We spend most of our life sleeping. Most of us know that we need to eat right and be active to be healthy, but forget about how important it is to have good sleeping habits. Unproductive, bad sleep affects our daily routine, brain function, work productivity. It can even affect our relationships with others.
Lack of sleep is a factor for weight gain. You are running on low energy and that increases hunger and appetite, so you want comfort, unhealthy food. It happens because of sleep deprivation’s negative effect on your hormones – leptin and ghrelin. If you don’t sleep enough you wake up with too little leptin which makes your brain think you don’t have enough energy for your needs and with too much ghrelin in your system, your body thinks it’s hungry and it needs more calories. The recommended amount of sleep is at least seven hours.
Below you will find 7 tips on how to increase the quality of your sleep and how to fall asleep faster.
1. Think about what you eat and drink
It is known that food can affect our sleep. You may have noticed that a full stomach makes you feel sleepy, but food with nutritional value can make all the difference between a good night’s sleep and indigestion.
Check out the list of foods that you should eat and should avoid before your bedtime. Follow these eating habits and avoid heavy meals two hours before bedtime for a better night of sleep.
2. Reduce your use of electronic devices before bed
Smartphones and computers emit blue light. Our brains think it is still daytime and that reduces hormones like melatonin, which makes us fall asleep. Stop watching TV, using other electronic devices, and turn off any bright lights 1-2 hours before your bedtime.
3. Reduce long daytime naps
Too long or late nap affects your nighttime sleep. For most people, short naps don’t affect their night sleep. Taking naps under half an hour can bring about many benefits, such as reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improved mood, and improved cognitive performance. But if you experience bad sleep quality at night, napping can worsen the situation by making it harder to fall asleep at night.
4. Improve your bedroom environment
The bedroom environment is a very important factor in getting a good night’s sleep. External noise, light from the windows, artificial lights from devices affect our sleep. Make sure your bedroom is a clean, relaxing, and dark place. It’s not a place for watching TV. Leave this room only for sex and sleep.
5. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
Try to keep your sleep and waking time at similar times. Practice it even during weekends and holidays. It improves sleep quality and not only this. Regular waking up and sleeping time reduces “Monday Morning Blues” – difficulty to wake up on Monday morning after a long, relaxing weekend. After a while, you may not even need an alarm!
6. Do regular exercises
All of us know that physical activity is the key to good health. It increases the time spent in a deep sleep. Deep sleep reduces stress and relieves anxiety, boosts the immune system, and supports cardiac health. Do your favorite exercises – get out for a jog, try out yoga for two, cycle around your neighborhood, hit the gym for some weight training or a cardio session on most days no less than 30 minutes, but not too close to bedtime.
7. Do relaxing activities before bedtime
Relaxing activities before bedtime calm our active minds. They help to avoid worries about the past day or tomorrow in bed. You can decide what is relaxing for you, but you might like some of these relaxing ideas:
- taking a bath,
- listening to music,
- write down reminders, to-do lists for the next day,
- spending time with a family,
- cooling a bedroom.
Every bit of these practices you commit can help you get better sleep. Step by step your restless nights will become a thing of the past.
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