Obtaining a healthy and restful night’s sleep on a regular basis helps to improve productivity and overall quality of life. However, many of us simply fall into bed when it is convenient or don’t implement lifestyle adjustments that allow for a healthier night’s rest. Here are some ways you can improve your sleep hygiene and feel more refreshed each morning.
Avoiding Stimulants, Fats, and Sugars Prior to Bedtime
That last cup of coffee or nightcap can disrupt the effectiveness of your sleep cycle, particularly during the second half of the night when your body begins to process alcohol, caffeine, and sugars. Cutting them and fats, spices, and carbonated beverages out of your evening ritual can help to enhance overall sleep hygiene, and it doesn’t hurt to make it a rule to brush your teeth a little earlier so as to avoid temptation.
Put the Phone Down
The light emitted by your smartphone’s screen can cause for a horrid night’s rest fraught with discomfort and irritability if you’re not careful. Laying in bed and scrolling through social media news feeds until you pass out is going to do you no favours in regards to a restful sleep and refreshed body — in fact, it can sap your energy even more quickly and cause you to get up n the wrong side of the bed in the morning. If you absolutely must check that final email before bed, however, enable your phone’s blue light filter to minimize eyestrain and better simulate natural lighting.
Limit Daytime Nap Length
As we get older, we fall into the habit of taking catnaps to compensate for inadequate nighttime sleep. However, sleeping for hours during the day can wreak havoc on our internal clock and mood, making it more difficult to properly sleep at regular hours. Naps are all well and good, but set an alarm and limit them to half an hour long. In fact, naps of 30 minutes or less can help to boost alertness, overall mood, mental stimulation, and even performance. Don’t waste the potential of a nap by lying down for half the day.
While it should be embraced by middle-aged people either way for various physical and health benefits, practicing regular exercise helps to promote high quality sleep. Even as little of ten minutes of aerobic exercises — such as a walk or bike ride — can make a major difference. Bear in mind that this should be approached in moderation, however, as working out strenuously close to bedtime will have negative effects on your sleep cycle. The overall effects of regular exercise vary from person to person, so try different approaches and activities to see what works best and helps you sleep most comfortably.
Good sleep hygiene promotes good mental and physical health. Feel less drained in the morning by encouraging a healthy night’s rest, and you’ll be refreshed and comfortable every morning, ready to handle each day.