With the weather warming up, many of us are resigned to nights lying awake. Here’s our guide to getting a good night’s sleep.
Good health starts with a good night’s sleep. When we don’t get enough hours, or we don’t get enough quality rest within those hours, we wake exhausted. If you spend your life in a state of permanent exhaustion, you will shortly learn that everything is ten times harder than it needs to be.
Let’s look at what a lack of good quality sleep does to us, then talk about the 8 best ways you can get better sleep, starting from tonight.
What Lack of Sleep Does to you?
Asides from having a harder day and feeling a little tired, a lack of sleep can have serious effects on your body. According to Healthline, these are some of the other things that might happen if you consistently don’t get enough sleep:
- High Blood Pressure – those who sleep less than 5 hours daily are at increased risk of high blood pressure.
- Your risk of diabetes increases as sleeping hours affects how much insulin your body releases.
- Your immune system will become weakened.
- Your mood will be harder to control
- You will become accident-prone
- And your sex drive will wean.
Keep it up, and those symptoms will keep getting worse.
8 Ways you can Get More Sleep
Whether you are an insomniac or whether you are just struggling for sleep at the moment, here are our top tips on sleeping better…
1. Get Out More
OK, so you can’t do this one at midnight, but getting out and about more through the day is linked to getting a better night’s sleep. We appreciate that not everyone is mobile enough to do this, and for those, we suggest a daylight lamp as a potential answer.
In a 2019 study of the effects of light on human circadian rhythms, It was found that light has a distinct impact on how we sleep and feel. Without natural light, our rhythms are thrown out of sync, which can lead to insomnia. The same study cites light as a non-invasive therapy option to treat the said problem.
2. Upgrade your Bed
When was the last time you bought a new mattress? The average mattress lasts 10 years or so. Unfortunately, there is a whole other world out there that’s filled with mattress providers trying to lure you to buy. We say trust your heart and go with someone honest.
The mattress seller Ru9 recently improved the lives of thousands of Vietnamese people stuck in quarantine at the outset of the Covid virus. They donated 1500+ beds (called nệm in Vietnamese) to keep the people warm and safe. That’s something to think about when it comes to choosing where to buy that new bed.
3. Make it a Ritual
Ritualize your sleeping arrangements. Make it into a habit. Set out special clothes, buy yourself nice sheets, and fluff up those pillows. Enjoy some chamomile tea with honey, read a book, and gently drift off. Forming a habit around sleep is the quickest way to get to grips with insomnia.
To form your sleep routine, go to bed at the same time every night. Make it a time that you are comfortable with. Invest in some super-soft blankets or some new nightclothes and take a bath instead of a shower.
Before you know it, your sleep routine will be ritualized, and you’ll be free of the long nights.
4. No Screens Before Bed
This is another point that is probably a little obvious, but that needs to be made. Screens keep you wanting to check them for new information, lights disturb your quality of sleep, and nobody likes to be woken up by the vibration of a phone. Make it a rule that you don’t watch screens before bed, and all will be well.
5. Mind Control
We don’t mean that you should rush off and get hypnotized (although that might help), we mean that you need to control those thoughts at bedtime. Nights are when we are at our most tired and we have time to think. Usually, this means thinking about all the bad things that could go wrong with our lives, or all the bad things we have ever said and done.
Control your mind with some breathing exercises or with a guided meditation audio track. Remember to choose one that allows you to drift off at the end, rather than one that wakes you up again.
6. Watch your Diet
What do you eat for supper? Those that dine on sugary sweets and caffeinated drinks are in danger of staying awake for a few hours until it all wears off. On the other hand, if you eat things like oats and cereals, your body is going to take those easily digestible foods and happily process them while you drift off. Recent studies have even found that what you eat impacts the quality of the sleep you do get.
7. Don’t Sleep Through the Day
We know that the best part about being an adult is that you can nap whenever you want to. Refusing to nap throughout the day is the best way to make your body tired enough to sleep at night. Even a short nap around dinnertime can keep you up past midnight. Don’t chance it, cut out the naps, and you should be able to sleep at night.
8. Don’t Just Lie there
Lying in bed tossing and turning is bad for your mental health. Don’t do it. Instead, get up and go do something until you are tired enough to sleep. This stops you from dreading going to bed and takes the stress out of lying awake, thinking about your problems.
Good Sleep = Good Health
It might not be all you need to live a healthier lifestyle but getting a good 8 hours a night is a great place to start. You can find inspiration for other great health goals on our blog. Until then, follow our top tips for better sleep and wake up healthier.