Regular exercise and a healthy diet are equally as important as getting enough sleep. Hormones, athletic performance, and cognitive function have all been proven to suffer from little sleep.
It can cause weight gain in both adults and children, as well as increase the risk of disease.
On the other side, getting enough sleep can help you eat less, exercise more efficiently, and lead a healthier lifestyle. In recent decades, both the quantity and quality of sleep have decreased. Many people, in fact, have problems sleeping on a daily basis.
One of the most important things you can do to enhance your health or lose weight is getting a good night’s sleep.
1. Increase your exposure to strong light during the day.
The circadian rhythm is your body’s inherent clock for maintaining time.
It has an effect on your brain, body, and hormones, allowing you to stay awake while also letting your body know when it’s time to sleep.
During the day, bright light or natural sunshine helps to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. This enhances daytime energy as well as the quality and length of nocturnal sleep.
Daytime bright light exposure increased sleep quality and duration in insomniacs. It also shaved 83 percent off the time it took to fall asleep.
In a comparative research of older persons, 2 hours of bright light exposure throughout the day boosted sleep duration by 2 hours and sleep efficiency by 80%.
While the majority of studies include patients who have significant sleep problems, everyday light exposure will most likely benefit you even if your sleep is typical.
Try to receive daily sunshine exposure or, if that isn’t possible, invest in bright light equipment or bulbs.
Sleep quality and length can be improved by daily exposure to sunshine or artificial bright light, especially if you have severe sleep problems or insomnia.
2. In the evening, limit your exposure to blue light.
Light exposure during the day is good, whereas light exposure at night has the reverse impact. This is due to its influence on your circadian rhythm, which causes your brain to believe it is still sunlight. Hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and sleep deeply, are reduced as a result of this.
Blue light, which is emitted in significant volumes by electronic gadgets such as cellphones and laptops, is the worst in this respect.
There are numerous prominent strategies for reducing blue light exposure at night.
These are some of them:
- Protect your eyes with blue-blocking eyewear.
- Block blue light on your laptop or PC using software like f.lux.
- On your smartphone, download a blue light blocking app. These are compatible with both iPhone and Android devices.
- 2 hours before going to bed, switch off the TV and any bright lights.
Your body is fooled into believing it’s daytime by blue light. You may limit blue light exposure in the evening in a variety of ways.
3. Caffeine should not be consumed late in the day.
Caffeine has a number of benefits and is used by 90% of the population in the United States. With just one dose, you can boost your focus, energy, and athletic performance.
The primary issue is that caffeine acts as a stimulate and the later in the day you consume it, the more it will affect you at night.
A study revealed that if you drink coffee roughly six hours before going to bed that it can lead to poorer sleep quality.
Caffeine concentration in the blood may remain high for up to eight hours. As a matter of fact, drinking lots of coffee in the evening isn’t advised, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine or have problems sleeping at night.
If you really need some coffee in the late afternoon or evening, stick to decaf coffee.
4. Avoid taking long or inconsistent naps during the day.
While brief power naps are useful, sleeping for lengthy periods of time or on an irregular basis during the day might have a detrimental impact on your sleep. Sleeping during the day might throw off your internal schedule, making it difficult to sleep at night.
In fact, after taking midday naps, participants in one research reported feeling sleepier during the day.
Longer naps can affect health and sleep quality, according to another research. While sleeping for 30 minutes or less can improve daytime brain performance, longer naps can harm health and sleep quality.
Those who take frequent daytime naps, on the other hand, do not have poor sleep quality or interrupted sleep at night, according to several studies that were done.
You shouldn’t be concerned if you take frequent afternoon naps and get enough sleep. The consequences of napping vary depending on the person.
5. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
The circadian rhythm in your body runs on a predetermined schedule, aligning itself with dawn and sunset. Consistency in sleep and waking hours can help with long-term sleep quality.
Participants in one research who had irregular sleeping habits and went to bed late on weekends had poor sleep quality. Other research has found that irregular sleep patterns might affect your circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, which tell your brain to sleep.
