February 18, 2022
Tips on Getting a Better Night’s Sleep and What to Avoid Before Bed
Getting enough sleep every night is just as important as exercising and eating healthy when it comes to your health. In fact, diet and exercise can be ineffective if you’re not getting enough sleep every night. A good night’s sleep can help improve brain function and decrease your risk of disease. Another bonus is that you’ll feel and look refreshed.
The Sleep Foundation states that adults need at least seven hours of sleep every night, but this can be hard for many people to achieve for various reasons. Here are some things that you can do to help you get a better night‘s sleep.
Drink Herbal Tea in the Evening
Many people love their morning tea, but drinking herbal tea at night can help relax you— just make sure that it’s caffeine-free. If green tea is your favorite, make sure that it’s decaffeinated, as green tea naturally contains caffeine. To be on the safe side, stick with calming teas such as lavender or chamomile.
With that being said, keep your caffeine consumption closer to the earliest parts of your day, such as breakfast and lunch. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to eight hours (even though it doesn’t always feel like it) so try not to drink any caffeine at dinner time. Also, keep all drinking to a minimum before bed.
Exercise Regularly and Earlier in the Day
Not only does consistent exercise help keep you healthy, but it can also help you sleep better. Exercise is a great energy boost, so you don’t want to do this right before bed. It is, however, to do stretching right before bed since this is a relaxing activity to help you wind down.
Get Exposed to More Bright Light During the Day
Sometimes trouble sleeping results from your circadian rhythm (your body’s natural clock) being off. To help reset it, expose yourself to natural sunlight during the day, even if you’re tired.
On the other hand, you should reduce your bright light and blue light exposure later in the day. Blue light is emitted from our cell phones, laptops, and other devices with a screen. If you use your phone in the evening, switch it to the night shift setting to reduce the amount of blue light it emits. Blue light makes our brains think that it’s still daytime, which is why many experts recommend not using your phone before bed.
Purchase Comfortable Bedding
If your bedding isn’t comfortable, it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. For many, this seems too good to be true, but poor bedding (everything from your mattress and pillows to your sheets) can contribute to body aches that make it harder to sleep. You can invest in luxury bedding or just good quality bedding and you’ll see a huge difference. Also, make the switch from a spring mattress to a foam mattress, which will also give you a luxurious sleeping experience.
Rule Out a Sleeping Disorder
If you have a sleeping disorder, the tips listed above may not work because you have a medical issue. Common sleep disorders include sleep apnea (breathing interrupted during sleep), insomnia (inability to fall and/or stay asleep), and restless leg syndrome (RLS, a condition that causes your legs to shake during sleep).
Sometimes, lifestyle changes (like those listed above) can help cure these common sleep disorders, but in some cases medication is required to help alleviate the problem. As for sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is used instead of medication. Just make sure to properly care for your CPAP machine as it has the potential to harbor bacteria that can make you sick. Also, make sure that your CPAP machine hasn’t been recalled due to it releasing carcinogens, and if it has, you may need to contact a lawyer and your doctor.
Set the Tone for a Peaceful Sleep Environment
Finally, your room should be a quiet and relaxing place for optimal sleep. Keep light and noise to a minimum, but you can try white noise sounds if you don’t like complete silence. The temperature of your bedroom should be comfortable too, with 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) being ideal for most people.
When you get a good night’s sleep, not only will you feel better, but you’ll look better too. You won’t be tired and groggy, or have bags under your eyes. Eating healthy and exercising will become easier, and you may even see glowing skin with less blemishes. This just goes to show you just how important sleep is for a healthy lifestyle.