Taking a long time to sleep, waking up tired or waking up in the middle of the night are increasingly common complaints... But be aware that simple habits can make a big difference. Healthy sleep habits are vital to your quality of life and can have a huge positive impact.
Sleeping better is easier than you might think. Below are the tips that will surprise you.
1 - Avoid caffeine and alcohol at night
Drinking coffee at night is the worst thing you can do if you have trouble sleeping, as it will keep you awake. You should avoid consuming caffeine for 4 to 6 hours before bed. In addition to coffee, caffeine can also be found in cola, tea and chocolate sodas. Alcohol can make you feel sleepy at first, it will prevent you from getting enough REM sleep, decreasing the quality of sleep at night and making you wake up even more tired. Avoid consuming it 3-4 hours before bedtime.
2 - Eat light meals at night
A heavy meal at night can affect your sleep. If you plan on having a big or spicy dinner, have it at least 3 hours before bed. If you start to get hungry later, you can have a light snack an hour before bedtime. And remember to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
3 - Do physical activity during the day
Staying active is essential for adequate rest, and experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week for full long-term health benefits. However, don't exercise too close to bedtime as this can cause your bedtime to be delayed. This is because in order to sleep our body temperature must decrease a little. As physical exercise does just the opposite, it is quite possible that if you go to the gym at night, you will end up delaying the onset of sleep.
You should also spend some time outdoors during the day each day to help your biological clock understand when active hours are happening. Natural light is the main sleep-wake cycle synchronizer.
4 - Establish a sleep routine
Sleeping and waking up at approximately the same time each day helps to regulate your body's clock. This is especially true for weekends and holidays. If you feel the need to sleep a few more hours on Saturdays and Sundays, it's proof that your sleep during the week is insufficient.
5 - Avoid using electronics close to bedtime
Avoid screen time for at least 1 hour minutes before bed. The screens emit blue light that can make your brain think it's daylight and stop the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone produced only at night. If your brain stops producing melatonin before you go to sleep, it's harder to fall asleep.
This tip applies to all screens (TV, computer, etc), but especially for cell phones. In addition to light, the proximity to the eyes and cell phone interactivity make the effects on sleep even worse. Ultimately, the cell phone is capable of perpetuating insomnia. Don't take your cell phone to bed!
6 - Avoid daytime naps
Some people need to take a nap during the day to avoid feeling tired. While this habit can help you get through the day, it can have an adverse impact on your nighttime sleep, especially if you already have difficulty falling asleep. Try to get through the day without taking a nap. However, if this is not possible, you should limit it to a maximum of 30 minutes.
7 - Sleep in a comfortable and relaxing environment
A low light, a pleasant temperature, a comfortable mattress and pillow and the absence of noise favor a much more peaceful and invigorating sleep. You must remove all distractions from your room, including all electronics and anything that might wake you up.
8 - Go to bed when tired
Some people go to bed even if they're not really tired, because they want to sleep eight hours, they want to rest, or they want to watch television. However, this can hamper your sleep as you may want to force sleep on and this interferes even more.
If you go to bed and can't sleep for half an hour, you should get up and do something that can relax you first, and then when you're sleepy you can go back to bed.
To relax, you can try reading, taking a hot bath, listening to relaxing music, doing yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises. Remember to do this outside the bedroom, as the bed should be reserved for sleep-related activities only.
So, did you like the tips!? Simpler than you imagined right!?
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