Your sleep matters. If you wake up tired every morning, it's not just annoying, it can be dangerous — leading to an increased likelihood of accidents — or hurt your job performance. Sometimes, however, it can be challenging to fall or stay asleep every night.
Luckily, there are some simple behaviors you can adopt to improve both the quantity and quality of your rest. Here are five ways to ensure you get a good night's sleep.
It may be tempting to scroll through social media every night before you go to bed, but you shouldn't. Phone screens emit blue light, which can make it hard for you to fall asleep or get quality rest. Blue light is beneficial only during the day. These wavelengths can boost reaction times, make you more alert and improve your mood. However, blue light exposure after sunset makes it harder to fall asleep at night.
The blue light coming from your phone screen makes your brain release less melatonin, a hormone vital to sleep. The lower your melatonin levels, the harder it is for you to enter REM sleep. While all kinds of light can decrease melatonin production, blue light affects it the most.
The best step you can take in improving your sleep is putting your phone away a couple of hours before you go to bed. Try reading a book or meditating instead.
Digital burnout is real! Here’s how you can avoid it.
If it's too hot in your room, you may have trouble sleeping. When you go to bed, your body will lower its temperature to help all your organs and muscles slow down. Resting in a cooler room will help facilitate this process, helping you fall asleep faster. Hack your sleep by keeping your room’s temperature cooler.
The first step in cooling down is selecting the right temperature on your thermostat. Experts suggest that your bedroom be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit when it's time for you to turn in. If you don't have a reliable AC, you can try using fans to cool the room down.
You can do several things to lower your body temperature without messing with your AC. Studies show that taking a hot bath, or even just a warm footbath, can start your body's natural sleep cycle. When you get out of hot water, your body's core temperature falls, an effect that triggers your circadian rhythm.
You can also use lighter, more breathable sheets to stay cool through the night. If you're looking to buy a new mattress, consider getting one with cooling materials like gel infusions. If your bed is still too hot, you can purchase devices like bed coolers.
The way you set up your room can affect how well you sleep. Everything in your bedroom should help you relax and doze off so that when you hit the hay, your body can adjust to its surroundings. Just as workspace design should help stimulate productivity, the space you sleep in should help you rest.
The ideal sleeping environment is dark, quiet, clean, comfortable and free of distractions. Even the color of your walls can affect how easy or difficult it is for you to fall asleep. Choose a paint color that soothes and relaxes you, such as seafoam green or summer lilac.
Too much noise can engage your brain and keep you up. To get a good night's sleep, block out unwanted distractions that may come from around your house or apartment. You can use thick curtains to dampen sound from outside or rearrange furniture to keep your bed away from irritating sources.
You should also keep screens out of your room. TVs and computers emit blue light just like your phone, and if they're in your bedroom, it may be tempting to use them before you sleep.
If you’re thinking, “heck no, I have to wind down with my favorite rerun and have a last peek at my socials before bed,” you’ll be happy to know there is a natural solution. Hello, blue light blocking glasses!
The quality of your sleep isn't just dependent on your bedtime environment and practices. The things you do throughout the day can impact how well you sleep, too.
You already know that exercising can improve your physical fitness, but it can help you get quality rest, too. Studies show that moderate aerobic exercise can increase the amount of deep sleep you get at night. As long as you don't work out right before bedtime, physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and enter deep sleep more often.
Eating a balanced diet can also help you get quality sleep. A lot of unhealthy foods take longer to digest, and if your body has to work harder processing meals, it'll be hard for it to rest. You should also avoid eating large meals before you sleep for the same reason.
For maximum rest, keep out that pesky blue light during the day, too. By limiting your screen time or wearing blue light blocking glasses, you can reduce the strain these lights put on your eyes.
You'll have an easier time falling asleep if you get used to a specific bedtime routine. If you hop under the covers the same time each night, you can train yourself to fall asleep fast. It may be tempting to stay up later on the weekends, but it's healthier to stick to your healthy habits. A regular sleep pattern will help your body make the most of its resting period.
Try to organize your schedule so that you can get at least seven hours of sleep every night. You should practice a wind-down routine on top of going to bed at a consistent time. Turn off your devices, read for a certain period or do other things to help you relax.
Here’s an ultimate guide to help you improve your sleep hygiene.
When you find something that helps you feel tired at night, repeat it. These behaviors will help you get better rest and adopt a healthy circadian rhythm.
Quality rest becomes more vital the longer you live. Poor sleep can lead to several health concerns, like depression or memory problems, that could get worse with age. By improving your sleep now, you'll ensure you lead a long and healthy life.
You might also want to check: Swanwick's Sound Blocking Ear Plugs
Start with a pair of Night Swannies Blue Light Blocking Glasses.