Some of you might think:
What difference could an extra hour of sleep make in my life?
Quite a lot, experts say.
If you’re not getting the recommended amount of sleep, there’s a problem. And this can seriously affect your overall health and quality of life.
Several reasons like:
- Unhealthy sleep habits
- Psychiatric and medical conditions
- Specific substances
- Certain biological factors
…can lead you to insomnia.
Nothing is more annoying than insomnia and you need better sleep to overcome it. No matter how tired you are, you still struggle to get to sleep.
Insomnia is a common problem which takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems.
This brings us to the question…
How Much is the Recommended Sleep?
So, it’s clear that our age group must have the sleep of 7-9 hours per day.
Besides healthy life, there are a lot of reasons for a good sleep.
I found this infographic below that covers the top reasons to consistently get enough sleep:
You may not have paid much attention towards your sleep time, but sometimes this might be the reason for your regular problems.
How do I improve quality of sleep?
How do I get better sleep?
I can help you with these 10 proven tips for better sleep:
Here’s my take on these 10 tips:
1. Maintain a Consistent Daily Schedule
This might sound lame, but you need to make a schedule for bedtime and wake up.
Actually, it depends…
I have my own bedtime schedule, so do you.
You can follow this ideal daily schedule:
- Wake up 6:30 a.m. every morning
- Set bedtime alarm for 10:30 p.m. to get ready for bed.
This might sound difficult, but I’m sure you can do it.
All you need is to get started.
Important: Set your 10:30 PM bedtime alarm right now!
By going to bed at the right time for you, you can avoid sleep deprivation, your hormones will be in balance and your metabolism will run smoothly.
2. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Yes, I’m serious.
As a stimulant, Caffeine is used by most people after waking up in the morning to remain alert during the day.
Caffeine cannot replace sleep!
It makes us temporarily more alert, but actually, there is no nutritional need for caffeine in the diet.
It has also been known to result in:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excessive urination
- Sleep disturbance
- A “caffeine crash” once the effects wear off
According to the 2001 Sleep in America poll, 43% of Americans are “very likely” to use caffeinated beverages to combat daytime sleepiness.
Larger Doses = Larger Effects = Larger Damage
So, we can conclude that…
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime.
3. Turn Off Computer, Television or Mobile Phones
In the history of technology, these gadgets are considered revolutionary and affected our lives greatly.
So do our sleep!
In a study of 10,000 16 to 19-year-olds, researchers in Norway found that the longer a young person spent looking at an electronic screen before going to bed, the worse quality sleep they were likely to have.
One of the most simple but important reasons technology affects our sleep is cognitive stimulation (for thinking, concentration, and memory).
The small amounts of light from these devices pass through the retina into a part of the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that controls several sleep activities) and delay the release of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
We conclude that: you must have a “screen-free” hour before bedtime.
Also, here’s an infographic highlighiting the effects of electronics on sleep:
4. Don’t Go to Bed on a Full Stomach
You had a great dinner, then a sweet chocolate pudding and after that, you jumped over to the bed.
You can’t sleep!
Slow it down a bit, there’s no hurry.
Wait for a moderate amount of time (about an hour) before going to bed.
Your metabolism is slower at night. Digestion takes longer.
So rest your butt comfortably on the sofa to…
- Wash dishes,
- Clean your house, or
- Prepare your outfit for next day
… before going to bed.
5. Don’t Go to Bed on an Empty Stomach
Are you losing weight?
Go to the gym, do cardio and have a proper diet.
But don’t skip your diet, if you think it can help you to lose weight.
You should wait between eating and go to bed for an hour and a half, experts say.
A dinner rich in carbohydrates and low in protein is best.
Stay away from saturated fat, because they just make your digestion slower, as well as cause gas and discomfort while trying to sleep.
6. Engage in Regular Exercise
A study said, exercise improves sleep quality, mood, quality of life and also helps overcome insomnia.
Also, the study results suggest that improving sleep may encourage exercise participation.
So, be consistent, exercise to sleep and sleep to exercise!
If you can’t involve yourself in a serious workout schedule, then doing cardio (running, bicycling, skipping ropes, etc.) for about 30-45 minutes is good.
This will also exercise your heart and lungs.
7. Limit Beverage Consumption Before Bed
As discussed earlier, avoid beverages containing caffeine…
- Some Juices
- Flavored Water
- Diet Soda
- Hard Liquor
- Soft Drinks
- Energy Drinks
Also, these are some other Best and Worst Foods for Sleep.
8. Keep Your Bedroom Dark and Quiet
Dim the lights while you get ready for bed, or turn off bright overhead lamps and switch to a soft, bedside lamp.
Your body is programmed to sleep when it’s dark, so you can encourage that rhythm by easing into nighttime.
- Hide digital clocks and glowing electronics from view.
- Keep your room cool.
- Keep your room calm.
9. Invest in a Comfortable Mattress, Pillow & Bedding
Whether you spend sleeping blissfully slumbering or tossing and turning, it depends on your mattress.
Ideally, a mattress that reduces the pressure points on your body should give you a better night’s sleep.
So, invest in a good mattress, pillow, and a bed, to have a great sleep your body deserves.
After all, you spend one-third of your life in a bed, buddy!
10. Go to Bed and Wake Up Using Your Internal Alarm Clock
After reading all this, you must be thinking – how do I get started?
First off, you can start using a real alarm clock to start waking up earlier.
Then, after a few days, your body will adjust itself to wake up earlier.
Finally, after a month or so, you’ll be able to wake yourself without using an alarm!
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