If you are not getting a good night’s sleep, most everyone around you has probably noticed that something is amiss since it can affect your mood, hormones, energy, and overall mental health. Additionally, did you know that getting less than six hours of sleep per day reduces your overall life expectancy by five years?
In other words, sleep is just as important of a key to a longer life as a healthy diet and exercise are.
Unfortunately, sleep quality has declined these days, and getting a good night’s sleep eludes millions of people every night. If you’re in that category, you should definitely keep reading because we’ve got a few things to share that could help rectify this issue once and for all.
1. Skip the Electronics
If you “relax” before bedtime by playing your favorite mobile game, surfing the web, watching your latest binge-worthy show, or even reading an ebook, you need to consider changing your routine.
Your cell phone, e-reader, and tablet all emit what is known as blue light. This short-wavelength enriched light has been shown to reduce the body’s natural melatonin production, which can delay those feelings of sleepiness.
That doesn’t mean you have to stop using your electronic devices completely; you just need to put them down at least two hours before bedtime.
2. Develop Good Sleep Habits
Laying in bed for hours, staring at the ceiling, your thoughts rapidly jumping from thought to thought as you get more and more frustrated by the inability to fall asleep, could all be a direct result of poor sleep habits.
To get a good night’s sleep, you need good sleep hygiene. This means creating a bedtime routine that helps you fall asleep, and while it’s different for everyone, finding one that works for you can lead to a restful night.
Whether it means putting down the smartphone at 7 p.m., slipping on your favorite silk sleepwear, listening to relaxing music, taking a warm bath, or reading a physical book, customizing your sleep hygiene routine will make it much easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you want to start sleeping better, work on a routine, and while it may take a little work to make it a habit, you’ll be glad you did it in the end.
3. Food & Drink
Having to get up several times a night to urinate generally means that you either need to cut back on liquid consumption before bed or see a urologist. However, even if bathroom visits aren’t disrupting your sleep, what you drink and how long before bed you eat can also affect your sleep.
Since it blocks the effectiveness of adenosine, a chemical that helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycles, caffeine can derail your sleep efforts for up to six hours after consumption.
Drinking alcohol before bed may seem like it helps you knock out faster, but it can prevent deep sleep as your body metabolizes the alcohol and the effects wear off.
As far as eating goes, while a light snack before bed is usually fine, consuming a large meal is not recommended close to bedtime. Eating large portions can cause indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn, even if you rarely, if ever, deal with those types of issues. Eating a large meal and then immediately getting in bed and laying horizontally could cause you to experience them.
It’s fair to say that virtually everyone wants a good night’s sleep and that literally no one wants to spend all night tossing and turning. While we can’t guarantee that the above tips will completely end your sleepless nights, they can help.
Put down the electronics, start a sleep routine, watch what and when you eat and drink, and hopefully, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed better than you have in a while.