It’s no secret that a lack of sleep can damage your health in so many ways. It weakens your immune system and defence against ailments like heart disease and strokes, not to mention that it also affects your mood and makes you more stressed. For 2018, you can invest in your health by simply improving your sleep patterns. Here’s how:
1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is vital in order to regulate your body clock. However, it’s not as easy as it seems, considering adults have many duties and responsibilities. You can start by making gradual adjustments. For example, if your day usually extends beyond midnight and you plan to stick to a 10 PM sleeping schedule, go to bed at 11:30 PM for the first three nights. Adjust the time at intervals that you are comfortable with, so that your body will ease into the new bedtime schedule.
2. Meditate before bedtime
Time Magazine reported that 62 percent of Mexicans hold prayer rituals before going to bed, which can be considered a form of meditation. Meditation in general can help clear the mind and keep you in a relaxed state, helping you fall asleep faster. It’s no wonder Mexicans have an average sleep of 7 hours and 3 minutes which is more than what people from many other countries get.
3. Enjoy a relaxing bath
Another activity to add to your nighttime routine is having a nice, warm bath. Like meditation, having a bath can keep you in a calm state. To make the most out of your baths without breaking your budget, try our recipe for DIY bath melts which relax and pamper your skin.
4. Exercise regularly
Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for your overall health. But only a few realise that it can also improve your sleep. CNN claim that people who exercise regularly enjoy deep sleep and less disruptions. For the best sleep results, experts recommend at least two and a half hours of intense aerobic exercises each week.
5. Avoid caffeine and nicotine
Naturally, sleep can also be affected by what you consume. HelpGuide.org states that you should avoid eating certain meals in the hours before bedtime, like spicy or acidic food. They can disrupt sleep by causing heartburn or stomach trouble. You should also skip coffee and smoking, since they’re both body stimulants.
6. Disconnect from your gadgets
It can be difficult to let go of your smartphones, tablets, and laptops, but if you want to sleep better, it’s ideal to quit using tech devices at least an hour before bedtime. Their screens keep you alert, which can decrease the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that affects sleep.
7. Keep it cool
Is it too hot in your room? That might be another reason you find it hard to sleep. Research has shown that sleeping in a room with a cool temperature and good air circulation can help you sleep better. Focus on keeping the room temperature between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
8. Limit light exposure
Light helps your body know what time of the day it is. Light exposure in the morning tells your hormones that it’s daytime, which signals to your body to wake up. If you want to sleep better in the evening, reduce your light exposure during that time. Less exposure to light facilitates the natural production of sleep hormones, and will help you transition into sleep better.
9. Transform your bedroom
Consider the environment you sleep in because it may have an impact as well. Studies reveal that people who have clutter in their bedroom reported more sleep disturbances. Make sure your room is clean and clutter-free.
Take note of the décor and ambience, too. Leesa pointed out that bedroom colours play a role in sleep quality, because of what people associate with them. Hues like blue and white are ideal for the bedroom because of their links to calming concepts such as water, stability, clouds, and clarity. These certain colours help create a more peaceful environment, so it’s advisable to have your walls repainted if their colours are not appropriate or conducive to sleep.