Uncategorized Health

11 Tips to Better Sleep: The Importance of Sleep

photo of person holding alarm clock

Are you struggling to get the sleep that you need? Sometimes it can feel impossible to get a good night’s rest. However, sleep is crucial to good health and recovery.

If you are looking for some tips to get better sleep, this article has the answers you need.

Keep reading below to learn how to get the most out of your nighttime routine!

The Importance of Better Sleep

While many consider fitness and nutrition the two-headed dragon for peak health and performance, we tend to forget about a third crucial factor – better sleep.

A quality sleeping regimen is of the utmost importance. Without a good night’s rest, you immediately risk experiencing adverse side effects like poor performance, slower cognition, mood swings, hormone fluctuation, weight gain, depression, and more!

An improved sleeping regimen can provide immediate benefits!

In today’s digital age, workaholics and the “grind-life” are often put on a pedestal. However, this attitude can lead to poor sleep cycles, lack of rest and recovery, and, ultimately – burnout.

Instead, we need to flip the switch on what is truly important so that we can tackle life with a new vengeance.

Benefits of Better Sleep

calm woman sleeping on pillow in bedroom- tips to better sleep
Photo by Miriam Alonso on Pexels.com

Some of the benefits of a proper sleeping regimen are:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved mood
  • Improved performance
  • Weight maintenance
  • Improved brain function
  • Improved mood
  • Lower health/blood markers
  • And more

Above are just a few of the more prominent benefits that we understand. As you can tell, this list could be pretty lengthy.

So, how can one improve their sleep? Great question!

Tips to Better Sleep

While we won’t go into detail on every tip, below are some changes you can implement for better sleep:

Reduce Light Exposure Before Bedtime

Light when you are trying to sleep, especially blue light from digital devices, will make it harder for your body to fall asleep and sleep deep.

“Exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms. Even dim light can interfere with a person’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion.” – Harvard Health Publishing.

However, there are some easy fixes!

Blue light blocking glasses like these block or at least filter out certain light waves from devices.

If you sleep somewhere that isn’t pitch black you may also benefit from a sleep mask.

Relax Before Bed

Relax your mind before sleeping to increase your chances of deeper rest. You can do this by:

  • Dimming lights
  • Investing in high-quality pillows, a good mattress, and comfortable bedding
  • Limiting screen time starting at least 30 minutes before bed
  • Learning relaxation and breathing exercises
  • Reading a book
  • Listening to soft music or white noise
  • Use scented candles or air freshener

Any subtle changes in your sleeping environment that help you relax more can profoundly impact your sleep.

Avoid Overconsumption of Caffeine During the Day

It is even more critical to avoid it before bed so you aren’t staying up at night. If you want better sleep, stop consuming caffeine six hours before bed.

Set up a Better Sleeping Schedule

The key here is consistency. You want your body to pick up on the pattern, so falling asleep and getting into deep sleep becomes easier.

Going to bed and waking up consistently every night (yes, even on weekends) will help adjust your internal clock to get higher-quality sleep.

Set You Bedroom Temperature to an Optimal Temperature

“Typically, it is suggested that the optimal sleeping temperature in the bedroom for adults should be between 60 and 67° F,” says Dr. Drerup. This range of temperature helps facilitate the stability of REM sleep.

Maintain Proper Hygiene

Studies have suggested that people who do not practice good hygiene tend to suffer from stress. To relax your body, muscles, and mind, practice proper hygiene before bed by following these tips:

  • Change your sheets regularly
  • Take a shower before going to bed
  • Brush your teeth before bedtime
  • Wear clean and comfortable nightwear

Consider Supplementation

Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces naturally, and it signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep. It also comes in supplement form and can be found online and in most stores that sell supplements or medication. Here are the top sellers on amazon.

There are also a ton of natural sleep supplements that contain a mixture of different herbal and organic compounds to help you sleep. Here are some of the best ones-

Have a Scheduled End of the Workday

If you’re a workaholic (like me), schedule your day to END in the early evening. Downtime and unwinding are critical to a restful sleep! This end to your day is a great time to hang out with your family or read a book to unwind.

Get Hydrated Early

Drinking too much water before bedtime can increase your need to get up and go to the bathroom. These bathroom visits will interrupt your sleep pattern making it more challenging to get a whole night’s sleep.

Optimize Your Lifestyle

Regular exercise can help you to sleep significantly better.

“We have solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality,” says Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital. “But there’s still some debate as to what time of day you should exercise. I encourage people to listen to their bodies to see how well they sleep in response to when they work out,” she adds.

If you are looking for a workout plan, check these out!

Diet and Better Sleep

Your diet also plays a role in how well you sleep. Even simple changes like earlier dinners and avoiding spicy foods can disrupt your guts less, allowing for better sleep.

Data shows that eating less fiber, more saturated fat, and more sugar throughout the day translates to lighter, less restorative sleep.

In one study, researchers tracked the diet and sleep of a group of healthy adults over five nights and found that food choices during the day did affect sleep.

The Importance Of Sleep For Health, Fitness, And Productivity

The importance of better sleep infographic

Sleep is essential for the appropriate day-to-day functioning of an individual. We often list what having a healthy lifestyle means, including diet, workout, personal hygiene, and relationships. Still, we don’t often consider adequate sleep.

Better Sleep Reduces Obesity

Lack of good sleep can contribute to obesity as it reduces your metabolism. Additionally, it disrupts the levels of hormones in the body. 

Sleeping less than the recommended hours causes a decrease in cortisol and ghrelin release. These two hormones are responsible for enhanced cravings and hunger.

Improves Concentration

A well-rested mind performs better when solving problems and making decisions. Analytical reasoning also requires higher concentration levels typically only attained by well-rested individuals. 

Better sleep can also reduce mishaps and mistakes in the workplace. In fact, poor sleep is just as dangerous for drivers as intoxication.

Better Sleep Promotes Healthy Growth

During the Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep phase, the body releases essential hormones for healthy growth and development. In addition, any worn-out and damaged body tissues are also repaired during this phase.

Strengthens Immune System

One study was conducted in which people were given nasal drops with a common cold virus to see which subjects would get sick and which ones wouldn’t. The study results showed that individuals who slept less than 7 hours a night were more likely to get the common cold. 

Poor sleep is known to weaken your body’s immune system. As such, a person lacking good sleep becomes more prone to diseases than other individuals.

Reduces the Likelihood of Heart Diseases and Diabetes

Our bodies process glucose during deep sleep. Therefore, lacking NREM sleep results in an increased likelihood of type 2 diabetes because of the development of insulin resistance. 

Additionally, insufficient sleep can lead to atherosclerosis, the narrowing of arteries that can result in severe cardiovascular diseases later in life.

Better Sleep Enhances Athletic Strength

According to one study, an increased number of sports injuries occurs in athletes who sleep less than seven hours per night—good sleep results in better coordination of muscles and quicker reflexes during strenuous activities.

How Important is Better Sleep?

Most health experts recommend seven to nine hours of sound sleep per night. Anyone wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle or trying to get results in the gym should not forget to rest the mind and body properly.

Tips to Better Sleep Summary

The importance of sleep is undeniable by looking at the critical role it plays in an optimal, healthy lifestyle. Study after study continues to pop up to verify this fact further.

Hopefully, this article has enlightened you if you haven’t considered it a crucial aspect of health. If nothing else, don’t become overwhelmed or concerned. Choose two or three tips from the list above and give them a try.

You’ll thank yourself later!

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