Sleep is vital for your health. When you have a good night’s sleep, your body gains the power to recover and allows you to wake up refreshed and ready for the new day. Unfortunately, many people have sleep problems and hardly have a restful night.
According to the Sleep Foundation, almost half of all Americans say that they often feel sleepy during the day, and this shows that many cannot manage their sleep and give the body and brain the rejuvenation it desires.
The amount of sleep you require in a day depends on many things, including your age and genetics. As an adult, you need seven to nine hours of sleep at night, though some people will be OK with as few as six hours of sleep or as much as 10 hours.
According to sleep experts, episodes of drowsy, even during boring activities, indicate that you didn’t have enough sleep. To help you hit the REM cycle your body and brain need, follow the following tips.
1. Avoid Eating or Drinking Too Close to Bedtime
Eating a few hours to sleep will leave your body more focused on digesting food and not concentrating on releasing toxins during sleep. Eating close to bed slows down your body’s metabolism.
Typically, your body slows its function at night to prepare you for sleep. Therefore, consuming food before bedtime, especially those high in carbohydrates, can make it hard for the body to digest, resulting in weight gain.
Drinking close to bedtime can also disrupt your sleep by forcing you to wake up in the middle of the night to pee. Having a full stomach by the time you go to sleep can obstruct your airways as you sleep and cause snoring and sleep discomforts like acid reflux. It’s best to stop eating at least three hours before bed to give your body ample time to digest.
2. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Use
Caffeine and alcohol can obstruct your sleep and disrupt your recommended seven to nine hours of sleep. Many people love taking caffeine when they feel tired to stimulate their bodies and keep them alert.
However, caffeine is counterintuitive as it keeps you from getting sleep. On the other hand, alcohol may help you get some sleep at first. But after some hours of consumption, it acts as a stimulant so that it will wake you up in the middle of the night.
Regular intake of alcohol can completely disrupt your sleep. If possible, avoid taking alcohol and caffeine in the evening and reserve your night for sleep and sex only. If you cannot avoid it, limit your caffeine intake to not more than 300 mg to 400 mg per day, which equals four cups of coffee. Experts recommend that alcohol should not be consumed in the last four hours before bedtime to help you get quality sleep.
3. Optimize Your Environment
Studies show that you can sleep better by optimizing your bedroom noise levels, light, temperature, and comfort. Since the quality of your sleep is linked directly to aspects of your health, it’s essential to create a calm, dark, and quiet space to sleep.
Take time to understand your body and determine what you need to do to stay comfortable and relaxed, like taking a bath at the end of the day or meditation. Optimize your sleep with a mattress and pillow that offer specific support for your body needs. This mattress buying guide and tips will help you find a mattress and pillows that suit your body’s needs.
4. Exercise Regularly
Exercising regularly can help regulate your body’s hormones and circadian rhythm, significantly contributing to a good night’s sleep. Exercising also helps you have good circulation in the body, making it easy for you to rest after working hard. However, avoid exercising too close to bedtime as exercise can also serve as a stimulant and release cortisol that keeps your body awake.
5. Be Consistent
Have a bedtime routine to get you relaxed. Stay consistent with the time you go to bed and wake up, even on weekends. Once you form a sleep routine and stick to it, you can quickly adopt better habits for your mind and body to help you sleep better.
The Importance of Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is vital for your mental and physical health. When you practice good sleep hygiene, you can reap the benefits of a good night’s sleep, including reducing the risk of certain diseases like high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes and obesity, depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Good sleep hygiene can help you perform well the following day and improve sleep quality.