Are you having good, quality sleep? If so, good for you! But not all of us are experiencing the same. Some of us may be feeling restless even though we slept all night. Some of us are struggling to fall asleep no matter what we do or how many sheep we've counted. The truth is, no one can determine if they'll sleep soundly or have a sleepless night. The quality of our sleep often depends on how our day turns out. The activities we do, the food we eat, even the medicine we take can all affect our sleep patterns. Even the slightest changes in our daily routine can make a difference in our sleep quality. You might be asking, is there food for good sleep? Are there home remedies for good sleep? We've researched it and have compiled the best ten sleeping habits to achieve sound, quality sleep that you've dreamed about.
1. A Comfy Place to Sleep
If you haven't cleaned your room for ages, we highly suggest starting now. Sleeping in fresh sheets can increase comfort and will make you want to fall asleep. Vacuuming and dusting your room can improve its air quality. Clean air that is free from dust and allergens can help in your breathing and relaxation. Not only that, a neat, uncluttered ambiance can clear your mind and reduce stress. Waking up in a clean room can also make you feel good, bring good vibes to start your day. A decent mattress and pillow can also add to the coziness and help you sleep better.
2. Set a Good Temperature
After making your room cozy and comfy, set the best temperature that suits you. Of course, it depends on your preference or the current weather. You do not want to wake up in the middle of the night sweaty or shivering cold. Wear comfortable clothes appropriate for room temperature. To have the most comfortable sleep, doctors recommend setting the room temperature between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Plan a Sleep Schedule
Planning a sleep schedule is a helpful way towards a consistent sleep routine. Keeping a sleep routine helps your circadian rhythm, which conditions your body to do what it needs to at a specific time of the day. We recommend having a fixed wake-up time. This way your mind, and body can get used to your sleep routine. Basically, the goal is to wake up and sleep at every same time of the day. Also, have a target time for sleeping. Make sure it meets the required 7 to 9 hours sleep average. Be consistent with bedtime so your body can get accustomed to it. Skip late-night TV shows. Rest assured, you will develop a healthy sleep routine in no time.
If you need to make changes to your sleep routine, do it gradually. Adjust 1 to 2 hours per night until you get used to the new sleep schedule.
4. Create a Bedtime Routine
Bedtime routines are often composed of calming activities that make you relax and get ready for bed. Include activities like having a warm bath, brushing teeth, changing to PJs, listening to music, and reading a book. These activities can signal your brain that it's nearly time for bed. It also reduces stress and anxiety. It helps you clear your mind and loosen up from a tiring day. Do them consistently, and it will help you sleep better and give you positive results.
5. Keep an Eye on your Food and Caffeine Intake
Some of us are coffee, tea, and soda lovers, and it is hard for us to resist them! However, if you plan to have well-rested nights, you may want to avoid them in the early afternoon or evening. These beverages are popular stimulants, and caffeine can stay in your blood for hours. Experts say you should avoid caffeinated drinks at least 6 hours before bedtime as it can reduce your sleep time. Also, avoid energy drinks and chocolate as they also contain caffeine.
As for foods, avoid sweet sugary foods before bedtime. It can increase your sugar levels, then it crashes when you are asleep. A drop in sugar level can alert your adrenals and produce cortisol. Cortisols can make you feel alert and wakes you up from sleep.
Also, stay way from aged cheese or preserved bacons and meats. They contain high levels of tyramine, which releases norepinephrine, a brain stimulant.
Other foods to avoid are spicy foods. Spicy foods like curry contain capsaicin, which increases your body temperature and can affect your thermoregulation process. You may also want to keep away from chips two to three hours before going to bed. Too much salt retains water and may cause fatigue. Experts say that salty foods can disrupt superficial sleep.
6. Nap Caution
We take naps to re-energize so we can continue to work effectively during the day. But taking it late in the late afternoon can affect your night sleep. Experts say that the best time to nap is early to mid-afternoon, as most people feel their energy declines at this part of the day. The suggested nap duration is 10 to 20 minutes, and don't take naps later than 2 PM.
7. Lessen Lights and Screen Time
Before bedtime, limit your exposure to bright lights. It affects your circadian rhythm, so it is best to have dim lights in your bedroom. You can also use a sleep mask or blackout curtains if lights from the outside cause sleep disruption.
Also, limit using devices like mobile phones, tablets, or laptops before bedtime. The blue light coming out from those devices stimulates your brain, makes it hard for you to fall asleep. It suppresses your melatonin which is responsible for your sleep-wake cycle. Low levels of melatonin cause fatigue, tiredness, and insomnia. Devices placed beside you or under your pillow can keep your mind engaged. As soon as someone sends you a DM, you feel that you immediately have to check it, making your mind more alert and wired to your device. Limit them 30 minutes before bedtime. Help your mind be at ease and earn that well-deserved sleep.
Certain fragrances provide a calming effect to our bodies. Oils like lavender, jasmine, and Chamomile are among the scents that can help you relax and fall asleep. Be sure to research fragrances since other scents like tangerine and lemongrass have stimulating effects. Studies show that calming oils can match the effect of sleep medicines. There are different ways to use them depending on your preference.
You can rub the oil on your wrist, forehead, chest, or feet. Rub them in your palms and smell the scent. If you have sensitive skin, you can dilute it to carrier oils like olive or coconut. You may also do an allergy test by rubbing a small amount on your skin, wait for 24 hours, and check for rashes.
Wax candles are also infused with essential oils. You can buy them from stores and light them up before going to bed.
If you have a diffuser, you can put a few drops of your chosen essential oil so it can circulate in your room.
You can mix a few drops with water, and you can spray them on your pillow or bed. You can also add them to your warm bath to feel more relaxing.
9. Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help you loosen up, reduces stress, anxiety, and tension. One form of relaxation technique is writing all your ideas or worries on paper. If you are worried about the tasks for the next day, plan them in your journal. It will help get those thoughts off your mind and later can make you focus on sleeping.
Another form of relaxation is breathing exercises. To do this, breathe in for 4 seconds, then breathe out for 8. You can repeat this four times. Humming also has a calming effect. It lowers our heart rate and releases tension, which makes us feel more relaxed. It has the same effect as breathing exercises.
Sound meditation can also help by listening to nature sounds or ocean waves. Guided imagery is another relaxation technique wherein you concentrate and get comfortable looking at an image. It can be a beach or a view of the mountains. A deep concentration is needed as you will need to focus on the smallest details. It may take a few attempts to master, but you can be an expert at it in no time.
10. Sleep Diary
A Sleep Diary is an essential tool used to track how well you are sleeping. It also helps to identify the factors that affect your sleep quality. You can note all your sleep-related information on your sleep log. These include activities you did for the day like work, exercise, naps, etc. The medicine or food you have taken like caffeine, alcohol, energy drinks, and the like. The time you went to bed and the time you woke up will also be recorded. You can keep a sleep diary for about 1 to 2 weeks so you can evaluate your sleeping habits. You can start a sleep diary whenever you want, especially if you feel like you are not getting the quality sleep that you need.
You might be asking, why is there a need to practice good sleeping habits? We'll tell you why and you'll be surprised! Learn the benefits of sleep and the wonders it does to your body. Read our blog, "The 8 Benefits Of Getting A Good Night’s Sleep."
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