If you have trouble sleeping, attempt to get into the routine of waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. You might not even need an alarm after a few weeks.
6. Consider using a melatonin pill.
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that signals to your brain when it’s time to unwind and sleep. Melatonin pills are a well-liked sleeping aid. Melatonin, which is commonly used to treat insomnia, maybe one of the simplest methods to fall asleep quickly.
Taking 2 mg of melatonin before bed enhanced sleep quality and vitality the next day, as well as helped participants fall asleep faster, according to one research.
Another research found that half of the participants fell asleep sooner and had a 15% increase in sleep quality. Furthermore, neither of the trials mentioned above showed any withdrawal symptoms.
Melatonin is particularly beneficial while traveling and transitioning to a new time zone since it aids in the restoration of your body’s circadian rhythm.
Melatonin is only available with a prescription in some countries. Melatonin is commonly accessible in shops and online in various countries. 30–60 minutes before bedtime, take 1–5 mg.
Begin with a tiny dose to gauge your tolerance, then gradually increase as needed. Because melatonin might change brain chemistry, it’s best to consult with a doctor before taking it.
You should also consult them if you’re considering giving your child melatonin as a sleep aid, as long-term usage of this substance in children has not been well researched.
Melatonin supplements may be purchased online.
7. Take into account the following supplements.
Several substances might help you relax and sleep better, including:
Ginkgo biloba is a natural plant that has a variety of health advantages. It may help with sleep, relaxation, and stress reduction, however, research on this is limited. 30–60 minutes before bedtime, take 250 mg
Taking 3 grams of the amino acid glycine has been shown in a few trials to enhance sleep quality.
According to several studies, valerian root can help you fall asleep and increase the quality of your sleep. Take 500 mg before going to bed.
Magnesium, which is involved in over 600 processes in your body, can help you relax and sleep better.
L-theanine is an amino acid that can help you relax and sleep better. Before going to bed, take 100–200 mg.
Lavender is a potent plant with various health advantages that might help you sleep better by inducing a relaxing and sedentary impact. Take 80–160 mg of linalool at a concentration of 25–46%.
Make a point of just trying one of these vitamins at a time. While they aren’t a cure-all for sleep problems, they can help when used in conjunction with other natural sleeping methods.
8. Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
Having a few beers late at night might have a detrimental impact on your sleep and hormones. Sleep apnea, snoring, and interrupted sleep patterns are all known to be caused or exacerbated by alcohol.
It also affects melatonin synthesis at night, which is important for your body’s circadian rhythm.
Another research discovered that drinking alcohol at night reduced normal evening spikes in human growth hormone (HGH), a hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm and has a variety of other functions
9. Make your bedroom more comfortable.
Many individuals feel that the surroundings and layout of their bedroom are important aspects of having a good night’s sleep.
Temperature, noise, exterior lighting, and furniture layout are some of these influences. External noise, particularly road-noise, has been linked to poor sleep and long-term health problems in several studies.
In one research of women’s bedroom environments, around half of the participants reported better sleep quality when noise and light were reduced.
Try to keep external noise, light, and artificial lighting from gadgets like alarm clocks to a minimum in your bedroom. Ensure that your bedroom is a peaceful, calm, clean, and comfortable environment.
10. Adjust the temperature in your bedroom
The temperature of your body and your bedroom may have a big impact on how well you sleep. It can be difficult to obtain a decent night’s sleep when it’s too hot, as you may have discovered during the summer or in hot areas.
According to one study, bedroom temperature had a greater impact on sleep quality than external noise. Increased body and bedroom temperatures have been shown in other research to reduce sleep quality and increase alertness.
Most individuals appear to find 70°F (20°C) to be a pleasant temperature, however, this varies on personal tastes and habits.
11. Avoid eating late at night.
Late-night eating has been shown to have a detrimental impact on sleep quality as well as the natural production of HGH and melatonin.
However, the quality and type of late-night food you eat may also have an impact. A high-carb supper eaten four hours before bedtime helped participants fall asleep faster in one research.
