Being well-rested is the foundation of our everyday performance, as well as our mental and physical health. It can be easy to overlook how much sleep affects our day-to-day lives. That is, until we’re completely exhausted and can’t focus on anything other than thinking about our beds. Having all that said, if you are a student or have a job, you know how hard it can be to get enough sleep. Sometimes, you just don’t have enough time, especially if you try to fit hobbies and social life into your agenda. This is exactly why finding useful tips for better sleep is incredibly helpful.
If you want to sleep better, you have clicked on the right article. Here, you will find various helpful tips that are going to ensure that you sleep deeper and wake up feeling more rested. Let’s begin from the basics, all the way to more complex and less known tips.
It all begins with your bedroom environment
Not many things affect your sleep quality as much as your bedroom environment does. The most important factors when it comes to your bedroom environment are going to be discussed in the following segments. They can be categorized into bed and relevant equipment, noise, light, and temperature.
Mattress and pillow
The foundation of a good sleep lies in, well, the bed you sleep in. This doesn’t mean that you can’t sleep well if you don’t have a luxury mattress. What is important though is that your bed is tailored to your needs specifically. The first thing that comes to mind is the bed size. Having a bed of the correct size is an absolute game-changer in terms of sleeping well. Taking a look at this chart is a good place to start if you don’t know much about bed sizes. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to squeeze tight and compromise your comfort just because you don’t fit your mattress!
Your pillows are just as important as your mattress is, and they heavily affect sleep quality. Just like your mattress, it also affects your health. A bad pillow/mattress choice can result in back and neck pain that will affect you while you’re awake as well. It is even more important that your pillow supports you properly if you have any spinal issues such as spondylosis or similar.
Block external noise
Numerous studies have shown that external noise heavily impacts sleep quality. In addition, it can also be a cause of various long-term health issues. The most common issue when it comes to external noises lies in traffic. But, any consistent noises can be problematic for your sleep quality. So, if your bedroom is facing the street, it would be best if you were to start wearing earbuds. It will make an immense difference in how rested you feel when you wake up.
Eliminate artificial light as much as you can
Artificial light is another factor that heavily affects sleep quality. Sleeping with the light on is not a good idea, as it is the largest source of artificial light in your bedroom. But, even the smaller light sources can still be problematic. A digital clock, public lighting from outside, your phone lighting up – all of these are problematic. Try and eliminate as many artificial lights in your bedroom as you possibly can.
Your bedroom temperature is vital
There are studies that show how bedroom temperature affects sleep quality even more than external noise and light do. Everyone has probably experienced how torturous it can be to try and sleep during a hot summer night. Even though this is an extreme example, smaller variations in temperature have an impact as well. So, for most people, the optimal temperature for sleeping is around 20°C (70°F).
Exercise often – but never before bed
If you’re looking for a scientifically backed-up way to enhance your sleep, exercising is a way to go. It is a known fact that exercise enhances all aspects of sleep. In addition, it can be used to reduce symptoms of insomnia quite efficiently. In fact, when it comes to severe cases of insomnia, exercise can offer more benefits than most drugs used for treating it.
It should be noted though, exercising before bed is not a good idea. The problem with doing so lies in its stimulatory effect. Exercising increases alertness, as it propagates the production of hormones like epinephrine and adrenaline. So, what you should do instead is exercise during daylight.
Bright light exposure during the day is good
Your circadian rhythm is the most impactful factor when it comes to sleep. It affects so many different factors in your body, and its role is to help you stay awake during the day, as well as to fall asleep when the night comes. Bright light exposure not only improves sleep quality but it will also boost sleep duration and the time it takes to fall asleep. Increasing bright, natural light exposure during the day will help you significantly even if you experience average sleep quality.
Blue light in the evening should be avoided
If natural light has a good impact on your circadian rhythm, blue light in the evening has a completely opposite one. Basically, blue light tricks your brain into thinking that it’s still daytime. This results in the reduction of hormones like melatonin, resulting in you feeling less relaxed and unable to get deep sleep.
The problem is, all of us use phones before we go to sleep, in addition to computers, TVs and similar. There are ways in which you can avoid blue light though. You can wear glasses that block blue light, but you can also download different apps that block blue light on your devices.
Long naps can negatively affect your sleep
We’ve all been there – you didn’t catch enough sleep, you get home from work, and you feel like you can just go to sleep immediately. Instead of doing that, you opt for a short nap, and you’re ready to continue with the day. Now, short naps can indeed be beneficial, but longer ones can mess with your sleep quality. If you take a large amount of longer daytime naps, studies show that you can actually be sleepier during the day.
So, it would be best if you were to cut your naps short – more specifically, around 20-30 minutes. Another way in which you can regulate your naps is to ensure that you’re consistent with the time when you do take a nap.
After all this, you are equipped with more insight into different ways in which you can better your sleep. So, try and nurture your sleep routine as much as you can. Even if you feel like your resting periods are sufficient, you will still benefit from implementing these tips into your life. When you’re well-rested, it is so much easier to tackle anything during the day. No matter whether we’re talking about handling various tasks, relationships, or even hobbies. Good night and rest well!