Getting a good night’s sleep can have a huge impact on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. You need to have an efficient amount of sleep to be productive in your day. A lack of sleep will lead to daytime fatigue, mood swings, lower levels of concentration, and memory loss. Additionally, it has various health repercussions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Here are five major tips recommended by the National Sleep Foundation on how to get more sleep every night that guarantees you’ll feel refreshed and energized during the day!
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Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our health, yet it is often ignored. Poor sleep quality may be linked to many diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, depression, obesity, and heart disease. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you probably need to make a few changes in your life. An unhealthy lifestyle with poor sleep habits - like taking long naps or not exercising at all - can affect your sleep quality and overall health.
In fact, many sleep disorders are caused because of these harmful sleep habits. The first step to getting better sleep is practicing healthier sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is having a bedroom environment and specific sleep habits that you do to promote sleep at night. Besides your bedtime rituals, here are all the dos and don’ts of sleeping:
Your circadian rhythm regulates your sleep, it is a natural internal clock that controls your sleep-wake cycle, which dictates when you fall asleep and wake up - it is repeated every 24 hours. The circadian rhythm is affected by your exposure to light or by the daylight cycles. In a dark environment, melatonin levels are increased and you tend to feel sleepy. However, if you’re exposed to sunlight in the morning, it’ll encourage productivity and make you energetic.
It is important to spend time during the day in the sunlight to normalize your circadian rhythm so that you’ll start to feel tired in the evening. Disturbances that can disrupt your sleep cycle include staying up late, taking long naps, or poor sleep hygiene. Experts recommend sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, where you sleep and wake up around the same time every day.
This can be difficult as your work schedule varies, but it is advised to gradually try to set a schedule that you’ll easily fall into with time. A one or two-hour difference per night shouldn’t highly affect your sleep cycle but it is important to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
You should try and give yourself at least an hour before your bedtime to prepare for sleep and get in a restful mood. To sleep at the same time every night, it’s important to be careful with naps. If you nap for a long period, you’ll have trouble falling asleep at night. As a result, it is recommended to nap for a maximum of 30 minutes in the early afternoon.
A study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society found that there is a connection between the quality of sleep and what people eat. They found that those who eat more fruits, vegetables, seafood, dairy products, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, reported better quality of sleep than those who don't consume these foods.
As a result, it is important to maintain a healthy diet - here are a few things to focus on:
If you do get hungry at night, consider indulging in some sleep-inducing snacks like yogurt, nuts, oatmeal, leafy greens, or hummus. And instead of drinking black tea, try drinking passionflower or chamomile tea to promote relaxation.
Regularly exercising provides many health benefits such as improving physical functions, preventing obesity, and reducing the risks of diseases like diabetes or heart disease. Physical activity boosts your immune system and should be incorporated into your everyday routine. Exercising during the day will increase your energy levels and make you less sleepy.
However, at night, exercise speeds your metabolism and increases your body temperature, which may make it hard to sleep. Moderate or vigorous exercise should be done earlier in the day, but it is still encouraged to do light exercise at night, maybe just go for a 10-minute walk or do a few stretches. Improving your overall lifestyle will improve your sleep quality as well.
Stress is one of the most common reasons that keep us tossing and turning until 3 AM, unable to sleep. It can be the result of poor daytime habits, a busy workload, a traumatic event, or a major change in life. Suffering from stress or anxiety can result in sleep deprivation, but it also takes a toll on your mental health and may lead to depression. Additionally, when you’re not getting enough sleep, your stress levels will increase - it’s a vicious cycle that goes back and forth.
The American Psychological Association reports that 45% of adults feel more stressed if they do not get enough sleep, while 20% report fatigue or feeling tired because of stress. Here are a few ways to relieve stress before bedtime. These tips can also help reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders, like PTSD or generalized anxiety disorder.
The sleep environment is one of the most important factors for a good night’s sleep. Simply getting in bed is not enough to promote sleep, but the environment in which you sleep affects your sleep quality. Here are a few ideas to enhance your bedroom for more sleep:
Having a good night’s sleep is important for our health and well-being. Today, we can easily see how common sleep problems are. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 70 million Americans suffer from chronic insomnia or sleep deprivation. Sleep is shown to improve mood, memory, immune system, creativity, and more. It is important for a healthy lifestyle. The main benefits of better sleep include:
If you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, don’t feel stressed or force yourself back to sleep. There are a few things that you can do to try to put yourself back in sleep mode. You can try meditating or doing a breathing exercise for a few minutes to unclutter your mind. If you’re in bed for around 20 minutes, and still can’t sleep - consider leaving your bed and going to a different room. Then try meditating again, reading a chapter of a book, or doing another light activity in a relaxing environment before trying to go back to bed.
You can experiment with a few of these techniques to see which one works for you. There are many factors that can wake you up at night, like night sweats, a bad mattress, and even hunger. Take a few minutes and think about what the problem is and then decide on the best action to solve it.
Before going to sleep, it is best to ensure your bedroom environment is optimized for a good night’s rest. You can do this by making sure your room is at a cool temperature, quiet, and dark. The room should optimally be around 65° F or 18° C, and you should use heavy curtains to block out any light from outside. If there are surrounding noises that you can’t get rid of, try using earplugs to mute the noise.
There are many natural ways to promote sleep without needing to use any sleep medicine. Consider practicing relaxation techniques, like meditating, going for a short walk, or taking a warm bath to calm your nerves and clear your mind. You can also try having some sleep-inducing snacks like oatmeal, hummus, yogurt, pistachios, and almonds, or drinking chamomile or passionflower tea for their soothing effect.
To avoid any sleep disturbances and ensure you stay asleep for 8 hours, which is the recommended hours of sleep - you need to make sure you’re slumbering in a proper sleep environment, which is a dark, cool, and noise-free room. Before sleeping, try to relax your body and clear your mind as well as avoid eating heavy meals or drinking coffee at least a few hours before bedtime.
Now that you understand the importance of quality sleep and how to get more sleep every night, you’re ready to set your own bedtime routine for better sleep! Whether you find a few or all of these tips helpful, having a proper sleep schedule and getting enough sleep will make a significant difference in your life.