Sleep is one of the essential ingredients we need to keep functioning both mentally and physically. Yet, up to 70 million US adults suffer from a sleep disorder and over a third of adults report getting less than seven hours sleep in a typical day, according to the American Sleep Association. It’s an issue that could severely be affecting well-being.
A single night of bad sleep might just leave you feeling groggy and in a bad mood. But if it’s an ongoing issue, the effects can be far worse. Among the effects of sleep deprivation are:
- Trouble concentrating
- Mood swings
- Weakened immune system
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Weight gain
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Aged skin
If your struggling when it comes to sleep, these 15 simple tips can help you improve your cycle and wake up feeling fresh in the morning.
1. Create a sleep schedule
Ideally, you should aim for seven hours of sleep a day and plan to go to bed and wake up at the same time. Our body loves having a structure. Sticking to a routine can help get your body clock in order.
2. Watch your evening eating and drink habits
Everyone knows that caffeine can keep you awake. But equally, you should be ensuring that you’re not going to bed hungry or stuffed for a restful night’s sleep.
3. Reduce sugar and refined carbs intake
What you eat plays just as important role as the time you eat. Avoid reaching for sugar laded or carb-heavy foods in the evening.
4. Cut back on alcohol
For some alcohol can make them fall into a deep sleep quicker but for others, it has the opposite effect. If you can identify a link between the nights that you have a drink and those that you struggle to sleep, it might be time to cut back.
5. Get some fresh air
Fresh air circulating through your bedroom can encourage better sleep thanks to the cooling effects – you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed too.
6. Be mindful of your environment
Your environment plays a big role in the quality of your sleep. Minimise exposure to light and screens, as well as considering noise and temperature. Switch off your phone. Need an alarm clock? Buy one, but keep social media away from your bed.
7. Increase your exposure to sunlight
While you want to limit your exposure to light during the night, during the day you should increase your exposure to natural light as much as possible, regulating your sleep cycle.
8. Invest in comfort
Investing in a bed, mattress, pillows, and duvet that enhance your comfort can be really worthwhile. If you find that you’re often waking up with a sore back or neck, this should definitely be a step you consider.
9. Incorporate exercise
Regular exercise and spending times outdoors can help promote better sleeping patterns. Increasing the amount of physical activity you do, can help here.
10. Give up smoking
Some of the chemicals in cigarettes can affect your body’s natural clock, so giving up can really be an improvement. Alternatively, switching to a natural e-liquid and reducing nicotine intake can be a step in the right direction.
11. Try meditation
There are plenty of apps and other tools on the market that make meditation simple. Pick out one that’s specifically designed to aid sleep and give it a try.
12. Make sure you wind down
Stress and worries are among the leading reasons for sleepless nights. Winding down before you head to bed is vital for getting ready to sleep, managing worries can be a challenge but there are a variety of techniques you can try.
13. Stop napping
If you find yourself napping during the day, it’s a practice you should be putting a stop to unless you work shifts. If you really feel like you need a boost, limit your nap to half an hour and have it earlier in the day.
14. Don’t watch the clock
If you find that your continually glancing at the clock when you can’t get to sleep, especially if it’s on your phone, it’s time to put a stop to the habit. It’ll only increase your stress levels and anxiety.
15. Don’t get frustrated
One of the most common mistakes in getting to sleep is lying in bed and getting frustrated. If you don’t manage to drift off, get up and do something relaxing for 20 minutes before trying again.