A low-carb diet was shown to promote sleep in one research, demonstrating that carbohydrates aren’t always required, especially if you’re habituated to a low-carb diet.
12. In the evening, unwind and clear your head.
Many people have a relaxing habit before going to bed. Relaxation techniques performed before bedtime have been demonstrated to enhance sleep quality and are a typical treatment for insomnia.
A soothing massage enhanced sleep quality in persons who were sick in one research.
Listening to soothing music, reading a book, having a hot bath, meditation, deep breathing, and visualizing are some of the techniques that might help you relax.
Experiment with different approaches to see what works best for you.
13. Take a long bath or shower to unwind.
Another common approach to sleep better is to take a soothing bath or shower. According to studies, they can help people — particularly older ones — fall asleep faster and improve overall sleep quality.
Taking a hot bath 90 minutes before bed enhanced sleep quality and helped participants experience more deep sleep, according to one research.
If you don’t feel like taking a complete bath at night, merely soaking your feet in hot water will help you relax and sleep better.
14. Make sure you don’t have a sleep condition.
Your sleep issues might be the result of an underlying health condition. Sleep apnea is a frequent problem that causes irregular and interrupted breathing. People who suffer from this condition have a habit of stopping breathing while sleeping.
It’s possible that this ailment is more frequent than you believe. According to one study, 24% of men and 9% of women suffer from sleep apnea.
Sleep movement disorders and circadian rhythm sleep/wake disorders, both of which are frequent in shift workers, are two more medically identified concerns.
If you’ve always had trouble sleeping, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.
15. Purchase a relaxing bed, mattress, and pillow.
Some folks are perplexed as to why they always seem to sleep better at hotels. Aside from the calming surroundings, the quality of the bed might have an impact on sleep.
A 28-day research looked at the advantages of a new mattress and found that it decreased back pain by 57%, shoulder discomfort by 60%, and back stiffness by 59 percent. It also increased the quality of sleep by 60%.
New bedding, according to other research, can improve sleep. Furthermore, poor quality bedding might contribute to an increase in lower back discomfort.
The greatest mattress and bedding are highly personal. If you’re looking to upgrade your bedding, consider your own preferences. It’s advised that you replace your bedding every 5–8 years at the very least.
If you haven’t updated your mattress or bedding in years, this might be a simple — if somewhat costly — cure.
16. Exercise on a regular basis, but not before bedtime.
Exercise is one of the most scientifically proven methods for improving your sleep and overall health. It can improve all elements of sleep and has been used to alleviate insomnia symptoms.
In one research of older persons, exercise reduced the time it took to fall asleep by nearly half and resulted in 41 extra minutes of sleep every night.
Exercise provided more advantages than most medicines in persons with severe insomnia. Exercise decreased the time it took to fall asleep by 55%, total night awake by 30%, and anxiety by 15%, while improving total sleep duration by 18%.
Although daily exercise is essential for a restful night’s sleep, doing it too late in the day might induce sleep issues.
This is due to exercise’s stimulatory impact, which raises alertness and chemicals such as epinephrine and adrenaline. However, several studies have found no harmful effects, indicating that it is very dependent on the person.
17. Don’t drink anything before going to bed.
Excessive urine during the night is known as nocturia in medical terms. It has an impact on sleep quality and energy levels during the day.
Large volumes of liquids consumed prior to going to bed can cause comparable sensations, however, some people are more susceptible than others. Although hydration is important for your health, it’s a good idea to cut back on fluids in the late evening.
1–2 hours before going to bed, avoid drinking any liquids. You should also use the restroom shortly before bed to reduce your chances of waking up in the middle of the night.
Sleep is essential for good health.
Insufficient sleep was associated with an elevated risk of obesity by 89 percent in children and 55 percent in adults in one major study.
According to other research, sleeping less than 7–8 hours every night raises the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Making sleep a high priority and using some of the recommendations above are suggested if you want to achieve optimal health and well-being.