We’re not going to mince words, a good night’s sleep is important to the health. In fact, you will spend at least one-third of your life sleeping.
The brain is at its most active at night, specifically when you are asleep. During this period, the brain is busy processing thoughts, purging the memory, and completing the body’s regenerative processes. At night, new cells are generated to replace old, damaged ones. The immune system is rebalanced along with the level of enzymes, and hormones in the body while you sleep.
Children and teens should get up to 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night. Adults need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Lack of sleep can pave the way to the development of chronic diseases. And if you are unable to achieve high quality sleep, consider these tips:
Develop a Sleep Routine
To induce sleep, you need to train your body to sleep at specific times. As such, you want to sleep at the same time every night, even on weekends and holidays. Sleeping in during the weekends will disrupt your biological clock, forcing the body to sleep more on days when you should be awake! Establishing a sleeping routine also reduces the amount of tossing and turning needed to induce sleep.
To achieve better sleep at night, you need to make your bed as conducive to sleeping as possible. Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and comfortable. Change the sheets often, keep the bedroom clean, and never take your tablet or mobile phone in bed.
Yes, exercising regularly helps you sleep better at night! According to a study by the Northwestern University’s Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, sleep deprived adults who exercised four times per week saw a remarkable improvement in their sleep quality. The study also noted that sleep deprived individuals felt fewer depressive symptoms after getting enough sleep at night. So make a habit out of working out regularly especially if you are a light sleeper. But time your workout well.
Exercising increases energy so if your workout is too close to bedtime, sleep will become disrupted. We suggest working out at least 6 hours before bedtime for best results!
Cut Back on Caffeine
Be smart with your eating habits. Avoid caffeinated drinks a couple of hours leading up to your bedtime. Avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks, and other foods that contain traces of caffeine. If you must have coffee or tea at certain times of the night, choose herbal teas, and decaffeinated coffee. If you can, substitute these hot beverages with a warm glass of milk. A warm glass of milk is proven to promote high-quality night’s sleep by increasing the level of melatonin in the body.
Adjusting Your Diet
Proper diet and high-quality sleep go hand in hand. Apart from avoiding caffeinated drinks and food, cut back on spicy, acidic, or fatty foods. These foods take harder to digest, which could keep you up all night.
Try not to eat big meals at night. Make your dinner as light as possible, avoiding greasy foods that are hard to process. Heavy dinners could also lead to heartburn and an upset stomach.
Be Smart about Napping
Naps do wonders to the body. We are fans of napping but do not go overboard. A 20-minute cap nap is enough to restore energy during the day. A 3-hour nap could lead to uneasy sleep at night!