In my last article, I highlighted the numerous negative effects of sleep deprivation. Hopefully, you now see why it is so important to all aspects of your health including your emotional, mental and physical health. But how do you get better sleep?
Here are 7 tips to help you sleep better, feel better, and be the refreshed healthier you!
Tip #2: Take Technology out of the Bedroom!
Not only is this bad for your sex life, having TV’s, laptops, or any other technology worsens your sleep. Electronic devices emit blue light which makes our brains think it is daytime. Normally, around 9-10 pm at night, our brains (pineal gland) start secreting melatonin which aids in keeping regular sleep patterns and day-night cycle.
Tip #3: Soak it up before hitting the sack.
Taking a bath 90-120 minutes before bedtime helps to raise your core body temperature. When you get out of the tub, it quickly drops and signals your body that it’s time for some Zzzz’s.
Tip #4: Get into a Groove.
Having a set and regular routine helps your body maintain a healthy sleep/wake cycle (circadian rhythm). Some suggestions to create a “sleep ritual” include listening to soft music, doing some easy/relaxing yoga poses or practicing deep breathing/meditation for 10-15 minutes.
Tip #5: Limit your alcohol intake.
As with so many parts of life, moderation is key – not only for your waistline but also your sleep, specifically REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. REM sleep is a restorative phase in the cycle when your brain is most active and dreaming. While alcohol may make your drowsy and fall asleep faster, it actually makes your sleep less restorative and more interrupted. That’s why after a night of heavy drinking, you may feel even more tired although you thought you had “slept”. So skip the night-cap and you’ll be happier in the morning.
Tip #6: Sip your java in the morning, not at night.
Yes, that double expresso in the morning will get you rocking and rolling. But avoid any caffeine in the late afternoon or evening. The effect of caffeine in coffee, tea and chocolate can last 4-7 hours.
Tip # 7: Enjoy the day’s sunlight but shut it down at sunset.
Getting at least 30-60 minute of light exposure during the day helps to maintain your daily rhythm (circadian rhythm). As we age, we need more sunlight to keep our melatonin levels stable. If possible, avoid any artificial light after sunset.
Medications taken for colds and allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease, birth control, asthma, and depression can cause sleeplessness. Physical conditions such as heartburn, diabetes, kidney disease, breathing issues, and mental health disorders can all affect the ability to sleep. If you experience sleepless nights even after following these tips, consult your healthcare provider as there could be medical reasons that need to be addressed.
In Health & Wellness,