Tips for a Better Night’s Rest
We’ve all reached a point in our lives where our sleeping fails us. We awaken not as refreshed, or “awake” as we need ourselves to be. It’s easy to understand that you’re probably not sleeping right, or not enough during the night, but it can also be lost naturally between infancy and adulthood. Part of it has to do with how much time you spend in R.E.M., known as the phase of sleep that has to do with dreaming. This and other aspects of your sleep are defined and influenced by your habits, both before and after sleep, as well as what works around your sleep.
Maintaining Your Health
The first thing to address is your health (as you might guess, it ties into several of the life-hacks you’ll be finding), which starts with eating healthy. While it may not be nice to think about, obesity and weight affect your sleep patterns and put you at risk for sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder that makes it difficult for you to breath at night and can be fatal if not treated. Your body automatically reacts to the lack of oxygen flow by forcing you to wake up and find air, if you don’t, then you can suffocate. That is why, if you have or think you have sleep apnea, seek treatment before doing anything else. The more tired you are, the less you listen to your body’s attempts at saving your life.
You’ll want to find foods, specifically fruits and vegetables, that have reasonable amounts of Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium. Magnesium and Potassium both help the body to relax muscles and help regulate circulatory functions. Calcium helps with the production of melatonin, which is a hormone directly involved in your circadian cycle (the cycle that governs your sleep and wake patterns). Take your vitamins, specifically Vitamins B and D, which assist with your sleeping and the circadian cycle. Vitamin B in particular helps promote your REM phase of sleep which is essential for high-quality sleep.
Workout, and Stay Fit
Regular exercise is excellent for anyone. While not essential for keeping healthy like eating right, exercise grants excellent benefits that greatly expand your body’s health in combination with healthy eating. One key aspect is reducing stress, which not only negatively affects your health but can keep you up at night. That said, you’ll want to work-out early. As said before, your circadian cycle can start working you down to sleep as early as noon. One of the ways it does this is by regulating your body’s temperature, raising it in the morning to help you awaken, and lowering towards the end of the day to help you sleep. Your body temperature rises during exercise, so a late afternoon or evening work-out may also disrupt the circadian cycle.
Get some sunshine and spend time outside. Not only does a visit with nature help reduce stress but exposure to sunlight produces melatonin, which, as explained earlier, helps your circadian cycle.
Change Your Mattress
Examine what you are sleeping on and what you’re sleeping around. A night’s sleep on a bad bed is a bad night’s sleep. If you’re uncomfortable then you are definitely not going to sleep right. Sometimes a simple mattress change is all you’ll need to resolve your sleep issues. This is especially true if you are sleeping on an old mattress or one that is particularly firm. Old mattresses wear out and change, warping, becoming firmer, or too soft. If you’ve had your mattress for a while, you might want to consider a new one. Your body’s blood flow can be disrupted by it’s own weight during sleep. That’s why you toss and turn in your sleep — your body is trying to restore that flow. Memory foam mattresses like the Lull Mattress tend to have an advantage in how they conform to your body’s shape better than traditional springs.
Remove Stress from Your Sleeping Space
As mentioned before, stress can disrupt your sleep. To prevent this, adjust your surroundings. Remove stressful things from the bedroom and put in some things that help you de-stress and relax. You may want to invest some time in Yoga or other forms of de-stressing too.
Get a Routine
Get a routine before sleep. Your body responds to regular activity which is how it improves with exercise. If you keep a regular routine before bed, sticking to a particular time, doing particular things in a certain order, your body will begin to recognize when it’s time to go to sleep and will adjust accordingly.
Turn off the Lights
Avoid leaving electronics and lights on during night time. Electronic screens produce blue light which is not natural and disrupts your body’s ability to recognize what time it is. This is further continued in your exposure to light. If you like to keep things bright late at night, then your body will respond to it as if it is time to awaken or wake up. That said, the reverse happens as well. More exposure to darkness signals to the body that it’s night time or time to sleep. Going as far as to shut the lights off a few moments before bed can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes you to go to sleep.
Invest in Some White/Pink Noise.
If it’s noisy, invest in some white or pink noise. White noise generally reduces the impact of surrounding noises which can disrupt your sleep even after you’ve fallen asleep. Pink noise is also great because it interacts with the brain’s natural oscillations and directly promotes sleeping. Soothing music and sounds also helps, such as smooth waves or certain classical songs.