A lack of quality sleep is bad for your health, plain and simple. Thatâ€™s something we all know, most of us through our own experiences.
When our sleep is interrupted, the day that follows is often not that great. And if we canâ€™t seem to find the rest we need, our lives are drastically affected by low energy, an inability to concentrate, irritability, and other physical, mental and emotional consequences.
Sleeping longer through the night is often the answer to all that ails us. But a good, long sleep can be elusive, and sometimes the more we try to force it, the worse it gets.
So the question isâ€¦how?? How do we sleep longer through the night?
To improve your sleep quality, here are some sleep tips. When you put them into practice, hopefully youâ€™ll find yourself waking in the morning feeling rested and ready to take on the day.
Itâ€™s all about the bedtime routine
Creating routine and sticking to it is basic training for your body to begin winding down for sleep. About an hour before bed, dim the lights around you, quiet the sounds, turn off the screens and start to wrap up the day.
This might mean making some tea and reading, doing dishes and setting yourself up for a calm morning ahead, or taking some extra time for self care to wash your face and brush your teeth. Whatever it is, try to ease into the end of the day so that your body knows that itâ€™s time to prepare for sleep.
The key? Do this every evening!
Watch your caffeine/theine intake
That last cup of late afternoon coffee, black and green tea, or that extra drink after dinner are likely to affect your sleep patterns. Instead of coffee, try some herbal tea, or ask yourself if that last drink is necessary. You might find that the less you indulge, the better youâ€™ll sleep.
Get moving and exercise
Experts have concluded that active people often sleep better than people without exercise in their routine. A Mental Health and Physical Activity study looked at more than 2,600 men and women from 18 to 85 years old. They found that getting 150 minutes of exercise per week resulted in a 65% improvement in sleep quality compared to those who worked out less or not at all.
Set yourself up for success
Your bed and sleep space should be used for sleeping. Not watching TV or answering emails. Itâ€™s important to have a good quality mattress that is right for you body shape and needs, to have comfortable linens that are suitable for the season. Try to reduce sound and noise (or introduce white noise if thatâ€™s what suits you), but make sure you are creating conditions where you are less likely to be interrupted or disturbed throughout the night.
Stress might be the number one offender when it comes to poor quality sleep. When youâ€™re alone at night with nothing but your thoughts, itâ€™s easy to start to spin out of control. Take steps to reduce the amount of stress you are bringing into bed with you. That might mean putting them down on paper by journaling or adding a 10 minute meditation to your routine. Try to leave those worries, just for the time being.
You might be surprised at how much your life changes for the better with a good long sleep.