It goes without saying that we need to sleep in order to function at optimal levels. Sleeping well improves your appearance, brainpower, memory and other vital body functions. It also reduces your risk of gaining weight, feeling fatigued or developing chronic health conditions. Both adults and children need 6 or more hours of sleep every night for optimal health. However, just because you’re getting the recommended hours of sleep each day does not mean that your body is getting the rest that it needs. A lot of people toss and turn all night, don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning and drink plenty of coffee to avoid drowsiness during the day. If you’re suffering from such sleep problems, then you need to improve the quality of your sleep. Here are a few top tips on how to boost your sleep quality.
1 – Sleep in a Cool, Dark & Quiet Room
Sleeping with the lights on is one of the major causes of sleep deprivation. When your eyes are exposed to light, neurons are aroused and this disrupts your sleep. Research has also shown that light exposure before sleep suppresses the production of melatonin – the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles. A reduction in this hormone at night normally leads to varying levels of sleeplessness. To avoid sleep disruption due to nighttime exposure to light, always sleep with all the lights off. This includes the light emitted from electronic devices, so make sure your computer, phone, tablet and other light producing equipment are either turned off or stored outside the bedroom.
Too much heat can also disrupt your sleep quality. To keep cool while you sleep, make sure you keep the window open and ensure the room is well ventilated. If you still find that you’re too warm after doing this, go to bed wearing lighter clothing and consider investing in a lighter duvet or even sleeping on top of the covers.
Noise is yet another thing that can have a detrimental impact on the quality of your sleep. To minimize the amount of noise in your room, make sure there’s nothing in the bedroom that could potentially make noises while you sleep. If it’s noisy outside your bedroom, try sleeping with earplugs.
2 – Avoid Caffeine In The Evening
As you probably know, coffee is a rich source of caffeine. This chemical changes the brain’s chemistry by binding with sleep inducing receptors known as adenosine in order to keep you awake. The stimulating effects of caffeine can wreak havoc on your sleep because they take hours to wear off. Therefore, if you are an avid coffee drinker, you might want to avoid your favorite beverage a few hours before going to bed.
3 – Get Comfortable Before You Sleep
There are many ways to get comfortable before going to bed and these can improve the quality of your sleep. For instance, taking a hot shower raises your core body temperature and this helps to improve sleep. Alternatively, having a hot bath can relax your muscles and help you have a soothing night of sleep.
4 – Try Essential Oils
Essential oils such as cedar wood, roman chamomile, sandalwood, valerian or lavender oil are all natural relaxants and can help you have an amazing night’s sleep. If you’re having a bath before bed, try putting a few drops of your favorite essential oils from the above list into the bath and then allow the aromas to work their magic. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of these essential oils to a diffuser, place it in your bedroom and let the relaxing scents slowly spread around the room while you sleep.
5 – Unwind Before Bed
One final way to maximize your sleep quality is to start unwinding and getting ready for bed a few hours before you sleep. You can do this by disconnecting from the Internet, switching off the TV and your other electronic devices and then spending the last few hour of the day doing a relaxing activity. Then for the last 30 minutes of the day, stop everything, empty your mind and focus fully on getting ready for sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recently released the key indicators of good sleep quality, as established by a panel of experts.
The key determinants of quality sleep are included in a report published in Sleep Health. They include:
If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I hope the advice in this article helps to enhance your sleep quality. These 5 tips are very simple to implement but surprisingly effective. So give them a try today and start enjoying the best sleep of your life.
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