Not getting enough sleep can lead to a barrage of health problems including high blood pressure, stroke, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and more. Sleep is one of the most important and most basic human needs and even a single night without sufficient sleep can wreak havoc on anyone.
To make sure you are getting enough sleep, follow these tips:
Put Away All Electronics
Light plays a huge part in our sleeping pattern and the blue light found in all electronics has the power to deeply affect your sleep. The light we stare at in our electronics disrupts the body’s natural biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. Researchers have gone a step further and said that this blue light might even be a contributing factor for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Researchers at Harvard say that although blue light during the daytime has a positive effect on us, promoting attention, reaction time and elevating our mood, during the night time the same light has the most negative effect compared to any other type of light.
Electronics are not the only source of blue light. Energy efficient lighting also emits this light and must be avoided at night if you want to sleep on time. The reason behind blue light’s effect on our sleeping pattern is that exposure to it at night time suppresses the secretion of melatonin in our system. This hormone influences our circadian rhythm and preliminary research even suggests that lower melatonin levels may cause an increased risk of cancer.
No Coffee After Mid-Day
Caffeine is one of the biggest enemies of sleep so try to steer clear of it too late in the day. Avoid drinking coffee after mid-afternoon to lower your risk of feeling too awake when you get into bed.
Lower the Volume
If you must listen to music while in bed, or watch TV after you are tucked in, make sure it is at a low volume. Louder volume levels will increase noise stimulation, making you even more awake.
Maintain the Correct Temperature
To get a great night’s sleep, it’s important to have the perfect temperature in your bedroom, not too hot and not too cold. Sometimes we wake up in the middle of the night feeling cold and we assume it’s because of a drop in the temperature outside. But the reason for this is usually that there is a drop in temperature within our body.
When we start to fall asleep, our internal system goes into ‘standby mode’ and our core temperature experiences a drop. To counter the feeling of being cold in the middle of the night, ensure that your bedroom is not too warm or cold when you fall asleep.
Another tip to promote great sleep is to have a hot water bottle with you in bed, especially if you place it next to your feet. The heat from the water bottle will help to dilate your blood vessels and will in turn help heat to be distributed to your extremities. This means you won’t wake up with cold feet in the middle of the night.
Don’t Eat Late at Night
Avoid snacking late at night because this has a number of detrimental effects including weight gain, memory loss and spike in blood glucose levels. In fact, the high levels of trans-fats that are present in junk food can lead to dysfunction of the liver while your metabolism is also adversely affected when you eat at irregular times of the day, or night. Avoid eating in the middle of the night because it will affect your sleeping pattern and will keep peaceful sleep away.
Eating sugary foods close to bedtime can also send a boost of energy to your system, making you awake and unable to doze off. Spicy food, consumed too close to bedtime, can also cause digestive issues and may even cause heartburn.
Drinking before going to sleep is counterproductive. Even though it may initially make you sleepy, the effects of alcohol will wear off in a few hours and you will be left feeling uneasy and possibly sleepless. Alcohol usually results in poor quality sleep that is also fragmented. Opt for herbal teas before bedtime instead. Several companies offer free health products which also promote great sleep.
Lower Your Water Intake
An hour or so before bed time, try to limit your water intake unless you want to get up in the middle of the night with a full bladder. Unless you are absolutely parched, gradually lower your intake of water and other liquids near bedtime.
Read…or Clean Up!
Tidying up your room can help you relax before bedtime and will save you plenty of time in the morning when you get ready in a clutter-free room. Another relaxing activity before bed is to read a book or do anything that doesn’t give you stress of any kind. Taking a warm bath before bedtime will also relax you.
Get into Bed
Remember, as soon as you start to feel sleepy, get into bed. If you lie down before feeling sleepy, it will backfire and cause restlessness. If, even after lying in bed for 20 minutes or so, you are unable to fall asleep, get up. Go and do an activity which doesn’t require too much mental energy. However, steer clear of any electronic devices because they will wake you up even further. A great activity for when you can’t sleep is to read a physical newspaper, not a digital one! Do this until you feel sleepy again.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important activities for every human being as it has a direct impact on your health. Use these tips to help you get the best beauty sleep possible. Falling asleep can be a real problem for many people and knowing what to steer clear of and what to do differently can have a huge positive impact on the quality and length of your sleep.