Quality sleep is essential for brain health and optimal well-being. Quality sleep enables the brain to repair cells, regulate hormones, grow cells and balance the immune system. It is true that the average human being needs about 8 hours of sleep per night. Length of your sleep and the quality of your sleep matters a lot.
According to one research, it is proved that poor sleep has negative effects on your hormones, brain function, and exercise performance. In contrast, good sleep can help you eat less, exercise better and be healthier. To improve your sleep, you will have to follow a proper routine and set some rules for yourself.
Here are simple techniques you can implement to improve your sleep:
1. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you awake. You should stay away from caffeine within 4 to 6 hours of your bedtime. If you have a habit of caffeine, try reducing it. You will notice the change that you are sleeping better. Caffeine is found in tea, chocolate, coffee, cola, and some pain reliever pills.
For example, if you take coffee at 7 PM, then it will be still in your body at 11 PM. We understand that you love caffeine but for better rest and health, start avoiding it.
2. Set a schedule
According to one study, who had irregular sleeping patterns and went to bed late on the weekends resulted into poor sleep. Try to get your body in a habit of waking up and going to bed at a similar time. It’s going to be difficult but not impossible.
For example, you set an alarm for 6 AM and night time at 10:30 PM. Regardless of how you slept, stick to the schedule. Gradually your biological clock will get habituated to waking up and going to sleep at fix time. After several weeks, you might not need an alarm.
3. Nap early or not at all
A quick nap can be seductive. It is proved that irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your rest. Power naps are beneficial not the long and irregular naps.
If it is necessary for you to lie down, then set a time of 10 to 20 minutes on your phone and take a short nap. The effect of daytime naps depends on the individual. In case, you are having trouble sleeping at night, stop napping or simply shorten your naps.
4. Take light dinner
A full stomach will make sleeping difficult. An ideal time to take dinner is 3 hours before your bedtime. Avoid foods which are spicy, fried or fatty. It is better to keep your dinner light.
Reduce carb in your dinner and focus on protein. You can start taking larger meals for breakfast and lunch. Avoid foods that can cause indigestion. Eating pizza at 10 AM is definitely not a good idea. Schedule your time for dinner.
5. Power down electronic screens
If you want to read a book then reading on a tablet is not probably a good idea. According to one research, you should put away your phone an hour before bed to avoid disrupting your body’s natural circadian rhythms.
All lights slow down the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps us to sleep. It is better to read a book or meditate rather than staying awake with your smartphones or tablet.
6. Set temperature
According to research, a cool bedroom – around 66 degree is best. Your body cools down during sleep. Switch off your heating. Leave your window ventilation open. Your bedroom environment can help you to have good sleep.
Apart from temperature, external noise also plays part in quality sleep. According to one research, 50% of participants could have quality sleep after reduction in noise. So, make sure your bedroom is quiet, clean and relaxing place.
7. Take a relaxing bath or shower
A relaxing bath is a popular way. You can have a warm bubble bath with calming music. You might have noticed that a baby goes to sleep after a nice warm bath. The same goes for adults.
In one research, it is proved that a hot bath 90 minutes before bed can improve sleep quality and people fall asleep faster. In case, you don’t want to go for a full bath, then you can have a foot bath.
8. Exercise, but not before bed
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve sleeping habits. It causes your body temperature to rise. Do not exercise within 2 to 3 hours prior to sleeping. You can try a workout in the late afternoon.
Exercise increases hormones like epinephrine or adrenaline. People who exercise regularly, have quality sleeping. Ultimately, exercise helps you to fall asleep faster.