There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep when it comes to improving our physical and mental wellbeing.
An uninterrupted, quality sleep will help our body recover from any stress and allow our brain to process all the new information that it received throughout the day.
Sadly, according to this infographic created by Disturb Me Not, millions of people worldwide don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.
Lack of sleep can have detrimental consequences on a day to day basis, but can also lead to more serious health issues down the line.
That’s why it’s important to do everything in our might to help our brain and body use sleep time at night as best as possible.
With that in mind, we’ve created a simple list of tips that are easy to execute, which will help you improve your sleep quality and quantity.
1. Stick to a Consistent Pattern
Humans are complex beings, but we function in simple ways in many situations.
Even though we prefer excitement and a dynamic way of living, our bodies prefer having a routine that they can anticipate.
Therefore, one of the best ways to ensure a good quality of sleep is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Your body needs to prepare you for sleeping and waking up by secreting sleep hormones.
If you have a sleeping pattern that you are consistent about, your body will know exactly when to start producing melatonin, which will help you sleep better.
2. Exercise Regularly
It’s no secret that exercising is extremely beneficial for our health.
As you will find out now, it can also help us sleep better.
However, you cannot do just any kind of exercise at any time and expect to see results.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise is best for sleeping.
The researchers found out that it reduced the time needed to fall asleep and lengthened the duration of sleep.
Moreover, it’s important to finish your workout session at least 3-4 hours before you plan to go to sleep.
The best activities you can do are walking and light jogging.
Try to avoid strenuous running or weightlifting as you might achieve a contrary effect.
3. Relax Before Going to Sleep
Unfortunately, your body does not have an on/off switch that you could use to fall asleep and wake up.
Maybe we’ll receive that upgrade in the future, but until then, we need to stick to more conventional methods.
One of these is to make sure to practice a moderate amount of relaxing activities before sleep.
It’s very important to wind down before going to bed.
If possible, try to complete all of your stressful tasks during the day and free up your evening.
Some activities that we would recommend are simple, repetitive tasks that put your mind in a meditative state and help you fall asleep.
Reading is also a great choice, as long as you use a real and not a digital book.
4. Avoid Eating Late
After we put food in our belly, multiple systems start working hard to digest it and send it down its way.
For this to be done, a large amount of blood needs to be directed to your digestive system and your whole body needs to be alert.
Therefore, it’s important to have your last meal at least a couple of hours before going to sleep.
But, hunger can also influence your sleep quality in a negative way.
Therefore, if you consistently feel hungry before going to sleep, try having a small snack 45 minutes before bedtime.
5. Treat Your Bedroom as a Temple
Your bedroom should be a safe haven to which you can escape all of your daily stresses.
To make this association in your mind, it’s important to use your bedroom only for sleeping and relaxation.
For example, if you work from home, make sure not to work in the bedroom because you will start associating it with stress.
According to insomnia statistics, about 1 in 5 adults experiences sleep problems due to stress and anxiety.
Moreover, you should create the proper sleeping conditions in your bedroom.
Throw the TV and other electronic devices out, their place is in the living room.
Also, keep the temperature down, to around 18°C, which is the perfect number for sleeping.
6. Invest in a Quality Mattress and Pillow
During prehistoric times, we had no problems falling asleep on a rock next to a campfire in a cave.
However, we have become a lot more sophisticated and demanding in the meantime.
Therefore, to improve your sleep quality and quantity, it’s important to spend some time and money and find the best mattress for you.
The really good ones can be quite expensive, but they are worth every penny if you choose the right one.
A good mattress and a good pillow will help keep your body in a proper sleeping position and also regulate your temperature.
That’s why they are absolutely crucial.
7. Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day
Coffee – that sweet magic potion that helps us get going in the morning and keep pushing during the hardest part of the day.
Even though it’s a life-saver for some early in the day, it can cause a lot of problems later on.
The rule of thumb is to never drink coffee after 3 PM because your body will then not have enough time to deal with caffeine and expel it from the body.
If you love the taste of coffee, you should try a decaffeinated type.
Also avoid green and black tea, as they have a decent amount of caffeine as well.
8. Have a Cold Shower
You might think that there is nothing better than a warm shower just before going to bed?
Well, you’d be wrong to think that since warm showers can actually negatively affect your sleep.
For best sleep quality, your body temperature needs to go down.
Therefore, a cold shower is a much better choice.
If that’s too much for you, try to at least lower the temperature of the water slightly more than usual, as long as you are comfortable.
Hopefully, these eight simple tips will help you get that much-needed night’s rest.
If your sleep problems persist even after introducing these small lifestyle changes, try skipping a daytime nap, avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime, and restrain yourself from using electronic devices before going to bed.
However, if nothing helps, you should consult a sleep expert as you might suffer from a sleep disorder that needs adequate treatment.