Getting enough sleep is beneficial for your health. Studies say it’s as essential as eating a healthy diet and regular exercise. On the other hand, poor quality sleep affects your hormones, brain function, and exercise performance. It’s also associated with weight gain and elevated disease risk in children and adults.
The time needed to get enough quality sleep generally depends on your age. For instance, children need to sleep more than adults. Ideally, newborns and small babies need about 12 to 17 hours of sleep a day, while toddlers and preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours each night. Teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep, while adults need at least seven hours.
However, getting a good sleep is easier said than done. This is especially true since various factors such as stress and daily responsibilities can easily affect one’s quality of sleep. And although you may be unable to control these things, you can adopt the tips below to update your sleep quality at night.
Create A Comfortable Sleeping Environment
A comfortable sleeping environment is desirable to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Generally, this means comfortable bedding. And in some cases, room temperature too.
To achieve this, it’s advisable to invest in a quality mattress and pillows. Aside from offering you comfort, doing so also helps ensure your body gets the rest and support it needs while you’re sleeping. That way, you also don’t wake up with a sore back or neck. And today, there are various types of foams and fillings that you can choose from. And among the options you can opt for are pillows with buckwheat hulls filling, as they can ensure you have enough room to turn and stretch comfortably.
As for the room temperature, if your budget permits, consider installing an HVAC system to ensure your bedroom’s temperature remains cool and well-regulated. It could be challenging to get quality sleep when the room’s too hot or too cold.
Studies suggest that exercising regularly can help improve not just one’s health but sleeping quality too. It’s believed to help improve aspects of sleep and reduce symptoms of insomnia. And more so, exercise can also improve the effectiveness of natural sleeping hormones like melatonin.
The rationale behind this is doing physical activities during the day consumes energy that can make you tired by the end of the day. This, in return, can minimize sleep onset and contributes to sleeping soundly. And in some cases, people who engage in physical activities also experience deep sleep, or what’s considered a restorative sleeping phase.
Although daily exercise is essential for quality sleep, doing it before bedtime may cause sleeping difficulties. This is because exercise’s stimulatory effect can elevate alertness and hormones like adrenaline and epinephrine, thereby affecting the quality of your sleep.
That said, it’s best to wind down all activities before bedtime. Perhaps, you can also try meditation. It can help de-stress and calm your mind, preparing you for slumber. And to make you more comfortable, you can also find a pillow, good for meditation before going to bed.
Stick To A Sleep Schedule
This tip seems simple but essential in improving your sleeping habits and quality. Having a regular sleep schedule can be a great way to discipline your body and set your body’s internal clock. So, consider going to bed and waking up around the same time every day. A good tip is to choose a bedtime when you usually feel tired. This way, you can avoid unnecessary tossing and turning in bed. And with enough sleep, you should naturally wake up without an alarm.
In addition, avoid sleeping in. If you want to make up for sleepless nights, go for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This can ensure you get your rest without interfering with your natural sleeping schedule. On the other hand, although napping helps make up for lost sleep, daytime naps can worsen if you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep at night. For that reason, it’s advisable to limit your naps to 15-20 minutes.
However, if you feel sleepy before your regular bedtime schedule, engage yourself in light activities such as preparing your things for the next workday or tidying up your room. It’s important that you fight off drowsiness, as you may find trouble going back to sleep should you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night.
Avoid Caffeine And Alcohol Before Bedtime
Caffeine has a lot of benefits like boosting energy, focus, and sports performance. It’s generally found in tea, coffee, and cocoa, among other products.
With the goodness mentioned above, consuming caffeine late in the day can stimulate your nervous system and may hinder your body from naturally relaxing and sleeping at night. For that reason, it’s advisable to avoid caffeine intake up to 6 hours before bed.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is known to increase symptoms of snoring, sleep apnea, and disrupted sleeping patterns. It also prevents the production of natural sleep hormones like melatonin.
Quality sleep is one of the pillars of good health, just like a healthy diet and regular exercise. And as such, it’s advisable to prioritize sleep and incorporate the above tips for better quality sleep. But, if you have severe sleeping disorders that affect your daily activities, visit your doctor for help.