How To Improve Sleep Quality: 11 Tips To Help You Get Better Rest
High-quality sleep is just as beneficial for the body as regular exercise or a healthy diet. The effects of poor sleep on hormones exercise performance, and brain function are immediate.
In addition, it can increase the risk of disease in children and adults. Good sleep, on the other hand, can help you lose weight, exercise more effectively, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Sleep quality and quantity have declined over the past few decades. Poor sleep is a common problem among many people. A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health or lose weight.
To help you sleep better at night, here are 11 evidence-based tips.
1. Increase bright light exposure during the day
Your body has a natural clock known as a circadian rhythm. By affecting your brain, body, and hormones, it keeps you awake and tells your body when it’s time for sleep.
The bright light of the sun during the day is critical to maintaining the health of your circadian rhythm. Daytime energy is improved, as is the quality and duration of nighttime sleep.
Bright light exposure during the day improved sleep quality and duration in insomniacs. Additionally, it reduced the time it took to fall asleep by 83%. Similarly, 2 hours of bright light exposure during the day increased sleep efficiency by 80% and sleep duration by 2 hours in older adults.
In spite of the fact that most research focuses on people with severe sleep issues, you will most likely benefit from daily light exposure even if you sleep averagely. Spend time in direct sunlight or invest in an artificial bright light device or bulb if this isn’t feasible.
2. Evening blue light exposure should be reduced
Daytime light exposure is beneficial, but nighttime light exposure is detrimental. Once again, this is due to its effect on your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime.
Melatonin, a hormone that helps you relax and sleep deeply, is reduced when you do this. A large amount of blue light is emitted by electronic devices like smartphones and computers.
Nighttime blue light exposure can be reduced using several popular methods. Among them are. Protect your eyes from blue light by wearing glasses that block it.
You can block blue light on your smartphone by installing an app. You can download them for both iPhones and Android devices. Before going to bed, turn off any bright lights and stop watching TV.
3. Caffeine should not be consumed late at night
The U.S. population consumes 90% of caffeine, which has numerous health benefits. Focus, energy, and sports performance can be enhanced with a single dose.
When consumed late in the day, caffeine stimulates your nervous system and prevents your body from naturally relaxing at night. According to one study, caffeine consumption up to six hours before bed significantly reduced sleep quality.
It is possible for caffeine to remain in your bloodstream for 6–8 hours. Drinking large amounts of coffee after 3–4 p.m. is not recommended, especially if you have trouble sleeping or are sensitive to caffeine.
Decaffeinated coffee is a better choice if you want a cup of coffee in the late afternoon or evening.
4. Naps during the day should be reduced if they are irregular or long
A short power nap during the day is beneficial, but a long or irregular nap can negatively affect your sleep. When you sleep during the day, your internal clock may be confused, so you may have difficulty sleeping at night.
One study found that participants who napped during the day ended up sleeping more during the day. According to another study, naps that last longer than 30 minutes can harm health and sleep quality.
Studies show, however, that those who regularly nap during the day do not experience poor sleep quality or disrupted sleep at night. You shouldn’t worry if you take regular daytime naps and sleep well at night. Individuals respond differently to napping.
5. Maintain a consistent schedule for sleeping and waking
Your body’s circadian rhythm aligns itself with sunrises and sunsets. The quality of your sleep can be improved by maintaining a consistent sleep and waking schedule.
Participants in one study reported poor sleep when they had irregular sleeping patterns and went to bed late on the weekends. Research indicates that irregular sleep patterns can alter your circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, which signal your brain to sleep.
Get into the habit of waking up and going to bed at similar times if you have trouble sleeping. You may not even need an alarm after a few weeks.
6. Supplement with melatonin
Sleep hormone melatonin tells your brain when it’s time to relax and go to sleep. Sleep aids containing melatonin are extremely popular.
Sleeping faster with melatonin may be one of the easiest ways to treat insomnia. A study found that taking 2 mg of melatonin before bed improved sleep quality and energy the next day and helped people fall asleep more quickly.
According to another study, half of the participants fell asleep faster and had a 15% improvement in sleep quality. In addition, neither study reported withdrawal symptoms. Melatonin can also help your body’s circadian rhythm return to normal when you travel and adjust to a new time zone.
7. Alcohol shouldn’t be consumed
Sleep and hormones can be negatively affected by drinking at night. Sleep apnea, snoring, and disrupted sleep patterns have been linked to alcohol consumption.
Additionally, it alters the production of melatonin at night, which is crucial for your body’s circadian rhythm. It was also found that drinking alcohol at night decreased the natural nighttime elevation of human growth hormone (HGH), which plays an important role in your circadian rhythm and has many other functions.
8. Make your bedroom more comfortable
A good night’s sleep is often attributed to the bedroom’s environment and setup. Temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement are some of these factors.
External noise, often from traffic, has been linked to poor sleep and long-term health problems. One study found that around 50% of women noticed improved sleep quality when noise and light were reduced in their bedrooms.
You should minimize external noise, light, and artificial light from devices like alarm clocks in your bedroom. Ensure that your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place.
9. Make your bedroom comfortable by setting the temperature
The temperature of the body and the bedroom can also profoundly affect the quality of sleep. When it’s too hot, you may find it difficult to sleep well during the summer or in hot locations.
A study found that bedroom temperature affected sleep quality more than external noise. Other studies have shown that an increase in body or bedroom temperature can decrease sleep quality and increase wakefulness.
Most people find 70°F (20°C) to be a comfortable temperature, but it depends on what you prefer and how you live.
10. Avoid late-night eating
The release of melatonin and HGH may be negatively affected by eating late at night. However, the type and quality of your late-night snack may also have an impact.
One study found that eating a high carb meal 4 hours before bed helped people fall asleep faster. An interesting study found that a low carb diet also improved sleep, suggesting that carbs aren’t always necessary, especially if you’re used to them.
11. In the evening, relax and clear your mind
There are many people who have a pre-sleep routine that helps them relax before going to sleep. It has also been shown that relaxation techniques can improve sleep quality and are a common method of treating insomnia.
Researchers found that a relaxing massage improved sleep quality in people with illness. Relaxation strategies include listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, meditating, breathing deeply, and visualizing.