Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. When we don't get enough sleep, we can experience a range of problems, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, and even weight gain.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve your sleep quality. In this article, we will discuss 10 tips to help you get a better night's sleep.
As Next Health CEO & Founder Dr. Darshan Shah says, “Your sleep routine starts when you wake up.” This means that what you do in the morning can have a big impact on your sleep quality at night.
Waking up at the same time every morning sets you up to go to bed at the same time every night. Your body is tuned into the cues you give it, so by sticking to a schedule that includes a winding down, relaxing bedtime routine, and an energizing morning routine will help your body naturally find a healthy circadian rhythm for restful sleep.
(Find more tips for a beneficial night time and morning routine below)
Another great sleep tip from Dr. Shah is, “Think of your bedroom as a cave: cool, dark, and quiet to support a restful night’s sleep.”
Light especially from electronics can disrupt sleep. Blue light, which electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit in large amounts, is proven to disrupt sleep. Avoiding electronics at least one hour, preferably two, before bed will help maintain your circadian rhythm. If you have to use electronic devices before bed, wear blue light glasses to minimize blue light exposure.
Additionally, limit your exposure to loud or distracting noises that can keep you awake. If you live on a busy street, try a white noise machine to drown out any sporadic background noise.
Temperature is often a forgotten aspect of your sleep environment. The temperature of your bedroom directly affects your sleep quality. In fact, one study showed it can be more impactful than noise exposure. Sleep psychologist Michelle Drerup, PsyD, says to keep your bedroom at 60 to 67° F (15 to 19° C) for optimal sleep.
Your circadian rhythm is greatly influenced by light exposure. When your brain is exposed to light, it sends signals associated with being awake. When light exposure decreases, the brain promotes relaxation and sleep. In fact, research shows that a well-synchronized circadian rhythm can contribute not only to healthy sleep but also to numerous other aspects of health.
This is why it is not only important to sleep in a dark room, but also to expose yourself to light as soon as you wake up (sunlight is preferable).
Remember that humans are creatures of habit and the more regular your sleep and wake hours become, the easier it will be to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow.
Caffeine and alcohol are two of the most common substances that can interfere with sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it difficult to fall asleep, while alcohol is a depressant that can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours, so it's best to avoid caffeine after noon if you have been struggling to get a good night’s sleep.
Alcohol can help you fall asleep initially, but it can also disrupt sleep later in the night. Alcohol can cause you to wake up more often and make it difficult to get back to sleep. It can also interfere with REM sleep, which is the most important stage of sleep for memory consolidation and learning.
If you're having trouble sleeping, it's a good idea to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
Exercise is a great way to improve your sleep quality. It can help you fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly, and wake up feeling more refreshed. In fact, one study found that regular exercise nearly halved the amount of time it took older adults to go to sleep and provided, on average, 41 minutes more sleep per night.
However, it's important to avoid exercising too close to bedtime. Exercise can raise your body temperature, which can make it harder to fall asleep.
The best time to exercise for sleep is in the morning or early afternoon. This will give your body time to cool down before bedtime. If you must exercise in the evening, try to do it at least 3 hours before bedtime.
Here are some tips for exercising safely before bed:
A relaxing bedtime routine can help you wind down before bed and make it easier to fall asleep. This routine should include activities that you find relaxing and calming. Some examples of relaxing activities include:
Prescription sleep medication is incredibly popular in the United States, but supporting your body’s natural processes with high-quality supplements can be equally (if not more) effective:
Shop these supplements and more on FullScript, a high-quality dispensing platform that ships supplements directly to you:
Sunlight helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. Make sure to get some sunlight exposure during the day, even if it's just for a short walk outside.
Sunlight helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycle, also known as our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is a natural process that controls our sleep-wake patterns. It is influenced by sunlight, so getting some sunlight exposure during the day can help to keep our circadian rhythm on track.
Here are some of the benefits of getting sunlight during the day:
A heavy meal before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep. Eat a light dinner at least 3 hours before bed so that your body has time to digest before you go to sleep.
One of the most effective solutions for chronic sleep problems is a Sleep Study. This advanced testing is the first step in diagnosing and treating sleep problems.
Sleep studies generally take place in a sleep lab during your normal sleeping hours. The purpose of a Sleep Study is to record your brain and bodily activity during sleep. This can lead to an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan to address your unique issues.
Many of us suffer from sleep problems and do not even know it.
Symptoms of a lack of sleep start off as mild such as forgetfulness and sluggishness but can take a toll on your health in the long run.
If you are feeling less than optimal, a Sleep Study may be a great addition to your wellness journey.
To learn if a Sleep Study is right for you, or to book your appointment, call or text us at: (310) 295-2075