A lack of sleep can impact your life in a variety of ways, from poor mental health to your professional life. Sleep plays an important role in your life and is used as a vital time for your brain and body to recover ready for the next day. Without sufficient sleep, your health and quality of life may deteriorate.
It is recommended by experts that you get at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. This may seem difficult to achieve at first, especially if you have broken sleep, poor habits or no routine. Fortunately, depending on which aspects of sleeping you struggle with, there are plenty of strategies you can implement that will help improve both the quality and quantity of sleep you get, because both are just as important as each other.
#1 Create a bedtime routine
A routine is a great way to prepare yourself, and your body, for sleep. Once a routine has been established, it gets cemented into your brain, which in turn makes the actions much easier to complete, with almost no effort at all. Start by going to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time in the morning. When you are consistent, your body will start to learn what to do and will make it much easier for you to fall asleep. Over time, you can start to incorporate other activities into your routine at night, for example, meditation or reading a book. Preferably something relaxing, that does not involve technology, to help you wind down. It is important to implement one change at a time so that it is easier to turn it into a habit. Overloading yourself with too many tasks to complete will make it less accessible.
#2 Create a calming environment
It can help you if you create a calming environment for sleep. Try to remove anything that is stimulating in your bedroom, and instead replace it with items that encourage feelings of relaxation and rest. This usually means limiting technology and sources of light, and instead opting for things that are quiet, dark or cool colours. If you have the time, and resources, you could also invest in items that will help you relax before bedtime, such as earplugs, blackout blinds, lavender spray or candles, etc. It is also important that you keep your room separate for sleeping, and conduct other activities, such as watching television, in another room. This will help your brain to better associate your bedroom with sleeping.
#3 Consider what you are consuming during the day, and when
What you consume during the day will have a huge impact on your sleep. Certain foods and supplements can aid in better sleep, such as CBD Patches, while others can hinder your sleep. The time that you consume certain items can also have an impact. Firstly, make sure you are not consuming too much food or drink before you go to bed, leaving you stuffed before sleeping. Your body will be in discomfort, and still be working to digest the food. You will also want to avoid going to sleep hungry, as this may also cause some discomfort, and distract you from trying to sleep. Secondly, you should avoid food and drink that contain nicotine or caffeine a few hours before bed. These kinds of items will stimulate your brain and disrupt your sleep. Thirdly, eating an overall healthy diet, and staying hydrated, will help your sleep significantly as it impacts your moods, your energy levels and your hormones.
#4 Make sure you are expending energy during the day
If you lead a very sedentary lifestyle and find yourself sitting at a desk all day, and then on the couch all weekend, you are more than likely to have trouble sleeping. It is therefore important to include physical activity in your day. This can be in any format, for example, walking, cycling, swimming, weight training, etc. This is because it makes you healthier, as well as makes you more tired before you go to bed. It is, however, important to not exercise too close to bedtime, as this can stimulate your brain and keep you awake for longer. Make sure you don’t exercise at least 2 hours before you go to sleep, to allow the release of your endorphins to circulate your body, and start to wind down.
Sleep is vital for a better quality of life. By implementing these tips consistently, you will see a huge difference in the quantity, and quality of your sleep.