Think of all the things that can interfere with a good night’s sleep – from stress to work and family responsibilities to unforeseen challenges, such as illness. Not surprisingly, quality sleep is sometimes difficult.
While you may not be able to control the things that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that promote better sleep. Start with these simple tips.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink
Do not go to bed hungry or pressed. Basically, avoid heavy or heavy meals within a few hours of going to bed. Your discomfort can keep you up.
Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol should also be considered. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to fade and can impair quality sleep. And while alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it can interfere with sleep later in the night.
Create a relaxing environment
Create a room suitable for sleeping. Usually, this means cool, dark, and quiet. Exposure to light can make sleep very difficult. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using darker shades in the room, earplugs, fans, or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs. Doing quiet activities before bedtime, such as bathing or using relaxation techniques, can promote better sleep.
Limit daytime sleepiness
Long sleep during the day can interfere with sleep at night. If you choose to sleep less, limit yourself to 30 minutes and avoid doing so after a day. If you work at night, however, you may need to go to bed the day before work to make up for your sleep debt.
Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine
Regular exercise can promote better sleep. Avoid getting too close to bedtime, however. Spending time out daily can also help.
Increase the brightness of the daylight
Your body has a natural timepiece known as your circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to go to bed.
Natural sunlight or bright daylight helps keep your circadian rhythm alive. This improves daytime energy, as well as the quality of sleep and night.
For people with insomnia, exposure to bright light during the day has improved sleep quality and duration. It also reduced the sleep time it took by 83%.
A similar study in older adults found that 2 hours of bright light during the day increased the amount of sleep by 2 hours and sleep performance by 80%.
While most studies involve people with severe sleep disorders, the daily light intake will be very helpful even if you are experiencing normal sleep. Try to get some sunlight every day or – if this doesn’t work – invest in a bright light device or bulbs.
Improving your sleep plan
Controlling your daily sleep plan is a powerful step toward getting better sleep. To start using your plan to your advantage, try using four strategies:
Set the Adjusted Time: It is almost impossible for your body to get used to a healthy sleep routine if you keep getting up at different times. Choose a time to get up and stick to it, even on weekends or other days when you may be tempted to go to bed.
Sleep Budget Time: If you want to make sure you get the recommended amount of sleep each night, you will need to make that time in your plan. If you are looking for a consistent wake-up call, work backward and point to a targeted sleep time. Whenever possible, take extra time before going to bed so that you can get some air and sleep.
How can I improve my sleep?
1. Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends. 2. Don’t take naps after 3 p.m, and don’t nap longer than 20 minutes. 3. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol late in the day. 4. Avoid nicotine completely. 5. Get regular exercise, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime.