Ideally, sleep occupies one-third of our life. The typical sleeping time ranges from 6 to 8 hours. But this could vary from person-to-person and sleep quality tends to decline with age. So, always make an effort to improve sleep quality always.
However, today many people are chronically depriving themselves of sleep. Most people take sleep for granted because they have no idea how important sleep to our health. During sleep, the brain performs a cleanup routine and also produces melatonin.
A lot of people these days especially in developed countries who suffer from sleep deprivation. Yes, they feel tired after a long day of work and yet, lying in bed won’t let them fall asleep. Or, they may be able to sleep and yet, they feel exhausted upon waking up in the morning.
There are many factors that can affect or pose havoc to the normal sleeping cycle and quality. For sure, diet is one of them. So, be careful what you are eating because it can lead to bad sleep quality. And, what’s even worse is lacking sleep makes you crave more junk foods.
Tips To Improve Sleep Quality
Before you can improve sleep quality on yourself and perhaps, help others, as well, it is essential to recognize whether your sleep is out of sync, or not. If you are only having 3 or 4 hours of sleep and feel tired in the morning, it’s not good.
The same is true of having 8 hours of sleep and yet, still feel exhausted when you wake up. Are you aware that a 24-hour of depriving yourself of sleep is equivalent to having an alcohol level of .08 in your blood? It has the same effect as a person who is legally drunk.
What’s even more shocking, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to various unhealthy consequences like depression, memory loss, obesity and even heart problems.
1. Set A Regular Sleeping Time
One of the best ways to improve sleep quality is to sleep at the same time every time. For example, if you want to sleep at 9 PM, then go to bed and sleep at 9 PM every night. Plan ahead and stop everything you are doing an hour before going to bed.
Initially, this can be daunting but as you do it regularly, you train yourself and it becomes easier and automatic. Of course, waking at the same time in the morning is also important to consider.
The great about this is you are training yourself in sleep pattern your body can fall into a habit. And, that is not just a good habit but a healthy one, as well. And, once this sleeping pattern sticks, you don’t even need your alarm clock to wake you up.
2. No Caffeine A Few Hours Before Bed
One of the most notable barriers to improving sleep quality is caffeine. Although caffeine is not bad, you should consume it at the right time without it hindering your sleep quality.
So, how many hours you should stop drinking caffeine prior to bed? Studies1 say that at least 6 hours is ideal.
However, be careful what you eat, too. A lot of foods like chocolate contain caffeine, as well. It’s possible that many snack bars may contain caffeine as well. Of course, when it comes to drinks, it’s not just coffee to avoid.
Many drinks also contain caffeine like sodas and energy drinks. And, although tea contains caffeine, some tea like green tea won’t affect sleep quality. As a matter of fact, some teas can help achieve and improve sleep quality.
For instance, chamomile tea2 has a mild sedative effect and can help you relax resulting in a better sleep.
3. Practice Smart Napping
Napping is great when it comes to maintaining and boosting productivity throughout the late afternoon. So, instead of watching YouTube or spending all your free time on social media, take a short nap.
Taking a 20 minutes or less nap is a good length of time. This helps in boosting your productivity while not ruining your sleep during night time. On the other hand, longer naps make your body consider it as a sleep making it harder to achieve a good sleep at night.
In other words, longer naps can somehow derail your circadian rhythm.
4. Minimize Screentime
A lot of people are not aware that screentime affects sleep quality. In order to maintain and improve sleep quality, cut your screentime. This means spending less time in front of your phone, television and other related devices.
At least an hour or 2 hours is better in cutting screentime before sleep. The screens of smartphones, television, tablets, and other related devices emit blue light, which has a negative impact on your sleep quality.
However, if you need to something that can furthre lure to sleep, read a book instead.
Of course, when it comes to light exposure, always aim to have morning sun exposure when you wake up.
5. Keep Your Room Temperature Low and Comfortable
Sleep requires a cooler temperature but not too cold that it may be uncomfortable to sleep. Everyone has its own preference. Discover your temperature preference in which you can sleep quickly and well throughout the night.
On the other hand, too hot is not good, too. The higher the temperature, the harder to sleep. Experts suggest that setting your thermostat between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit is a good start.
That’s it! Although only a few tips, these can have tremendous positive benefits to improve sleep quality. If you can’t do them at once, which most people do, start with one that feels comfortable to you.
Then, later add another one and so on. Eventually, all of these can become a part of your healthy lifestyle practices.