13 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
Recent news may be taking a toll on your sleep. With so many sudden changes in our world, it can be difficult to settle down for a night of restful slumber. Sleep is a vital function of the body and responsible for memory processing, clearing toxins from the brain, and increasing immunity. Though sometimes a challenge to improve, there are tons of tips you can implement for a better night’s sleep. Some of the most effective methods for improving sleep hygiene begin outside the bedroom, the moment you wake up. Read on to learn about 13 tips for a better night’s sleep.
1. Maintain a Sleep Schedule
Rising and resting at the same time every day creates routine, an essential component of sleep. Your circadian rhythm operates on a roughly 24-hour cycle dictating periods of wakefulness and rest. Soon after rising, the body begins preparing for sleep by dropping your internal temperature throughout the day. For best results, try maintaining the same sleep schedule every day, even on weekends.
2. Get Outside
Set yourself up for success by getting in at least an hour of daylight outside. Do your workout at the park, do some gardening or eat a meal outdoors. Beginning your morning with some daylight keeps your circadian rhythm ticking along.
3. Get Active
Physical activity promotes longer and deeper sleep. All kinds of exercise, ranging from going for a neighborhood walk to following a home workout video, will tire you out and decrease anxiety, preparing you for a night of restful sleep. Be mindful of doing intense exercise within four hours of bedtime, which can have the opposite effect and keep you wide awake.
4. Eat Meals Early
Sleeping too soon after a big meal can cause indigestion or acid reflux, especially if your meal leans towards being rich, fatty or spicy. Foods full of fiber will also take longer to digest. Wait two to three hours after eating before going to bed to avoid sleeplessness.
5. Avoid Excessive Amounts of Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase feelings of anxiety and take hours to exit the body. At the other extreme is alcohol, which may allow you to fall asleep more quickly but decreases REM, a restorative sleep stage (as does nicotine). Alcohol can also suppress breathing and cause sleep apnea.
6. Reduce Naps
Staying awake creates a build-up of sleep-regulating molecules like adenosine. The longer we spend awake, the stronger our sleep drive becomes.
7. Turn Off the News
It’s important to stay informed, especially with the barrage of breaking news these days. But if you find headlines creeping into your thoughts while you’re trying to hit the hay, it may be necessary to limit exposure, especially in the hours before bed.
8. Use Your Bed for Sleeping Only
Train your brain to associate your bed with sleep. Move to the living room to watch movies, get out of bed if you find yourself lounging and find a dedicated spot outside your room for work if you have the space.
9. Create Calm
Remove distracting or stressful stimuli from your bedroom and create a dark, quiet, and calming atmosphere. Disorganization, work items and electronics or even a stack of reading material can be tempting and introduce feelings of excitement or unease as you’re winding down for bed. Use a sound machine or fan to provide white noise if desired.
10. Create a Routine
A bedtime routine signals your brain to begin winding down for bed. Choose calming practices: a nightly shower followed by dimming bright lights and settling in with a good book can help you transition from waking hours to slumber.
11. Limit Nighttime Exposure to Light
Light affects circadian rhythms and reduces melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Use thick curtains to limit external sources of light, while eliminating electronics like TVs, phones and lit up clocks. Blue light emitted from devices is more powerful and affects melatonin dramatically. Decrease blue light exposure within 60-90 minutes of sleep.
12. Adjust Temperature
The ideal sleeping temperature is somewhere between 65- and 72-degrees Fahrenheit. Your body’s internal temperature decreases to prepare you for sleep. This is achieved more easily in a cool room, but if your bedroom is too warm or cool you may wake up from discomfort. Bedroom temperature can also affect the quality of REM sleep.
13. Write it Down
Writing about anxieties can provide a way to clear your mind and ease stress. Whether you’re pondering the news or your plans for tomorrow are top of mind, it’s worth journaling about.
Searching for more ways to get a better night’s sleep? Try these treatments and products below:
The practice of acupuncture uses thin needles inserted into specific points on the body to alleviate pain and treat conditions, like sleep disorders. This therapy can be used to treat anxiety and increase melatonin production. Contact Dr. Diane to consult with her team of sleep specialists to learn if acupuncture is right for you.
Neurofeedback retrains the brain for optimal functioning by responding to auditory or visual cues. The status and progression of brainwaves is tracked through the use of sensors and software. Neurofeedback may be used as a treatment for sleep disorders, among many other conditions. Learn more about how neurofeedback can change your life by contacting Dr. Diane and her team of sleep specialists.
- CES Devices
Neurofeedback can be done in the comfort of your own home through the use of FDA approved CES devices which help combat stress, anxiety, improve sleep and do not have any side effects.
Reiki is a form of healing in which practitioners use a universal energy to transfer healing through their palms. Reiki can be used to treat various ailments and promotes calmness, stress reduction, and improved sleep. Contact Dr. Diane for a consultation to learn how reiki can benefit you.
- Bach Flowers Rescue Sleep
Bach Flowers are essences that use frequencies emitted by flowers to decrease negative feelings. Different varieties of flower essences were found to match the frequencies of specific emotions. Bach Flowers do not interfere with medication. Their best-selling essence, Rescue Sleep, can help next time you find yourself tossing and turning.
- Restorative Health Blanket
This life-changing blanket acts as an “energy shield” and “energy mirror” to both reflect your own energy portrait and protect from harmful external energies, thus improving your body’s ability to heal. The Restorative Health Blanket can increase brain wave activity and induce feelings of calm and relaxation.
Overcoming poor sleep can feel nearly impossible, but with a little know-how you’re now equipped with 13 tips for a better night’s sleep. Using a system of trial and error, find the practices that work for you and stay motivated! With this newfound knowledge, you are sure to make major strides in achieving a better night’s sleep for years to come.