If you’re regularly struggling to get through the day with any sense of vitality, then there’s a good chance that you need better sleep. After all, sleep provides your body with the perfect opportunity to recharge its batteries and carry out essential maintenance. Therefore, if you’re not giving your body the chance to recover from the stresses of the day, it’s going to leave you with eyelids which feel like a million tons the following day.
No one wants to struggle through the day as if they’re navigating their way through quicksand, so it’s crucial that you optimize your sleep to be as high quality as possible. Now, it’s not possible to control every single aspect of your sleep, but there’s certainly a lot you can do to enhance the sleep you’re getting. And, once you start having better sleep, you’ll find that you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the world like never before, so let’s take a look at how you can achieve this.
Bring Consistency to Your Sleep Schedule
The body clock is an internal biological system which not only helps to advise us when sleep is required for our bodies to recover, but also when our body is ready to wake up. And what the body clock thrives on is consistency.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your sleep/wake times as regular as possible as it allows the body to prepare for more natural sleep which, in turn, allows you to wake up refreshed. If, however, your sleep patterns begin to become haphazard, your body clock will be thrown out of sync and won’t be able to regulate healthy and better sleep.
Ensure That You Follow a Bedtime Ritual
Staying in the arena of consistency, it’s important that you follow a regular bedtime ritual to alert your body and mind that it’s time to start relaxing.
Many people find that a lack of distractions helps them wind down, so video games and box sets are out the window. Instead, try to enhance the peace and tranquility required by dimming the lights and reading a book, preferably after a warm bath or shower.
You’ll find that this is much more natural (and less stressful) for your body than leaping into bed last thing at night and screwing your eyes up tight in the hope of instant sleep. And, with the body suitably relaxed, you’ll discover that this allows you to get much better sleep and keep insomnia firmly at bay.
Better Sleep Needs a Better Diet
Getting through the day involves adopting a healthy diet packed full of all the relevant nutrients to fuel your body against the stresses of the day. However, what many people forget is that a healthy dose of sleep also relies on a specific diet to make it as comfortable as possible.
As your body begins to slow down in the evening, you need to ensure that your digestive system isn’t overloaded with activity. Say, for example, you eat a large meal around an hour before your bedtime, that’s not only going to create a drain on your energy resources, but it’s going to be physically uncomfortable to have a full meal sitting in your guts.
You also have to be careful with drugs such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine as these all exert a strong influence on your nervous system and can have a severe impact on your ability to not only get to sleep, but to maintain healthy sleep.
And this is why you need to make sure that you leave at least a couple of hours between eating and drinking before going to bed; this will ensure that your sleep is less disrupted and allows you to fully recharged and wake up refreshed.
Promote Sleep in Your Bedroom
One of the best ways to optimize your sleep quality is by creating an environment which promotes sleep; the bedroom is the most common place for people to sleep, so it makes sense to transform this into an oasis of sleep.
The main enemies of sleep are noise and light, so it’s essential that your bedroom is protected from these two factors as much as possible. Accordingly, you’re going to want to invest in some earplugs to block out any environmental noise whilst either heavy curtains or an eye mask can act as an excellent barrier to excessive light.
You also need to be comfortable in your bedroom to achieve better sleep and that’s why you can’t rely on any old mattress or pillows. To help induce sleep you’re going to need to choose a mattress which suits your needs and comfort be it a firm, hard mattress or a body molding mattress with goose feather pillows.
And by promoting sleep in your bedroom, you’ll find yourself slipping away into better sleep with an ease you didn’t realize was possible.
Exercise in the Early Evening
Exercise definitely tires you out, so many people are under the assumption that late night exercise can really help to induce sleep. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The adrenaline rush produced by exercise causes your body to prepare for action, so this is hardly conducive towards a good night’s sleep when you should be as relaxed as possible. Additionally, exercise increases your body temperature which is the complete opposite of what you need to promote sleep – cool temperatures.
However, if exercise is completed around four hours before you intend to go to sleep, then it can actually help you get better sleep. After exercise, your body temperature rises, but this gradually drops back down to normal levels after four hours; as this temperature drops, it encourages your brain to start producing melatonin which is a hormone that regulates sleep.
Melatonin is the backbone of natural sleep, so if you can time your exercise so that it floods your body with melatonin at bedtime, you’ll go off to sleep with no problem at all and reap the benefits of natural sleep.