The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated. It can help improve our health, help us be more productive, help us feel better, and do so much more. There are few feelings like waking up well-rested after a long 8-hour sleep. Unfortunately, many adults struggle when it comes to getting enough sleep.
This lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your performance at work or school, and simply make you miserable. Thankfully, it is possible to improve not only the amount you sleep but also how well you sleep. Nowadays, there are several ways to improve your sleep quality, from natural to chemical methods. The new alternatives for sleep aid can generate substantial impact without correlative damage to your body, keeping you safe from dependency to pills or other harmful methods. Read on to learn about a few ways to greatly improve the quality of your sleep.
Consider Taking Medication to Assist Sleep
A common and popular way to improve the amount and quality of your sleep is to take a sleeping aid of some kind. These can include melatonin, valerian root, or magnesium glycinate. These can help you relax, wind down, and can improve how well you end up sleeping. It is often a good idea to take them about half an hour to an hour before you plan on going to bed. Many of these can also help you be more energetic the following day.
Of course, be sure to check with your doctor before ever taking any medication. Also, make sure to check the labels of everything before you ingest any type of supplement. Use these supplements in moderation, and also incorporate other efforts to improve your sleeping habits, as well.
Watch the Late-Day Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is something that millions of Americans consume every day. Some like the taste, and for some it is a ritual. However, for most, they enjoy the little boost of energy and alertness that a cup of coffee provides them with. However, if you have too much of it later in the day, it can negatively affect your ability to have a good night’s rest.
This is because it can leave your nervous system stimulated, which makes naturally relaxing and calming down late at night more difficult. Coffee can sometimes have these effects hours after being consumed, so be careful. If you enjoy a coffee after supper, and it is keeping you up, it is a good idea to cut back or stop completely. Instead, you could make a hot chocolate or purchase a decaffeinated option instead.
Try Stick to a Consistent Sleeping Schedule
Another thing you can do to sleep better at night is to do your best to stick to a schedule. Sticking to a schedule allows your body to adapt and become used to going to bed at a certain time, and waking up at another. If you are constantly changing your sleeping pattern, it can be harmful to the length and quality of your sleep.
Even on the weekends or on days where you don’t have to get up, avoid habitually sleeping in. Sure, the odd day is fine, but if you sleep in every day that you can, your sleep schedule will likely remain a little bit messed up. Also, be careful not to nap often, as it can lead you to staying up much later than you should. If you can get a consistent schedule going that your body can adapt to, you may not even require the use of an alarm clock to get you up on time in the morning.
Ensure Your Bed and Pillows are Comfortable
In order to get good sleep and stay asleep, you need to be comfortable. Your bed should be large enough to allow you to stretch out and should offer the right level of firmness for your needs. Some people prefer a very soft bed that envelopes you as you sleep, while others like it a little more firm for added support. It is a good idea to try both and see what you find more comfortable.
The same goes for pillows. Some are as soft as a feather, while others provide a lot of neck and head support. There is no right or wrong type of pillow, and it all depends on what you prefer when sleeping. If you are just sleeping on an old and saggy bed, using old pillows, you will be shocked at what upgrading these items can do for the quality of your sleep. Quality bedding can also reduce soreness and provide a more relaxing environment in general.
Reduce Your Light Exposure in the Evenings
The amount of light that you are exposed to can also have an impact on how you sleep. At night, being exposed to too much light can be horrific for your sleep. This is especially true when it comes to blue light, which is what our phones, tablets, TVs, and other devices will give off.
This blue light can trick your body into thinking it is the daytime, which can make it harder to relax enough to fall asleep effectively and quickly. Generally, it is a good idea to refrain from viewing bright screens for at least an hour or two before going to sleep. If you do view these screens before bed, it is a good idea to reduce their brightness if possible.
In addition to this, you should also look to unwind and relax for a little bit before you try to sleep. Do some meditating, relax, and keep the lights dimmed or off. The darkness can often relax us and get us prepared for a nice sleep.
However, during the day, it can actually be beneficial for your sleep to increase your exposure to light. This is because it can help to keep a healthy circadian rhythm, which is the natural process that regulates our sleep and wake cycle. The better you are at convincing your body that day is day and night is night, the better you will sleep in most cases.
In conclusion, these are some great ways to ensure that the quality of your sleep stays as high as possible. They are far from the only methods but are among the most effective.