Sleeping tips! Being well-rested is essential in maintaining performance levels and general health. There are many things we let get in the way of a good night’s sleep without even realizing it.
Continue reading below to learn Sleeping tips: 12 secrets to a good night’s sleep.
A good night sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Insomnia is a kind of torture because while the world is fast asleep, you’re up all alone – your mind buzzing with every random thought in the universe, and sometimes the thought will reach a standstill, and your mind goes blank.
Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. If you want to optimize your health or lose weight, getting a good night sleep is one of the most important things you can do.
And here we have rounded up some sleeping tips you need to know.
12 Proven Ways to Sleep Better at Night
1. Increase bright light exposure during the day
Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration.
2. Take a relaxing bath or shower
A relaxing bath or shower is another popular way to sleep better. Studies indicate that they can help improve overall sleep quality and help people — especially older adults — fall asleep faster. In one study, taking a hot bath 90 minutes before bed improved sleep quality and helped people get more deep sleep.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to take a full bath at night, simply bathing your feet in hot water can help you relax and improve sleep.
3. Reduce irregular or long daytime naps
Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, meaning that you may struggle to sleep at night, longer naps can harm your health and sleep quality.
4. Don’t eat late in the evening
Eating late at night may negatively affect sleep quality and the natural release of human growth hormones. In one study, a high-carb meal eaten 4 hours before bed helped people fall asleep faster.
5. Relax and clear your mind in the evening
Many people have a pre-sleep routine that helps them relax. Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another common technique used to treat insomnia. In one study, a relaxing massage improved sleep quality in people who were ill.
Strategies include listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, meditating, deep breathing, and visualization. Try out different methods and find what works best for you.
6. Don’t drink alcohol
Having a couple of drinks at night can negatively affect your sleep and hormones. Alcohol is known to cause or increase the symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring, and disrupted sleep patterns. It also alters nighttime melatonin production, which plays a key role in your body’s circadian rhythm.
Another study found that alcohol consumption at night decreased the natural nighttime elevations in human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a role in your circadian rhythm and has many other key functions.
7. Exercise regularly — but not before bed
Exercise reduced time to fall asleep by 55%, total night wakefulness by 30%, and anxiety by 15% while increasing total sleep time by 18%. Although daily exercise is key for a good night’s sleep, performing it too late in the day may cause sleep problems.
8. Set your bedroom temperature
Body and bedroom temperature can also profoundly affect sleep quality. As you may have experienced during the summer or in hot locations, it can be very hard to get a good night’s sleep when it’s too warm. One study found that bedroom temperature affected sleep quality more than external noise.
Other studies reveal that increased body and bedroom temperature can decrease sleep quality and increase wakefulness. Around 70°F (20°C) seems to be a comfortable temperature for most people, although it depends on your preferences and habits.
9. Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
When consumed late in the day, caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night.
10. Optimize your bedroom environment
Many people believe that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in getting a good night’s sleep. These factors include temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement. Numerous studies point out that external noise, often from traffic, can cause poor sleep and long-term health issues.
In one study on the bedroom environment of women, around 50% of participants noticed improved sleep quality when noise and light diminished. To optimize your bedroom environment, try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place.
11. Get a comfortable bed, mattress, and pillow
Some people wonder why they always sleep better in a hotel. Apart from the relaxing environment, bed quality can also affect sleep. One study looked at the benefits of a new mattress for 28 days, revealing that it reduced back pain by 57%, shoulder pain by 60%, and back stiffness by 59%. It also improved sleep quality by 60%. Other studies point out that new bedding can enhance sleep.
Additionally, poor quality bedding can lead to increased lower back pain. The best mattress and bedding are extremely subjective. If you’re upgrading your bedding, base your choice on personal preference. It’s recommended that you upgrade your bedding at least every 5–8 years. If you haven’t replaced your mattress or bedding for several years, this can be a very quick — although possibly expensive — fix.
12. Don’t drink any liquids before bed
Nocturia is the medical term for excessive urination during the night. It affects sleep quality and daytime energy. Drinking large amounts of liquids before bed can lead to similar symptoms, though some people are more sensitive than others. Although hydration is vital for your health, it’s wise to reduce your fluid intake in the late evening.
Try not to drink any fluids 1–2 hours before going to bed. You should also use the bathroom right before going to bed, as this may decrease your chances of waking in the night.
The bottom line on sleeping tips
Sleep plays a key role in your health. One large review linked insufficient sleep to an increased risk of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults. Other studies conclude that getting less than 7–8 hours per night increases your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
If you’re interested in optimal health and well-being, it’s recommended that you make sleep a top priority and incorporate some of the tips above.