Credit to image used in pin goes to Max Pixel. – Changes were made to the original image.
We constantly hear the advice that we should sleep 7-8 hours a night. However, it’s not just about how many hours we sleep; it’s about the quality of sleep that really matters.
An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health. However, if it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
On the other hand, if you get enough rest on a regular basis, it improves your mood, boosts brain function, memory and creativity, curbs inflammation, improves physical performance, helps maintain a healthy weight, and prevent degenerative diseases.
So down below are some awesome hacks that’ll help you have a great night’s sleep and feel healthier overall!
1. Exercise regularly
Studies show that people sleep better and feel more alert during the day if they workout regularly. However, timing matters – you should avoid vigorous exercise at least 3 hours before bed as it stimulates the nervous system and keeps you awake.
2. Avoid bright screens before bed
Our body’s internal clock is highly sensitive to the blue spectrum light emitted by the screens, so avoid any gadgets at least 1-2 hours before bedtime. However, if you really need to, install f.lux on your devices. It’s a free app that adjusts a display’s color temperature according to the time of day.
3. Keep it cool
During sleep, your core body temperature dips, allowing you to slip into restorative REM and slow-wave sleep. If it’s too hot in the room, you will not get enough deep sleep and won’t feel as rejuvenated.
4. Keep it dark
Sleep in a pitch-black room. You need to be in total darkness to produce enough melatonin – the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles. Block all the light sources either with blackout shades, heavy curtains, or a sleeping mask.
5. Journal before bed
Thinking about problems, past events, or planning for the future often prevents people from falling asleep. Astoundingly, listing your problems and thoughts on a piece of paper gives a peace of mind and helps you drift off to sleep faster.
6. Keep a consistent sleep – wake schedule
Waking up at the same time (yes, even on weekends!) enables your circadian rhythms to stay in synch with the 24-hour day, which improves the quality of sleep.
7. Keep caffeine in check
Caffeine has profound effects on sleep and wake cycles. Avoid any coffee or black tea at least 8 hours before bed, or even longer if you’re caffeine-sensitive.
8. Have your wind-down routine
Start winding down at least two hours before bed. Epsom salt bath, reading a book, practicing yoga, meditation or light stretching exercises will help you wind down before sleep.
9. Avoid heavy meals before bed
Going to bed on an empty stomach improves the quality of your sleep and helps you wake up easier the next morning. On the contrary, if you fall asleep after a heavy meal, your body will spend energy on digesting and won’t be able to rest and rejuvenate.
10. Hit the sack early
Go to bed as early as possible (or at least by 11:00PM) because your body creates a cortisol (stress hormone) surge after 11 PM to keep you awake. There’s a saying that goes, “Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight.” And it’s definitely true!
Sleep plays an important role in your health and happiness, so make sure to prioritize it and get enough good quality sleep every night. You’ll see the benefits quickly as a good sleeping pattern takes place in your life.
Now if you have any questions, just let me know in the comments down below! I’d love to help you out!