How to Improve Quality Sleep Quickly and Efficiently
When it comes to your health and wellbeing, a good night of quality sleep is just as important as eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise. Research has shown that poor sleep quality can have immediate and sometimes serious negative effects on your brain function, hormone regulation, and exercise performance. And, it can lead to weight gain and increase your chance of getting sick. On the other hand, good quality sleep can help you become healthier overall, curb your appetite, and improve your exercise performance and recovery.
So, what can you do to improve the quality of your sleep, starting tonight?
No Electronics Before Bed
This is a big one, but it’s one that a lot of people choose to ignore, and it’s easy to see why; you’re all comfortable in your bed and it’s a great time to catch up on chatting with your friends on Facebook, checking your Twitter feed, and making sure that you’ve responded to all your emails for the day. But when you finally put your phone on your bedside table and close your eyes to sleep, you have trouble drifting off. That’s because the blue light from your phone has messed with your melatonin production and instead of getting ready to sleep, your body has been waking up. For an hour before bed, leave your phone to charge in the corner and do something more relaxing like having a bubble bath or reading a book.
Curb Your Caffeine Intake
It’s 3pm and you’ve hit a mid-afternoon slump, and you can’t wait to curl up in bed tonight and get some zzz’s. But you have to power through the rest of the day so to keep you going, you pour yourself a nice cup of strong coffee and that does the trick, giving you some extra energy to get you through to 5pm. But that night, after longing for your bed all day, you’re tossing and turning and you can’t sleep, no matter how much you want to. Sound familiar? Caffeine in the afternoon can stimulate your nervous system and cause your body to have trouble naturally relaxing at night when it should be winding down. If you do find yourself craving a cup of coffee late in the day, it’s best to stick to decaf.
Update Your Mattress
So far, you’re doing everything that you’re supposed to when it comes to sleep. You don’t drink coffee in the evening, you have an electronics-free hour before bed, you exercise, sleep and wake at the same time, and still, when you wake up in the morning you feel like you’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. If this sounds like you, your mattress could be to blame - assuming that you don’t have any underlying health conditions that could contribute. If you’ve been lying on an old mattress for as long as you can remember, it’s probably the root cause of the aches and pains you wake up with. Updating your mattress will make a big difference - get a firm one if you like to sleep on your back, or a soft one if you are a side sleeper.
Reduce Light and Noise
Aside from a mattress upgrade, making other changes to your bedroom environment can help you get better quality sleep. If you have light coming in from street lamps outside - or even the moon - at night, this could affect your ability to sleep, so a decent pair of blackout curtains can make a huge difference. Noise from traffic can also lead to poor sleep, so consider keeping a pair of comfortable earplugs on your bedside table.
Enjoying better quality sleep doesn’t always mean making huge changes to your lifestyle; there are many simple changes you can make straight away to start seeing a difference.