For many sleep is a pleasure, for others a great challenge. Whatever the case may be, you’ve probably had a hard time falling asleep at some point and you’ll want to stop it from happening to you again; that’s why today we want to share some basic tips for sleeping better at night.
According to the World Health Organization, 40% of the world’s population sleeps poorly. This statistic considers those who have sleeping disorders, have difficulty sleeping without interruption or get up every morning feeling that they have not rested enough. Do you fall into any of those groups?
Sleeping well has many benefits such as strengthens the immune system, improves memory and concentration, protects from cardiovascular disease, helps energy levels, reduces stress and prevents depression, just to name a few.
When talking about sleep it is important to clarify that each person has different resting needs depending on their age, lifestyle and health conditions. However, according to the U.S. National Institute of Health, adults need to sleep between 7 and 8 hours each night.
A restful sleep depends on physical, psychological and environmental factors. In this article we will try to cover several of them to offer you simple recommendations that will help you sleep much better.
Read on and find out what they are…
Invest in your rest
An average adult spends about a third of his/her life sleeping. If we consider that figure, it’s worth saving and buying quality sleep supplies. Among the essential elements to ensure a better rest are a good mattress, a firm bed base and comfortable pillows.
When we talk about bedding, natural fiber sheets, such as cotton, linen and silk, are the most recommended because they are soft to the touch and breathable, which helps to regulate body’s temperature and allow for better sleep.
Regulate the conditions of your bedroom
To get a deep sleep, you have to prepare your bedroom appropriately. What main environmental factors should be regulated? Light, noise and temperature.
When we are in dark environment, our brain releases a substance called melatonin that causes calmness and drowsiness. For this reason, it’s so important to reduce exposure to light before bedtime.
To reduce brightness in your room, you can use curtains or blinds on the windows. If it’s not dark enough yet, there is always the option to use an eye cover!
Similarly, to stay relaxed you must minimize noises during the night. If you can’t remove them in their entirety, try using a fan or air conditioner to disguise them.
The last factor to regulate is the temperature: keep your room cool enough at night. When we sleep our body temperature lowers, that’s why we must balance the temperature of the space with the thermostat or use blankets to get a pleasant atmosphere.
Reduce the amount of electronic equipment inside your bedroom
Sleep is conditioned by our biological clock, an internal mechanism that causes the body to temporarily orient and regulate functions such as sleep and awakening.
The artificial light emitted by the screens of some electronic devices such as laptops, cell phones, tablets and TV, alters our sleep cycle because it activates the functions that we would use during the day, even if it is at night.
Another basic tip for better sleep is not to use electronic equipment at least an hour before bedtime. There are even specialists who advise taking this equipment out of the room!
This suggestion is because there are people who are so conditioned to use their phone, who feel the need to check it constantly (or every time another notification arrives) and this does not let them sleep peacefully.
Go to bed only when you’re sleepy
Staying in bed sleepless can cause stress and anxiety, two emotions that will make your brain associate bedtime with a negative experience. So, avoid spinning around in bed!
If you’ve been trying to fall asleep for more than 20 minutes and are not successful, get up and do some relaxing activity until it makes you sleepy again.
In our next section we give some ideas…
Have relaxation exercise before bedtime
A good idea to better fall asleep is to have habits that calm you down minutes before bedtime.
For example: taking a hot bath, reading, writing positive thoughts, doing breathing exercises or gentle stretches, listening to music and meditating.
Avoid stimulant substances at night
Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine stimulate the nervous system and affect sleep quality. Therefore, it is best not to consume products such as coffee, soft drinks, bitter/dark chocolate, cigarettes, black tea and alcoholic or energy drinks before bedtime.
Just as you should pay attention to what you drink, you have to take care of what you eat, since going to bed hungry or too full can hurt the rest.
Create a bedtime routine
Having a fixed routine can make it easier for you to fall asleep and not wake up at night.
For at least a month, try the same activities just before bedtime and set a bedtime and wake-up schedule. This will help you get used to rest hours.
It is proven that doing aerobic exercise helps sleep better because the body naturally seeks that rest to recover from all the energy that has been spent.
In addition, during physical activity the brain releases endorphins, a substance that generates the feeling of well-being because relaxes the body, helps reduce stress and improves mood.
There are people who like to exercise at night. If you are one of them, but you find it difficult to sleep afterwards, it is better to train at least 3 hours before going to bed. This will allow time for your body to lower its body temperature and move from the active state to the resting state.
What do you think of these tips for better sleep? Remember that these are general recommendations, and that each person has different needs.
Before making adjustments to your lifestyle, check out what your dream is usually like:
- How many hours do you sleep at night?
- Which factors help you sleep better, and which ones affect you?
- How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?
Once you’ve evaluated those aspects, it’ll be easier to know where to start.
Finally, if you notice that you often have trouble sleeping, it’s best to consult with a specialist to see if there are other factors that could affect your rest.
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