Adequate sleep is vital for a healthy body and a healthy life. When we suffer from lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep, our energy levels dip as do our productivity and motivation levels. Healthy sleep habits can make an incredibly huge positive impact on your quality of life, which is why hitting the hay and getting at least 8 hours of quality sleep a night is essential. In today’s article, we look at 6 healthy habits to improve your sleeping. If you are someone who struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep, this is the article for you. Read on to find out more!
1. Rid Your Mind of Anxiety
One of the biggest contributors to poor sleep is anxiety. Most of us lead stressful lives, with long work hours, bills to pay and a plethora of other responsibilities to juggle. Worrying about things or suffering from anxiety is one of the most common contributing factors of poor sleep amongst people of all ages. One of the best ways to improve on your sleeping is to find a way to lower your anxiety levels.
One option is to head to a bulk billing GP where you can discuss your sleep issues and then get a referral to a psychologist who may be able to aid you in finding methods to calm your worries. Other ways an individual can lower anxiety levels are meditation, breathing exercises and eating a healthy balanced diet.
2. Keep The Devices Away
Most of us spend our time tapping away at devices such as smartphones and tablets all day long. It is not uncommon for people to watch television, use the computer or scroll through social media on their phones before heading to bed. Unfortunately, doing so is a huge contributing factor to poor sleep.
Looking at bright screens and keeping your mind engaged before bed time inhibits your body from winding down. Using stimulating devices prior to going to bed also makes your body produce cortisol instead of melatonin which puts you to sleep, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Keeping your devices away at least an hour before bedtime is essential for anyone looking to maintain a healthy sleep pattern.
3. Limit Caffeine and Stimulants
Are you someone who loves sipping on coffee after coffee all day long? Whilst coffee might aid in perking you up during the day time, the caffeine found in it is something that will keep you up all night long. Coffee and other stimulants such as cigarettes, fizzy drinks and chocolate are definite no-nos for anyone looking to improve their sleep pattern. Stimulating activities such as exercise, computer games and television should also be avoided before bedtime. We recommend curbing the caffeine and stimulant intake as early as noon time so that its effects can wear off well before it is time for you to go to bed.
4. Replace Your Mattress and Pillows
Anyone who has slept on a low quality mattress or set of pillows knows just how difficult it is to get comfortable and fall asleep, let alone stay asleep all night long. This is why you should look to replace your pillows every 1-2 years. If you currently own a mattress that isn’t as comfortable or supportive as it should be, it may be time to consider purchasing a new one. Having a quality mattress and pillows also reduces the number of sleep interfering allergens that may be present in your bedroom. Replacing your pillows and mattress is one of the best things you can do for your body!
5. Nap Early – Or Not At All
We know how tempting it may be to set your head down for a mid afternoon or evening nap, but did you know that your napping schedule may be negatively affecting your quality of sleep? Those who find falling asleep or staying asleep to be a problematic task at night should either choose to take naps early on in the day, or not at all. Late-day naps decrease sleep drive and can cause you to be wide awake at night, so if you have to nap, keep it short and ensure that you are napping before 5pm.
6. Keep Your Evening Meals Light
Lastly, one of the best habits to adopt to improve your sleep is to ensure that your evening meals are kept light. Eating too late and having a meal that is too heavy are surefire ways of keeping yourself up all night. The problem with eating heavy meals at night is that it prolongs your digestion which can interfere with a good night’s sleep. It is important to keep your evening meals light, around 500 calories or so, and to ensure that you are having dinner at a reasonable time that gives you a few hours of leeway between dinner and sleep.
We hope that this article has given you insight into some of the habits that you can adopt to improve your sleep cycle. By making a few small adjustments here and there, you’ll be able to rest easy, remain asleep for the entire duration of the night and feel completely refreshed and ready for the day when you awaken.