4 Ways To Get More Restful Sleep At Night
For years we’ve been told 8-hours of sleep is needed if we want to feel like our best selves during the day. The truth is, sometimes that 8-hours of sleep turns into 5 and maybe even 3 or 4. Let’s consider all the things in our lives that interfere with us having a good night’s sleep — work stress, health-related issues, family responsibilities and unfortunately, technology. While you may not always have control over the things that prevent you from getting the rest that you need at night, there are healthier habits you can implement that contribute to you getting better rest at night. Here’s a list of our favorite tips to getting more restful sleep at night.
Rid Yourself of Technology Before Bed
The overexposure to lights from your laptops, cellphones, tablets, and other gadgets have a significant impact on your quality of sleep at night. Many are so used to sending a quick email or checking your social feeds before bed; you don’t realize how much your sleep is affected by technology use. According to the national sleep foundation, ninety percent of people in the U.S. admit to using a technological device during the hour before going to sleep. It has also been reported that children often use electronic media to help them relax at night. Let’s explore one of the most significant ways electronic devices keep your brain awake at night.
The use of electronic devices before bed delays your body’s internal clock, suppressing the release of melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep. There is an artificial blue light emitted by electronic devices. The more technology you use in the evening, the harder it is to fall asleep or stay asleep. Solutions? You can give yourself a curfew which limits your screen time before bed. For example, Apple iPhone users have a screen time function built into their phones. The screen time feature enables you to pick a specific time that your phone automatically goes into do not disturb mode, you receive no phone calls, text notifications and your apps become inactive. Your curfew should include all your devices not just your cellphone. Inactivity at least an hour or two before falling asleep can have positive benefits on your sleep at night. You can also opt into more traditional ways of winding down before bed by listening to meditation sounds or reading a book.
Be Consistent with Sleep Times
Speaking of a curfew, going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day has positive impacts. A routine sleep schedule programs your internal clock, helping you get the most out of your evening rest. Choose a time that allows you to get the required 8-hours of sleep. A consistent nightly routine will help to condition your body and brain to function on a regular sleep-wake schedule.
Eliminate Your Caffeine Consumption
Your daytime eating habits play a huge role in how well you sleep at night. The hours leading up to sleep are the most crucial. Caffeine can stay in your system for upwards of eight hours after it’s consumption. So, imagine the hours of sleep you miss out on because you had to have a soda or coffee hours before bedtime. Large meals, sugar, caffeine, alcohol are all key factors that contribute to a lack of sleep. Consider lighter meals if you eat later in the evenings. It’s best to have non-caffeinated beverages like herbal teas, which promote calmness and can contribute to better sleep.
Get Active During The Day
Physical activity not only improves your quality of sleep but can also increase the duration of your sleep. A 2011 study concluded that people who get at least 150 minutes of exercise during the week sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day. More than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity. So, in short, get your bodies moving if you’re looking to see an increase in your nightly rest.
Our environments and moods play a significant role in our quality of sleep as well. When we go to bed consumed with angry, negative thoughts, we tend to rest lest because our minds are continually playing out different scenarios. You can benefit from a clean and cool sleeping environment as well. Research shows that a room temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for a good night’s sleep. Exposure to too much light might make it more challenging to fall asleep so, the darker the room, the better. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. While home remedies are always helpful, we also encourage you to know when it’s time to see a licensed professional. When prone to sleepless nights, a doctor can better help to identify underlying issues and provide the adequate treatment you deserve. For more information on sleep studies and helpful resources, visit the nationalsleepfoundation.org.