Are you having difficulty falling or staying asleep at night? Not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on your well-being, both physical and mental, as well as your daily productivity. Part of a healthy lifestyle is ensuring adequate and healthy sleep on a daily basis.
A good sleep routine begins even before you go to bed. Your lifestyle, activities, and behavior during the day can significantly impact the quality of your sleep. it is essential to develop good sleep routines to achieve adequate rest and gather enough energy for the day.
Here are some good sleep habits to help you improve the quality of your sleep:
Make a sleep diary.
Just by simply monitoring your usual sleep habits for a week or two, you’d find out that there are certain activities or triggers that can affect the quality of your sleep. Tracking your sleep patterns will also allow you and your doctor to determine if you have any sleep disorders.
The components of a sleep diary usually include the following:
– Record of the time you go to bed and when you wake up.
– The quantity and the quality of sleep
– Intake of fluids such as alcohol and caffeine, and medications
– Intake of food and the quantity before going to bed
– Potential triggers such as emotional, mental, or physical stress
– Exercise done within the day
Your sleep diary gives you a better picture of the habits you need to develop and the things you need to avoid to improve your sleep.
Make a sleep schedule and stick with it!
You may not be aware of this yet, but the body has its own master clock, that directs the circadian rhythm from the brain which synchronizes your body systems to function and carry out processes in a specific period of time.
This is the reason why your body tends to sleep during the dark and is active during the daytime. Your body’s circadian rhythm should be tied to the day and night cycle. If this synchronicity is disturbed, you may develop sleeping problems, particularly insomnia.
Schedule your time to go to sleep and time to wake up. Stick with this sleeping habit to sync your internal clock and achieve quality sleep.
Control your light exposure.
The presence of light can affect your sleep-wake cycle as well. When you are sleeping in a dark room, you are triggering the release of melatonin, which is a chemical in the brain, that triggers you to sleep. On the other hand, exposure to light will trigger your brain to release less melatonin to keep you alert.
To keep your body clock in sync with the day and night cycle. Spend time in the sun or daylight while you are active and alert. At night, when you’re planning to go to sleep, avoid light exposure by turning off your lamp, avoid watching television, and minimize screentime with your phone or gadgets.
Having an active lifestyle has a lot of benefits for your well-being, including your quality of sleep. Research has proven that exercise helps a person to fall asleep faster and sleep better by stabilizing your mood or relieves your mind from stress.
Make sure to time your exercise during day time. Exercise triggers the release of happy hormones called endorphins that can keep you awake. It also raises your body temperature and enhances faster body metabolism keeping your body in an active state.
Maintain a healthy diet.
A healthy diet is also a good sleep habit. This requires you to stick to a healthy and nutritious meal plan and at the same time, cut back on sugary stuff. Sugars can trigger you to stay alert and active.
Avoid eating large meals before going to bed. Potential triggers of heartburn such as spicy and acidic meals should also be avoided.
Make sure to avoid coffee or caffeine if you’re planning to sleep well. Alcohol may also interfere with your sleep and must be avoided as well.
Clear your mind.
Improving your mental health or state of mind will surely improve your sleep. Mental stress and being preoccupied with your day to day worries will definitely disturb you during the night.
Find ways to clear your head from anxiety, troubles, and overthinking. Practicing meditation or deep breathing patterns for a few minutes before going to bed is a good start to relax and rest your mind.
Make your bedroom suitable for sleeping.
You may not instantly notice this, but making a few changes in your bedroom can already impact your sleeping habits. Make sure that your bedroom is solely for sleeping. Dim the lights, keep noises down and keep your room cool and clean.
Even your partner’s snoring can affect your sleep environment. There are some devices out there like the Sleep connection, which is a wristband that detects the sound of the room and emits an electric impulse when snoring is detected. This may help to ensure a quiet sleep throughout the night.
Make sure that your bed brings you comfort. Check if your mattress is comfortable enough for your back and your pillows support your neck comfortably. Make sure you have enough space on your bed to stretch and turn.
Learn how to go back to sleep.
You may wake up suddenly in the middle of the night and have difficulty going back to sleep. Therefore, you must also develop a good sleep routine that will help you fall back asleep.
The goal is to avoid overthinking and don’t panic. You may go back to meditation or deep breathing exercises to free your mind from being anxious or worrying too much.
Sometimes, jutting down the things that bother you, may it be a problem or an idea, can clear your head and give you enough space to go back to sleep. You can keep a notepad and a pen on your bedside table to help you list down whatever is in your mind.
Find time to practice these good sleep routines to help you achieve quality sleep. Stay optimistic and focused until you learn these healthy sleep habits.