Your body can’t properly function if you fail to get a good night’s sleep. Poor sleep patterns can make you feel anxious, tired, and grumpy. It can also contribute to chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, metabolic disorders, and even stroke and heart attack. The good news is that you can improve your sleep by making changes to your daily routine. In today’s article, we will answer: How to get better sleep and feel more relaxed.
Set Your Body Clock
Health professionals recommend going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. The same principle applies to your sleep/wake cycle on weekends. Make sure you keep your daytime and nighttime routine the same, even if you didn’t get enough sleep at night. Get out in bright light when you wake up because natural light regulates your body’s biological clock and optimizes your sleep-wake cycle.
Wind Down At Bedtime
Try to relax before going to bed. For instance, you can read, listen to music, and have a bath. Make your room dark, quiet, and cool, and ensure your bed and mattress are comfortable. Avoid going to bed if you are hungry. Drink a glass of milk before bed to soothe your brain and body muscles. Avoid heavy meals within 2-3 hours of bedtime as they can interrupt your sleep.
Consuming stimulants, such as caffeine drinks, coffee, tea, and chocolate, can disturb your sleep cycle. Avoid them within 6-7 hours of going to bed. Make sure you avoid consuming alcohol and smoking two hours before going to bed.
Go to Bed if you are Tired
When you go to bed at the same time every night, you will start feeling sleepy at bedtime. However, if you are awake after 20-30 minutes, get up and do something else to relax your body. If you have something on your mind, write them down. We suggest keeping a pen and paper by your bed.
Be Active in the Day
Exercise offers a wide range of benefits to your physical and mental health. When you perform activities like walking, jogging, and running, or any other aerobics, you will have increased blood flow to your brain, causing it to release the sleep-triggering hormone melatonin and other chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These chemicals relax your body, suppress anxiousness, and make you feel better and ready for a good night’s sleep.
Try Sleep Restriction Therapy
Experts suggest keeping track of your sleep hours for 7-10 days. The purpose is to find the average number of hours you have slept per night. Go to bed at a time that allows this specific number of sleep hours and do that for at least 7-10 days. Add 15-20 minutes of sleep each week until you wake up before the alarm.
Create Mental Triggers
Creating mental triggers before bedtime like you do for kids can improve your sleep-wake cycle and balance your circadian rhythm. These mental triggers are reading a book, having a warm bath, eating a light snack, brushing your teeth, putting on pajamas, and creating a to-do list for the next day. That way, you can make your head clear of those things.
Set Nighttime Temperature
Setting proper temperature levels at nighttime can lead to better and comfortable sleep. Make sure the temperature in your room is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body must cool down for proper sleep. Blood vessels or vasodilation carry heat to your skin in waking hours to ensure it cools down. Adequate temperature levels in your room signal your brain that it is time to get a good night’s sleep.
Avoid Screens and Use Blue Light Glasses
Avoid watching TV or using the computer for at least 1-2 hours before going to bed. Use quality blue light glasses if you can’t break this habit. These glasses will reduce the intensity of blue light penetrating your eyes and disrupting melatonin production in your brain.
Research shows that eyes have different functions besides vision. Your eyes monitor light to set your biological clock to a 24 hour day, an essential function known as the circadian rhythm. The biological clock responds preferentially to the light of different wavelengths, including blue light with shorter wavelengths and higher energies.
Activating specific eye receptors in the morning leads to a series of events in your brain that wakes you up and boosts alertness. However, the available natural light spectrum moves toward red tones in the evening.
As a result, it causes your brain to release melatonin and other hormones that make you feel sleepy and relaxed. Hypothalamus in your brain coordinates with your eyes to carry out the process, playing a crucial role in changing metabolic activity, body temperature and promote sleep.
Remember that blue light from your computer screen or smartphone can disrupt melatonin production and disturb your sleep. Not only does blue light triggers insomniac episodes, but it also increases the risk of eye damage, leading to conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Blue light glasses have special orange or yellow-tinted lenses that block shorter wavelengths entering your eyes and penetrating the retinal cells. As a result, it helps your brain maintain adequate production and secretion of hormones like serotonin and melatonin.
A good night’s sleep can strengthen your immune system, prevent weight gain, boost your heart health, improve your mood, decrease stress levels, and avoid the risk of chronic health conditions. Adequate sleep also improves your memory and enhances cognitive function, leading to increased productivity.
On the other hand, if you fail to get enough sleep at night, you will feel tired and dizzy in the daytime. Blue light is one of the biggest causes of sleep disruptions. However, you can block this light by wearing blue light glasses and promote a good night’s sleep. Make sure you invest in quality blue light glasses from a reputable manufacturer.