When it comes to your health and quality of life, a good night’s sleep is just as important and eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Why? Because adequate sleep improves brain function, reduces the risk of accidents, regulates your hormones, improves learning and memory, aids in problem-solving, regulates your weight and helps you control your emotions, just to name a few.
Not getting enough sleep is often referred to as sleep deficiency. If you often lie in bed, but can’t sleep, you should be interested in your sleep efficiency, which is the amount of time spent sleeping in relation to the amount of time you spend in bed. Learning how to sleep better using the following tips can improve your life and health in many ways.
Good Sleep Efficiency Relies on Less Blue Light
In today’s tech-driven world, you’re probably exposed to blue light regularly throughout the day. This is the light emitted by devices like your tablet or smartphone.
Research shows that it can disrupt your circadian rhythm, making it difficult to sleep at night. You can certainly turn the blue light filter off on our devices, but you can also use glasses that block blue light or simply turn your devices off about an hour before bed.
Create a Sleep Schedule for Better Rest
Sticking to a sleep cycle helps regulate your circadian rhythm so that you can sleep when you go to bed. For that reason, it’s important to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
Sleeping in on the weekends isn’t a good idea if you have trouble sleeping and if you fall asleep on the couch before bedtime, you could be disrupting your sleep-wake cycle.
Make Sure You’re Sleeping on the Right Mattress
Buy a comfortable and supportive mattress; being uncomfortable makes it hard to sleep. If you have allergies, buy an allergen reducing mattress cover. If your mattress is more than about 7 to 10 years old, it’s time for an upgrade.
The right mattress, which you can view here, is vital to getting the sleep you need.
Build Some Exercise Time into Your Day
Studies show that people who exercise during the day get better sleep at night. Even just a 10-minute walk can help you get more rest. And the more vigorous the exercise, the better the benefit. Make sure that your time your sweat session correctly though because being active too close to bedtime can keep you from falling asleep.
Make Smart Choices at Mealtime to Avoid Lying Awake
Caffeine is definitely an off-limits substance too close to bedtime since it will wake you up and prevent falling asleep.
It’s best to cut yourself off the caffeine at or shortly after lunchtime so that your body has a chance to eliminate it completely before bedtime. Likewise, alcohol too close to bedtime might make you feel drowsy but gets in the way of a whole night of good rest.
You should also avoid large, heavy meals too close to lights out or you won’t be comfortable enough to fall asleep. The right foods in the right quantities can help you sleep.
Lower the Temperature in Your Room so It’s a Bit Chilly
One of the best sleeping tips you’ll hear is to lower the thermostat in your bedroom. That’s because your body is better able to get to sleep and stay that way if it’s not too hot in your bedroom. Of course, you don’t want it to be too cold either. Experts say that the ideal temperature for good rest is between 60 and 67 degrees.
Eliminate Outside Noises with a White Noise Machine
Nothing can interfere with sleep more than hearing your neighbor’s car backfiring, the kids in the street shouting and playing or your family watching television in another room. Blocking this noise can help you get better sleep at night. A simple white noise machine does the job and is simple to use. You might also run a fan to mask outside sounds or wear noise-canceling headphones.
Consider a Supplement that Induces Sleep
If you’re wondering how to get better sleep, but don’t want to resort to sleeping pills, consider a natural supplement. Melatonin is a good choice as your body produces it naturally and boosting your supply about 30 minutes before bedtime can help you drift off and stay asleep for the entire night.
Other supplements that might help include ginkgo biloba, valerian root, lavender, and magnesium. Be sure you check with your doctor before taking any supplements since some can have a negative reaction with certain medications and some may not be appropriate for certain health issues.
Add Some Relaxation Techniques to your Bedtime Routine
Learning how to sleep through the night might take some time but paying attention to what you do before bed can play a big role. Instead of just deciding it’s time to go to sleep, help your body and brain relax.
You can do this in many ways, including meditation, massage, listening to soothing music, reading a book, engaging in deep breathing, or taking a warm bath.
Experiment to find which technique works best for you. Once you find what works, make time each evening to engage in it. In just a few days to weeks, you’ll start to notice the positive results.
As a Last Resort, See Your Doctor
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t seem to balance your sleep efficiency, make an appointment to see your doctor. That way you can rule out a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or an underlying health problem that could be getting in the way of a restful night. Your doctor might also be able to offer you some additional solutions for getting enough sleep at night.
Before You Nod Off…
Creating sleep efficiency is important for many reasons, including your health and safety. Ideally, you should be falling asleep within 15 minutes of lying down. If that’s not happening, or you’re waking up several times at night, any of these tips are a good starting point for figuring out the problem.
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