Failure to get a good night’s rest affects both physical and mental health. Some lifestyle choices and daytime habits could be part of the reason you have trouble falling asleep and getting enough rest. With that said, let’s go over how you can get a full night’s rest, every night. Consider implementing the habits below, as they encourage sleep.
Create and Follow a Sleep Schedule
Make a habit of going to bed at the same time every day. A strict sleep schedule makes the body set an internal clock that enhances the quality of sleep. The best time for bed is when you are feeling tired. Seven to eight hours is enough time for an adult to rest.
Limit the difference in sleep schedule during the week and weekend nights. If it happens, limit it to an hour. A habit of sleeping too long on certain nights, like during the weekend, creates jet lag-like symptoms. Take a daytime nap instead of increasing sleeping hours when you need to make up for late nights. You will ‘reduce the excess sleep’ without disturbing the natural sleep-wake rhythm.
Eat, Sleep-Inducing Diet
Overall, eating habits contribute to the effects of sleep quality. A meal with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats with a limited amount of red meat helps you fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper. You should also avoid large or heavy meals for a minimum of two hours before bedtime because the body system focuses much on digestion instead of resting. Acidic and spicy foods also interfere with sleep, as they are likely to cause heartburn. Be cautious or, if possible, refrain from caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Caffeine and nicotine stimulate the nervous system and prevent natural relaxation, which induces sleep. These substances interfere with the quality of sleep because it takes many hours for the effects to wear off. Alcohol causes sleepiness but is likely to disrupt sleep later at night. Sugary and refined foods also trigger wakefulness and cause discomfort that interferes with the deep restorative stage of sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) also interrupts sleep by reducing the capacity to breathe. Use CPAP machines if OSA occurs frequently.
Control Light Exposure at Night
A bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool. Prevent exposure to light around bedtime. Blue Light slows the production of a sleep-promoting hormone called melatonin. Melatonin production is high when the body responds to darkness.
Late-night exposure to light also affects the circadian rhythm, a 24-hour internal body clock that coordinates body processes, including sleep. Exposure to light at night misaligns the circadian rhythm with sunrise and sunset, causing the body to react as if it is time to stay awake. Block light from the room with heavy curtains, and switch off devices that emit light. Put on a sleep mask if some light still filters into the room.
In conclusion, you can get a full night’s rest by combining the tips above with mental relaxation. You can help your body relax by managing worries that stress the brain, regularly exercising hours before bedtime, and ensuring the area around the bedroom is dark and quiet.