Daily Archives

November 18, 2018

Lifestyle

6 Tips For Getting A Great Night’s Sleep  

November 18, 2018

Did you know that nearly half of Americans are too tired to work efficiently? In a 2017 survey, it was revealed that 43 percent of the nation did not get enough sleep at night to safely carry out the tasks expected of them in the workplace while 67 percent admitted to feeling generally fatigued during the 9-5 slog.

Those figures just go to show how important a good night’s sleep is. It is essential to a healthy existence and both our physical and mental wellbeing. A good, deep sleep repairs our bodies and improves the functionality of our brains.

If you are worried that you don’t get enough good quality rest, then here are six tips to getting a great night’s sleep.

Expose yourself to bright light during the day

Your body has a natural timekeeping clock known as the circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body, and hormones and essentially manages your body in terms of when it is time to be awake and when it is time to be asleep. A sort of more complicated body clock, if you like.

By exposing yourself to natural or bright sunlight during the day, you’ll be keeping your circadian rhythm healthy which will improve your daytime energy levels and as a result of that, the quality of your nighttime sleep.

Getting outside in the sun will, therefore, ensure you get a longer, better night’s sleep. If you live somewhere where the sun only makes very infrequent appearances throughout winter, then making sure you work and live in a well-lit home during daytime hours can also help.

Reduce unnatural light before bed

Light in the day is good, but lights before bed are bad. Again, this is because of your circadian rhythm, which will be tricked into thinking that it is daylight if exposed to too much light before your put your head down.

The “blue light” given off by electrical devices is particularly bad news in this regard. Every time we look at our cell phone screen or our tablet before we go to bed, we’re preventing our bodies circadian rhythm from working properly by making it believe it is daytime. With so many American’s now suffering from what is considered a phone addiction, this can be a real problem.

There are several ways in which you can block blue light from affecting your circadian rhythm. You can buy glasses that block out blue light, download an app that either helps manage the amount of blue light your device emits or blocks it completely or most effective of all, stop watching television and turn off all devices two hours before you go to bed.

Don’t drink caffeine before bed

Most of us need our morning coffee to get us going at the start of the day, which means we all know the energy boost that comes from caffeine. That boost arrives from caffeine’s ability to stimulate our nervous systems, stop our bodies from relaxing, heighten awareness and making us more alert mentally.

Clearly, none of those effects are good for getting a great night’s sleep. If you want to ensure that the effects of caffeine are completely out of your system by the time you go to bed, then you need to have your last cup of coffee of the day no more than six hours before you go to sleep, as caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for anywhere up to eight hours.

By giving your body its final energy boost at around 3pm in the afternoon, you should ensure you can get through the final few hours of the day and flushed the caffeine from your system by the time you want to go to bed. Any later than 4pm, and you’re setting yourself up for a low-quality night.

Take a melatonin supplement

Melatonin is the key sleep hormone that tells your brain when it is time to relax and head to bed. As a result, taking melatonin supplement is an extremely popular and effective way of improving your quality of sleep.

It’s largely used when a person wants to avoid jet lag or adjust to a new time zone, but it has also proven to be extremely effective in the battle against insomnia. Just 2mg of melatonin before bed has been shown to improve sleep quality and energy levels the next day.

Start with a low dosage to assess your tolerance and then increase as necessary. Since melatonin can alter your brain chemistry, it’s always best to speak to a healthcare professional before taking it if you are worried.

Avoid alcohol around bedtime

You might think that one small nightcap can help you get to sleep at night, but alcohol is in fact bad news for having a good night’s rest. It is known to cause or increase the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring, which can lead to a disrupted night’s sleep.

Most pertinent of all though is that alcohol can also alter the bodies nighttime cycle of melatonin production which, as we’ve already touched upon, isn’t good news for ensuring you get the required amount of shut-eye.

By avoiding alcohol before bed, you will be helping your body regulate melatonin levels and helping to ensure a higher quality of sleep. If you’re worried about a possible alcohol or drug addiction issue which may be the reason behind you not sleeping well, then click here to find out more about addiction treatment.

Reduce how much you nap during the day

Having a nap during the day, especially on a lazy weekend, is one of life’s great pleasures. Short, sharp, power naps can be beneficial, but if these turn into long or irregular napping during the day, then you are going to be adversely impacting on your ability to sleep at night.

Sleeping in the day can confuse your internal clock, especially when the nap goes on for longer than 30 minutes. If you need to have a little sleep, then be sure to limit how long for and if you find you can’t sleep at night as a result, then either shorten how long you are napping for or cut naps out altogether.