You can’t live long without sleep. It’s crucial for your survival, much like a balanced diet, access to clean water, and regular exercise. How well do you sleep, though? Are you getting enough restorative sleep at night or taking sporadic naps on the bus on the way to work?
Well, if you’re not having the best sleep, making a few minor lifestyle adjustments should help. Here are 4 tried-and-true methods to improve your sleep and get more rest each night.
1.) Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule
One of the simplest changes you can make to ensure you get the peaceful deep sleep you need is to set a regular bedtime. This teaches your body to fall asleep naturally, and wake up naturally as well. To do so, you need to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time as well.
But at what time should you go to bed and wake up? Use your chronotype—it is your body’s innate tendency to be asleep and awake at particular times. This is one of the best ways to know what works best for you. Are you a “night owl” or “early bird?” Check out my chronoquiz to determine your chronotype and recognize the best sleep schedule for your body.
Your chronotype is tied to your circadian rhythm, which regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle. You could, for instance, receive a full night’s sleep each day yet regularly have trouble sleeping. It’s possible that you could be working against your chronotype by going to bed when your body clock is trying to keep you up!
Evidently, while some people are predisposed to be more productive in the morning, others are more productive at night, depending on how their chronotype functions. Once you understand your chronotype, though, adjusting to your body’s particular timetable will be much simpler.
2.) Make Sure That Your Bedroom Is Sleep-friendly
Did you know that the environment you sleep in has a strong correlation to how fatigued you feel when you wake up? Your bedroom should be the ideal setting for the restorative, deep sleep that you need to perform at your best. Fortunately, this is achievable with just a few measures.
First, if you’re sensitive to light—or if your job needs you to sleep during the day—install blackout curtains on your windows. Second, if there are any obtrusive noises that can keep you awake, such as snoring companions or pets, use a white noise machine to drown out the noise.
If you prefer a completely quiet environment when falling asleep, earplugs are a relatively affordable and readily available choice. The Bose Sleepbuds II are commendable when silencing noise or even listening to relaxing music. Lastly, get comfortable bedding! Stearns and Foster customer complaints are rare due to their high quality.
3.) Keep Electronics Away
Light is medicine, and the correct type of light should be consumed to maintain good health. The sun’s blue and white light, for example, have a crucial role in your mood, mental clarity, and ability to regulate your sleep cycle. Artificial blue light from electronic devices, such as LED lights, smartphones, tablets, computer screens, and TVs can however contribute to a lack of sleep.
That’s especially the case when they’re used when it’s almost time for bed. This type of light inhibits your body’s natural melatonin production before bedtime, hindering you from falling asleep on time or preventing you from falling asleep all night. Luckily, this can be avoided!
To protect your sleep from being disrupted, put away your electronics at least 60 minutes (but ideally 90 minutes) before going to bed. This gives your brain enough time to make the melatonin it requires for sleep. Alternatively, you could opt for blue light-blocking glasses to securely use your gadgets before sleep time. For the best efficiency, look for those with amber lenses.
4.) Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Good sleep hygiene can help you sleep better. Not just brushing your teeth before going to sleep, though it is a crucial component, but other routines that can help you decompress. A perfect sleep hygiene routine can mean the difference between a restful night’s sleep and a great night’s sleep.
If you’re unsure about where to begin, try some of these:
• Take a warm shower or bath 1 or 2 hours before going to bed.
• Jot down your ideas on a sleep journal to help you unwind from the day.
• Include some relaxation exercises in your schedule, such as yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises.
Good quality sleep leaves you feeling refreshed and helps maintain good health. That said, put these 4 tips to test and you’ll be surprised how effective they will be in giving you the sleep you deserve!