking your quality of sleep seriously is important. Don’t let bad sleep bring you down.