Sleep is essential for a healthy body, and not getting enough can have negative consequences on both your physical health and mental wellbeing.
Fortunately, there are ways you can improve your sleep quality. By following these simple guidelines, you’re sure to get a restful night’s rest.
1. Establish a regular bedtime
Establishing a regular bedtime for sleep is essential to getting enough rest, feeling more rested, and decreasing the risk of health issues like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity. A regular bedtime can help you sleep longer, feel more rested and reduce your risk for health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and obesity.
For children, going to bed at the same time each night can help set their internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep and wake up. Furthermore, having a consistent sleep schedule allows them to feel rested in the mornings, avoiding daytime grogginess.
Create a peaceful bedtime routine that includes activities such as taking a bath, reading a book, listening to music or stretching.
Once you create a routine for yourself, try to stay consistent and see if it helps improve sleep quality or help with insomnia. If one method doesn’t seem to work for you, experiment with another one to see what works best for your individual needs.
Eliminate distractions at home and in your workplace that could be interfering with sleep. Turn off electronic devices before going to bed, and limit screen exposure during evening hours–especially if they are being used for work tasks or email.
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule can be challenging, so don’t despair. It may take up to 10 days or two weeks for your body to adjust to the new schedule, so it’s essential that you stick with it.
Are you having difficulty sleeping or maintaining consistent patterns of sleep, consider seeking professional assistance from a sleep specialist. An AASM-accredited sleep center can guide you through the process and help create healthy sleeping habits that will benefit your overall wellbeing.
2. Eliminate distractions
Distractions are ubiquitous and can easily lead us astray, from constant notifications on your phone to the endless options of online shopping.
The initial step is to recognize which distractions are affecting you most and take steps to eliminate them. This could include setting aside time each day to turn off electronics, changing your display name on social media platforms, or taking a social media hiatus.
Another helpful technique is to write down each of your distracting behaviors so you can identify the thoughts or emotions that cause them. Doing this will enable you to manage them more effectively in the future.
You could increase the efficiency of your project work by scheduling breaks throughout the day. This will give you a chance to unwind and reset your mind, which in turn helps keep you focused.
Additionally, set aside specific blocks of time for your most challenging work assignments. Doing this will provide a clear estimate of how long it will take you to finish each task and prevent you from wasting energy on irrelevant tasks that don’t contribute towards progress.
There are computer apps that can help reduce distractions and block access to time-wasting websites. For instance, Freedom allows you to block Facebook, Twitter, and other websites that tend to take up valuable work time while still blocking unwanted websites.
3. Turn off electronics
One of the best ways to improve your sleep quality is by unplugging unused devices in your home. Appliances like laptop chargers and coffee makers still draw power even when not in use, consuming energy and driving up your electric bill.
Not only does turning off these devices save you money on energy bills, it also protects your electronics from lightning strikes and power surges. To avoid future hassle with cords, invest in a smart power strip and plug your most used appliances into it at night so that you can easily shut them down with one button.
If you haven’t already, it may be beneficial to unplug everything in your kitchen if you don’t use it daily. While this may seem intimidating at first glance, with some creative thinking and some research you can make it happen.
Why not give it a shot and see what happens when you take your appliances out of the mix for a few days at a time? You might be pleasantly surprised at how much better your sleep quality will be as a result!
The big dilemma is: which devices should you unplug first? Some kitchen gadgets are worth the trouble, while others could be a real pain in the backside.
Finding the ideal job can be a challenge, but with some careful consideration and creative thinking you’re on your way! Don’t wait any longer – start today!
4. Avoid caffeine
Caffeine is a common stimulant that can interfere with sleep quality if consumed close to bedtime. It alters your body clock’s timing, decreasing deep, slow-wave sleep duration.
People who consume coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages may experience symptoms when their caffeine intake becomes too high, such as jitteriness, restlessness and difficulty sleeping. That is why it is essential to reduce caffeine consumption in your diet.
One cup of coffee contains more than 500 milligrams of caffeine, a dose that may make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, caffeine-infused drinks may lead to frequent night wakings which negatively impacts your total amount of snooze time.
It can also cause headaches and gastrointestinal upset. You should avoid taking it along with certain medications, such as ephedrine or decongestants, because these can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke.
You can reduce your caffeine intake by drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks at a different time of day than you usually do. For instance, if you usually have coffee in the morning, try having it at lunch instead.
It is essential to know that caffeine is metabolized over four to six hours, meaning a substantial amount will remain in your system longer than anticipated.
5. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol can make it difficult to fall asleep, preventing you from getting the rest you need to feel your best.
Though some may enjoy an occasional drink, alcohol is not recommended as a healthy or safe way to unwind. It can lead to addiction and detrimental effects on your health.
Additionally, taking progestin can increase your risk for cancer, heart disease and other health complications. Furthermore, it may interact with medications you take.
Alcoholic drinks primarily contain ethanol, which is derived from grapes or grains and found in wine and beer.
While enjoying a glass of wine or beer is permissible from time to time, it’s essential to know that excessive alcohol use can pose serious health risks. It raises blood pressure and heart rate, impairs thinking and coordination, and increases the likelihood of certain cancers.
Some individuals may find that their mood and emotions improve when they reduce or cease drinking altogether. If you are struggling with an issue with drinking, it is essential to seek help and support from a healthcare professional for assistance and guidance.
Call 1300 85 85 84 to speak with someone who can offer support and guidance. They’ll answer your questions, suggest practical ‘next steps’, or make a confidential referral to one of our support services.
Exercising regularly is beneficial for your overall health, and research has even found that it can promote better sleep than taking prescription sleep medications.
Exercising can help you achieve better sleep, from relieving stress to improving the quality of your snooze. But the most important thing to remember is consistency – consistency will be the key factor in seeing results from exercising.
To improve sleep quality and consistency, create a fitness plan you’ll stick with – whether that means signing up for a gym class or going running. You don’t have to workout for hours either – 30 minutes of moderate activity each day can significantly improve sleep in various ways.
It’s essential to stay hydrated both before and after exercising, as this can affect your body temperature. After a workout, the core temperature may rise slightly which delays sleep onset but drops back four or five hours later when your brain signals it’s time for bed.
Everyone responds differently to exercise and how much sleep it will promote. Therefore, it’s best to start slowly and work up in intensity as you become comfortable with the activity. Furthermore, avoid high-intensity workouts within an hour before going to bed as these can disrupt sleep quality.