Having a good night’s sleep is almost as essential as the need for you to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet. Poor sleep brings along with it several side effects on your brain function, exercise performance, and hormones. Research shows that poor sleep can cause an increased risk of disease, weight gain, and mental breakdown.
That said, more people, for various reasons, fall into the trap of not getting enough sleep. If you are one of these people, you have room for improvement. How can you improve your sleep patterns? See the below strategies.
1. Increase Your Exposure to Bright Light During the Day
Scientists have discovered that every human has an internal circadian rhythm that works with your body, hormones, and brain to keep you awake during the day and fall asleep at night.
Therefore, the more you expose yourself to bright light or daylight during the day, the better the quantity and quality of sleep you might get during the night. Scientists recommend you soak in the morning sunlight between the hours of 8a.m to 10a.m. If your circumstances make it difficult for you to get daylight exposure, you could explore the option of purchasing artificial bright light bulbs or other similar devices.
2. Reduce Your Exposure To Blue Light In The Evening
While it is important to soak in as much daylight as possible, over-exposure to artificial blue light during the night is likely to affect your sleep patterns. The reason for this has to do with the body’s circadian rhythm. Nighttime light will cause your brain to believe that it is daytime, and thus reduce the production of important sleep-causing hormones such as melatonin.
What devices give out blue light? Electronic devices such as TV, smartphones, computer monitors, florescent lights give out artificial blue light. Therefore, as your evening progresses, it would be wise to reduce your exposure to blue light to allow your body and mind to relax.
3. Avoid Caffeine Consumption Later in The Day
There are several benefits associated with caffeine consumption, such as improved focus, enhanced sports performance, and boosted energy levels. However, when you consume caffeine-related drinks late at night, your body’s nervous system gets stimulated rather than naturally relaxing progressively until it is time to sleep.
According to one study, caffeine can remain elevated within your bloodstream for as long as 6–8 hours. Therefore, one way to improve your sleep is to avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine at the very least 6 hours before it is time to sleep. Alcohol, nicotine from cigarettes stimulate your body to wakefulness. Avoid them the same way you avoid caffeinated drinks 6 hours before your bedtime.
4. Ensure You Have a Comfortable Pillow, Mattress, and Bed
The reason you most likely will sleep better in a hotel than at home is that hotels hugely invest in the quality of their beds, mattresses, and pillows. Thus, besides creating a relaxing sleep environment, improve your bed quality. Poor bed quality could cause increased back stiffness, lower back pain, and shoulder pain.
However, avoid confusing good bed quality with expensive beddings or linen. You could explore a variety of mattresses like real simple mattresses, pillows, and beds that will still result in an improved quality of bedding.
Getting a good night’s sleep is not optional, as it will go a long way in improving your well-being and optimal health. For you to feel refreshed mentally, physically and emotionally the next day, get 8 to 9 hours of nighttime sleep. Make a good night’s sleep your top priority and try out some recommendations mentioned in this article.