5 Tips to Sleep Better
Sleep plays a vital role in your health and wellness. Ensuring you get the right quantity and quality of sleep can protect your mental health and physical health, along with your overall wellbeing.
The average adult requires between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. However, the demands of our busy lifestyle, especially today, might put rest at the bottom of our priority lists. If quality sleep isn’t achieved, your body and mind suffer the consequences. Not getting enough sleep at night negatively affects productivity during the day. In the workplace, fatigue caused by sleep disorders can result in absenteeism, lack of productivity, and even occupational injuries.
If you’re feeling run-down, having a hard time staying focused, or feeling irritable for no apparent reason, your sleep habits may be to blame. Luckily, there are steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep and get the recommended hours each night. Read on to learn five tips to a good night’s rest.
1. Stick to a schedule
Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day helps your body get into a rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. Try sticking to a consistent routine so your body begins recognizing the pattern.
2. Eat a healthy balanced diet
When and what we eat play an essential role in our body’s ability to both energize itself and rest. Setting a plan for meals can help make eating healthy easier and less stressful. Eating various well-balanced foods helps us feel our best while ensuring we are getting the nutrients our bodies need to keep energy levels stable throughout the day. Avoiding heavy meals before bed, eliminating caffeine intake after midday, and avoiding alcohol can also help improve the quality of your sleep.
3. Limit use of technology
Studies show that artificial bright light can disrupt brain activity and alter sleep hormones. Most devices emit artificial “blue light”, which negatively affects our body’s production of melatonin, a helpful hormone that makes us feel drowsy. Blue light tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime, which then reduces our melatonin production and makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Try turning off all electronic devices two to three hours before bedtime to help your body wind down and prepare for bed.
4. Use relaxation practices
Many people struggle to “turn off” their brains at night. Taking some time before bed to clear your thoughts and unwind can help with both falling and staying asleep. Experiment with different relaxing activities like meditating, journaling, or even taking a warm bath.
Reduce exposure to light and sound
Creating a dark and quiet environment can improve your sleep by creating fewer disruptions. Consider investing in black-out curtains to keep unwanted light out of your room or minimize disruptive noises with earplugs, headphones, or a white noise device.
If you continue to struggle with getting a good night’s sleep after trying these tips, it’s time to see your healthcare provider. Keep a diary of your sleep habits to reference during your appointment, such as when you go to bed, wake up, get out of bed, take naps, exercise, and drink alcohol or caffeine. By sharing this information with your healthcare provider, you can work together to find the right solution.
Premise Health embraces and promotes lifestyle medicine as part of our holistic approach to disease prevention, management, improvement, and reversal by performing regular member lifestyle assessments. Learn more here.