If you struggle with insomnia or other sleep issues, you know what a detrimental effect it can have on your quality of life. A variety of factors may contribute to your poor sleep patterns, but there are some steps you can take to resolve these issues. Follow these five lifestyle tips, and you can soon expect to experience more restful nights.
1. Give Your Day a Bright Start
One of the most unexpected and often overlooked tips to improve your sleep is actually about how you begin your day, rather than focusing on your nighttime routine. Getting light exposure within the first half hour of waking up can stimulate your body’s natural rhythm.
Going outside in the sunshine will provide you with the most benefit, but you can also choose to sit next to a window to soak up some rays. During the cloudier months, an artificial light box can be an acceptable substitute for natural sunshine.
2. Avoid Screen Time Before Bed
Exposure to blue light from a television, phone, or other electronic devices before bed can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Blue light prevents your mind from preparing for sleep by tricking it into thinking it’s still daytime.
Skipping electronic use at least 30 minutes before you plan to go to bed can have a dramatically positive impact on your ability to fall asleep, so be sure to turn off the TV and resist the temptation to scroll social media when you’re preparing to snooze.
If this is something that isn’t possible for you, you may find benefit in wearing special glasses that block blue light before bed or using an app that automatically limits the amount of blue light.
3. Make Your Bedroom Your Sanctuary
Your sleep environment also plays a role in your quality of rest. Your bedroom should be a relaxing place that invites calm. Addressing a variety of aspects of this space can do wonders for your slumber.
Start by ensuring that the area is clutter-free. A messy room can wreak havoc on your anxiety levels. You’ll want to eliminate other distractions as well such as street lights or noise exposure. Too much light at bedtime can decrease the release of melatonin, a hormone that stimulates sleep. A noise machine that plays soothing sounds can aid in drowning out unwanted noises.
You’ll also want to consider your bedroom’s temperature. A cool room is best for getting your beauty sleep. Did you know that even the color of your decor can affect your sleep? Opt for neutral and calming tones. Perhaps most important of all is the quality of your mattress. If you’re not comfortable, you definitely won’t achieve the rest your body needs. Consider something like a 12-inch memory foam mattress to provide adequate support and comfort.
4. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
As with most habits, consistency is crucial when it comes to creating a sleep routine. Experts advise that adults should aim for getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. To increase the chances of that occurring, you should set regular sleep and wake times. Then be sure to stick to them. It may take a bit of experimentation to find your personal sweet spot, but it truly does make a difference.
5. Create a Bedtime Ritual
Finally, just as starting your day out right can contribute to your quality of sleep, ending it in a healthy manner also plays a strong role. The key to success, however, is to be sure to implement your new habit consistently.
Creating a bedtime ritual can help to relax your body and settle your mind to usher in productive sleep. This means avoiding stimulating or stressful activities before bed. Instead, try things like taking a warm bath, reading a book, meditating, or drinking a cup of herbal tea.
These tips should provide you with a foundation for quality sleep. Give them a try, and feel free to modify or add to these suggestions in ways that suit your lifestyle. Remember, new habits take time to become a solid routine, so be sure to practice your chosen activities regularly to obtain the best results. Talk to your doctor if you still don’t see improvement.
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