As a species, human beings depend greatly on recharging their batteries at the end of the day and resetting for the next. Sleeping is an activity that should last anywhere between 7 to 9 hours when an average grown person is concerned. Although not everyone gets or needs this much, this is still around a third of the day. Out of the 24 hours, it is recommended to sleep for around 8 hours.
This is why an increasing number of people are doing everything they possibly can to provide themselves and their loved ones with a good night’s sleep every single night. From comfortable mattresses to changing some habits in their lives, everything is being done to properly sleep during the night and become a better rested and a more productive being.
In this article, we will tackle the problem of sleep disruptors and give you five hacks to optimize your sleep quality. Right off the bat, we have to mention that there are some healthy products you can take to boost your mood as well as to increase your chances of sleeping better.
Out of all the things that keep otherwise healthy yet tired individuals from sleeping is the stress they experience. Allowing it to get the best of us is easy as not everyone realizes they are stressed. If untreated, accumulated stress leads to anxiety and depression, increased blood pressure, lower immune responses, and nighttime muscle tension. All of these are connected with not getting enough sleep.
People drink caffeine drinks to get energy and productivity boosts, so you should not wonder why you cannot sleep at night if you drink coffee, black or green tea, or energy and coke drinks later in the day. While enjoying some of these drinks is more than okay, try to consume them earlier in the day and leave the afternoon and evenings for more relaxing alternatives like chamomile tea or decaf coffee beverages.
3. Sharing Blankets
While everyone has their own preferences when sleeping, it is a known fact that nobody likes battling their partner or sibling for the blanket at night. It can be challenging to have one single large blanket that two people are supposed to sleep under. There is no positive reason to do this. Get two blankets and sleep more freely and independently. You will also be able to get as many or as few blankets as you need without disrupting your partner’s sleep.
4. Irregular Sleeping and Napping
Daytime napping is one of the easiest ways to disrupt your sleeping schedule. This almost always leads to irregular and random sleeping schedules at night in which you sometimes go to bed at 2 AM and sometimes at 11 PM.
These three hours are a huge difference for your body, especially in the morning. To beat this habit, make sure to always go to bed and wake up in the morning around the same time. For example, go to bed between 12 PM and 1 AM and wake up between 7 AM and 8 AM if possible. If you need a quick nap during the day, do it in the early afternoon sometime after lunch, but make sure not to nap for more than 30 to 45 minutes!
5. Artificial Lighting
Exposure to bright lights before you go to sleep can lead to some widely awake nights. Artificial lights have the ability to disrupt the circadian rhythm of our bodies and suppress melatonin secretion. This hormone is responsible for making us tired and since the lights mess with its secretion, the body does not know if it is really tired. To prevent this from happening to you, turn off bright lights in your home some 2 or 3 hours before sleeping, and do the same with the electronics 30 to 60 minutes before bed.
Now that you know the disruptors to your sleeping, here are some quick hacks on how to have a better and more efficient sleeping life.
1. Relaxing Bath/Shower
A warm and comfy bath or shower around 1 to 2 hours before bedtime has tons of benefits for the body. The warm water relaxes the muscles and changes the temperature of the body. In addition, your favorite products like bath salts, shampoos, gels, and lotions all help with their soothing touch and aroma.
2. Sunlight Exposure
Have you ever wondered why you become so tired after sunbathing or just chilling at the beach without ever swimming? This is because exposing our bodies to the sun and then toning it down helps with the circadian rhythm of the body, a natural clock we have that knows when the best time is to relax and recharge. Get more sunlight during the day, especially in the afternoon, if you want to sleep better at night.
3. Snooze Button
Despite a lot of people adoring this feature on their alarm clocks and mobile devices, it is not at all a positive habit to constantly snooze the alarm for an extra 5, 10, or 15 minutes of sleep. Be stronger in the morning and jump out of the bed as soon as the alarm beeps! The short periods of sleep are not that natural for our bodies and do not help despite feeling good. You only confuse the brain and further disrupt your sleeping schedule.
4. Regular Exercise
Apart from helping you become healthier and stronger, daily exercise will also make you tired and give your body the need to replenish energy from sleeping. This then makes you fall asleep quicker and easier, almost as soon as you get into the bed. However, do not exercise heavily before bedtime, since that confuses the body as well and make sit ready for physical activity, eliminating the need for sleep in the next few hours.
5. Diet is Key
Finally, you have to eat properly to balance out everything we talked about in the article. Heavy and hearty meals before bedtime are among the most common reasons why people cannot fall asleep. The body is still working a lot in order to process the late dinner or snack, while caffeine stays in the organism for up to 8 hours. Depending on your lifestyle and what and when you eat, limit your calorie intake at night, especially before bed. Read more if you are interested in trying quality Elderberry or Aronia syrup, both of the plants being considered highly nutritional superfoods with tons of benefits.
While there are those who view sleeping this much as wasting time out of your life, the general practice and the needs of our bodies imply that we have to sleep every day, or at least make up for the lost sleep after a few days of barely sleeping. Humans cannot operate if they are not well-rested and operating on optimal sleep time. The tasks we do become sloppy, we have no energy, and the fact that we are so sleepy prevents us from moving forward in the day.