10 ways to sleep better at night
Whether you have a physically demanding job, lead a hectic lifestyle, or spend all day pinned to a chair at an office desk, we all understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Rest replenishes our minds and bodies and is necessary for healthy functioning. It helps regulate our mood, improves our memory and strengthens our learning ability.
However, for many of us, getting a good night’s sleep is often easier said than done, as our daily lifestyles don’t always allow us the time to get optimal rest. For this reason, we have developed a quick and easy guide to help everyone enjoy a more adequate sleep at bedtime.
Delving into the science behind sleep reveals that it is largely controlled by biological rhythms, known as circadian rhythms, which play a major role in determining our sleep patterns. These rhythms are in turn governed by our body’s master clock, which is responsible for producing melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy and helps lower body temperature.
Understanding the mechanics behind sleep has allowed us to create a list of things we can all do on a daily basis to help promote more effective sleep:
- Get some exercise at the beginning of your day. – this helps to strengthen your body’s cortisol rhythm, which is higher during the early morning hours. Cortisol is an important hormone that activates the body’s anti-stress and anti-inflammatory functions.
- Get some sunlight – our skin contains photoreceptors that help balance serotonin and melatonin levels in our body
- Adjust smartphone brightness levels – activate the night setting on your smartphone which decreases screen brightness levels at night
- Install the f.lux app f.lux app (https://justgetflux.com/) – The screens found on all modern electronic devices, such as televisions, computers, tablets, and smartphones, emit blue light, which creates melatonin deficiencies that inhibit the your body’s ability to sleep in REM (the stage in which we dream)
- Food and alcohol consumption – Before bed, stay away from all snacks and drinks that raise your blood glucose levels. This means no sugar or alcohol.
- Have a regular nightly routine – if you have young children, you understand how crucial it is for them to have an established routine that helps them fall asleep at night. The older ones are the same. If possible, be in bed by 10 o’clock. Put on soothing music, read a novel, or indulge in some other relaxing activity to help you get ready for your nap.
- Make sure your room isn’t too hot or too cold. – the temperature of a room affects your ability to sleep. For most, the optimum bedroom temperature is between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. Those who choose to set the temperature outside of these suggested limits using a thermostat risk making it difficult for them to sleep, especially REM sleep.
- Use a foam roller or therapeutic pillow – foam rollers are a great way to massage your body before bed, while therapeutic pillows provide a host of benefits including increased comfort, better breathing, circulation, better spinal alignment, and more
- Use blinds on the windows – in addition to having a comfortable room temperature when you’re about to fall asleep, your bedroom should also be dark enough. Blinds or even sleep masks are a good idea, especially for those who work night shifts and need to sleep during the day.
- sleep naked – going to sleep naked or in loose-fitting clothing helps with lymphatic drainage, a process that can help reduce headaches, swelling and pain and can also promote healing in post-surgery or post-injury body tissue . Furthermore, lymphatic drainage also helps the body to relax.