Sleep. Without it, our bodies can't heal, and our emotional, mental, and physical health suffers. If you often have trouble sleeping, our tips listed below may help you catch those precious Zs and set you on the path to better health.
1. Make your bedroom sleep-friendly
Your bedroom should be a haven of sleep. Be mindful of the items you choose to have in this space since they can either improve or wreck your sleep.
YOUR MATTRESS MATTERS
If your mattress isn't comfortable enough, try adding a mattress cushion. They have various firmness levels to suit your comfort needs. If that doesn't work, buy a new mattress.
Just as with mattresses, pillows come in various firmness levels and designs suited to how you sleep- on your stomach, back, or side. You could also add body pillows or cooling pillows if needed.
BLACK IT OUT
A dark room is helpful in achieving optimal sleep. If your neighborhood has a lot of outside light pollution, invest in blackout curtains. They don't allow light from outside once you close them properly.
Nightlights are another problem responsible for poor sleep quality. A study by the Cleveland Clinic discovered that levels of melatonin (a sleep-promoting hormone) increase in the evening. However, exposure to light delays the release of melatonin, causing reduced sleep quality.
YOU'RE THE DJ
If you struggle to fall asleep in silence, experiment with different kinds of sounds – ambient music, waves crashing, white noise, until you find what lulls you to sleep.
2. No social media
One of the main reasons for poor sleep quality is using electronics or watching TV while in bed. Avoid using your bed as a social media hub, a workspace, or home theater. It's tempting to scroll through your accounts or watch a movie while huddled under a blanket, but it does nothing for your sleep.
These devices emit blue light, which stimulates the body to remain awake for longer.
Practice turning off all electronics and getting off social media about one hour before going to bed. In a few days or weeks, you should have an easier time falling asleep.
3. Learn your rhythm
Understanding your body's circadian rhythm will help you have better sleep hygiene. The CDC lists its recommendations for the number of hours of sleep a person should have every night. Our circadian rhythm changes with age.
Note that the CDC's recommendations aren't rules that are cast in stone- everyone is different.
Knowing your body's needs will help you follow your body's cues for both going to sleep and waking up. As you do this, your sleeping habits become more balanced, especially when you maintain a schedule.
4. Go to bed on time
Our lives are often busy and full of responsibilities, so maintaining a sleep schedule seems impossible. But it's worth a try. Every night and morning, go to bed and wake up at the same time, including weekends, when feasible.
5. Nighttime calming rituals
Your body adjusts to your night routine and recognizes when it's bedtime. Create a calming ritual that will help you fall asleep quickly.
A hot bath, meditation, reading a book, or any activity that's relaxing for you is an excellent way to prepare for bedtime.
Also, avoid having a heavy meal right before bed. Instead, eat a light snack of food high in tryptophan. Examples include bananas, poultry, fish/crab, oats, spirulina/seaweed, spinach, dates, and eggs. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that creates serotonin- a hormone vital for healthy sleep and mood stability.
6. Herbal supplements and teas
There is a wide array of herbal remedies like teas and sleep supplements that can help you sleep better. Some of these teas include lemon balm, chamomile, passion flower, ashwagandha, lavender, and valerian root.
If you prefer supplements, melatonin and magnesium are fantastic choices.
7. Breathing techniques
Certain breathing techniques can help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. One example is the 4-7-8 method:
- Part your lips. Exhale through your mouth while making a whooshing sound.
- Close your lips and silently inhale through your nose as you mentally count to 4.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale from your mouth for 8 seconds while making another whooshing sound.
- Repeat this pattern for 4 breaths.
Having a cluttered room can create anxiety that interferes with your ability to fall and stay asleep. Unfinished tasks can also weigh heavily on you mentally.
Try cleaning up your room as best as you can before trying to sleep.
Seeing a more organized space could help improve your mood, leading to a better night's sleep.
Some people report having a better night's sleep after achieving orgasm. The hormones associated with orgasms – oxytocin, serotonin, and vasopressin work together to reduce cortisol and create a calming effect. Cortisol is the hormone associated with stress.
10. Visit a doctor
If you have done all you can to improve your sleep to no avail, consider seeing a doctor.
Some sleep disorders require more than over-the-counter sleep medication, for instance, sleep apnea.
A doctor will provide you with the necessary medical expertise to guide you to the best solution.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team