There’s more to getting good sleep than simply feeling tired when your head hits the pillow. From where your phone is in relation to your bed to the time you drink your last coffee, there are a whole host of factors that affect the quality of your sleep. Similarly, there is a range of lifestyle changes we can make to improve our sleep.
Curate your space
You can start setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep the moment you wake up. Start by making your bed, then refrain for getting back into it until it’s time to sleep again. Not only does keeping your bedroom tidy aid restful sleep but the act of making your bed has been found to inspire more productive days. Speaking of beds, the style and quality of your mattress can seriously affect the quality of your sleep. Make sure your mattress isn’t working against you by checking out this mattress comparison site. Room temperature is another factor which can significantly impact the quality of our sleep: optimal room temperature for sound, restful sleep is around 16°C – 20°C – so get yourself a heater or airconditioning unit that’s capable of keeping your room at this temperature.
Be cautious with caffeine
The wisdom on how much caffeine is enough to ruin a night’s sleep varies from person to person but, it’s generally wise to avoid caffeine for at least five hours before you sleep. The stimulating effects of caffeine can be felt for between three and seven hours depending on the way it’s metabolised but can remain in our system for up to twenty-four hours. Limit caffeine intake to around two cups of coffee per day, and consider switching to decaf after 1 pm to maximise your chances of a sound night’s sleep.
Change your dinner time
Eating an early dinner can significantly improve sleep: allowing the body time to digest and helping to regulate a healthy circadian rhythm. As the body’s natural sleep/wake system, the circadian rhythm can wreak havoc on our sleep cycle when disrupted. Leaving a few hours between eating and sleeping not only aligns the circadian rhythm but allows time for the food to move into the small intestine, thus the risk of problems such as heartburn and acid reflux.
Swapping your phone for a book a few hours before bed is a highly effective method of encouraging restful sleep. Not only do electronic devices such as phones and laptops keep our brains over-stimulated and alert, but the blue light they emit can limit the body’s production of melatonin: the hormone that controls our circadian rhythm. Not to mention, replying to emails, text messages or scrolling through social media in bed blurs the line between your day-to-day activities and your sleep life. There’s nothing like a late-night urgent email from your boss to spike your stress levels just before bedtime. So try to leave your devices plugged in outside your bedroom to help you resist the temptation to scroll the whole night through.
If you’re smoking tobacco, using e-cigarettes or engaging in other risky behaviour that may affect your lungs and breathing, then you have to consider that quitting would have a significant positive impact on your health and sleep. Smokers have a higher chance of developing sleep conditions such as sleep apnea which stops you from getting high-quality sleep. CPAP Therapy is often prescribed for people with sleep apnea, and many retailers like CPAP Direct sell machines directly and would have more information about managing your condition.
Sleep is so important to our health, happiness and mental and physical wellbeing. Having a good amount of high quality sleep each night will leave you feeling refreshed, rested and ready to face the day ahead. To make sure you’re getting the sleep you need to face your day consider making the five lifestyle changes listed above!