13 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is an important aspect of our lives, not just for physical rest but also mental energy. Getting the right amount of sleep not only makes your brain sharper and increases productivity, but is also essential for weight control, a healthy immune system as well as a healthy heart. The CDC recommends that adults get 7 hours or more sleep per night as part of a healthy balance. When we don’t get enough sleep, we are more prone to illness and it can also lead to weight gain. However, getting to sleep may not always be easy, as thoughts race through our mind after a busy day on the go. Here are some tips that might lead to a good night’s sleep or help you fall asleep more easily:
Create a routine
Being consistent with what time you go to bed and at what time you wake up, will ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. Our bodies rely on this consistency and even a late night out during the weekend can throw us off.
Ditch the electronic devices
Whilst some people fall asleep faster with the TV on in the background, it’s best not to use any electronic devices before going to bed. This is because electronic devices with screens generate an artificial blue light that has an adverse effect on falling asleep as it tricks your mind into thinking its daytime. Although checking our newsfeed before bed may be a habit for most of us, make a plan to remove any electronic devices from your bedroom and get an old-fashioned alarm clock instead if you rely on your phone to wake up in the morning.
Listen to an audiobook
If you’re one of those people who falls asleep easily in front of the TV, you could instead try listening to an audiobook, or podcast. The idea is that following a storyline will keep your mind off otherwise stressful thoughts that would keep you up at night. Some have reported feeling like a child again being read a story before bed, creating a soothing effect. Needless to say, choose a calm storyline rather than one full of suspense and action.
Create a calm atmosphere
To fall asleep, your body and mind need to relax and having a bedroom that’s quiet and dark can help contribute to creating a comfortable space for you to do so.
Invest in earplugs, soundproofing or sound cancelling curtains to block out rowdy neighbours.
Your brain reads light as a time to stay awake and so produces a hormone called cortisol to keep you alert. Exposure to too much light before going to bed could lead to you waking up more often. This could mean using a sleeping mask or installing blackout curtains to block out the light to help you fall asleep more easily.
It is also believed that a cooler temperature, ideally 15.6° – 22° Celsius, helps you fall asleep faster whilst higher temperatures make you more alert.
Bedding and pillows are an important factor when falling asleep – the more comfortable the bedding of course the better the conditions to fall asleep. A weighted blanket is also believed to have a beneficial effect as it helps reduce anxiety and elevates a state of relaxedness.
Use Scent to sleep
It’s not just our visual and audio senses that contribute to perceiving a calming atmosphere. Your sense of smell can help with this too. When your sense of smell perceives scents that are soothing to the system, your brain releases chemicals that can help you sleep. Use a diffuser, pillow inserts or pillow spray to carry your minds into lavender-scented dreams. As with aromatherapy, certain scents like lavender, jasmine, and chamomile are believed to improve sleep quality and lead to a good night’s sleep by reducing nervous system activity.
Don’t have a large meal before going to bed
Eating way too close to bedtime may cause indigestion, acid reflux and keep you up at night by requiring you to take bathroom breaks. If you need to eat before going to bed, take something light, something calming such as chamomile tea or something that contains melatonin (the hormone that helps your body know when it’s time to sleep) such as strawberries, cherries and nuts.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before going to bed
Avoiding caffeine before going to bed might be a no-brainer, but avoid alcohol too. The belief that alcohol helps you fall asleep faster may be true for some people, but it will also keep you up throughout the night.
When we say exercise helps improve your overall health, we mean it. Besides the obvious benefits of exercise such as weight loss, reducing anxiety, and improving your overall mood – it can also help you to fall asleep faster at night and help you get a good night’s sleep. Exercising throughout the day will exert energy that you would otherwise take with you to bed. It’s also a cycle where not getting enough sleep means less physical energy levels throughout the day.
Don’t take too many naps
Similarly, if you nap too much during the day, you won’t be tired enough at night to fall asleep.
Track your sleep
Tracking your sleep, writing down at what time you go to bed and wake up, as well as noting your mood, food, alcohol as well as exercise that day, can help you understand when and why you have trouble sleeping. Tracking your sleep could also form part of a Bullet Journal that can also serve as a diary, a calendar, a to-do list and a tracker all in one. Alternatively, there are apps and devices that you can use to track your sleep effectively such as a Fitbit that records periods of light sleep, deep sleep and when you are awake.
Write down the thoughts that are keeping you up at night
Similarly to what we do when we are Bullet Journaling, writing things down can help you fall asleep as it allows you to separate yourself from the thoughts at hand. It also takes off the burden of having to remember through to the morning any thoughts that come by. It also helps to write down any thoughts, feelings or chores that need to be done so they don’t ay heavy in your mind just before bed.
Meditation is believed to help the mind relax and can help you learn how to fall asleep faster and lead to a good night’s sleep. It helps as it allows people to learn how to manage their thoughts as opposed to stressing about them. There are plenty of apps that can help you through mediation and mindfulness with your night-time troubles, whilst pre-bedtime yoga is also believed to be beneficial. Studies show that a few stretches before bed can prevent cramping at night, and breathing exercises can help you relax when sleeping.
Listen to white noise
White noise can help you fall asleep as it soothes your audio senses as well as masks any other noises in the background. There are even soft toys for kids that can produce white noise on a timer, as well as apps, playlists and white noise machines for adults. Alternatively, soothing music or ambient sounds can help too.
A good night’s sleep can make all the difference to our day. Should issues with your sleep persist, make sure to seek the help of a doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Sleep is a vital part of our health as it allows our body and mind to recover and recharge, allowing it the energy to fight off disease and keep your brain alert. And at Laferla, we understand the importance of health so much so that we have created a number of health insurance packages to suit everyone’s different needs and requirements.