Sleep is a vital part of your physical and mental well-being according to Healthline. Not only that, but the amount of sleep you get directly relates to the amount of energy you’ll have to achieve things you want and generally enjoy your life. Sleep deprivation is known to increase your likelihood for systemic diseases and reduce your life expectancy. In other words, sleep is a basic human need — think of it like eating healthy food and drinking water. Most doctors recommend seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night in order to stay healthy and be alert the next day. In this blog, we’re going to talk about some of the top ways to improve sleep.
Your body operates on something called a circadian rhythm. What this means is that your brain, body, and hormones work in conjunction to make you feel more awake during the day and more sleepy at night. However, due to the distinct nature of our lifestyles, many people spend their days inside an office building working in a darker environment. This can seriously set off your circadian rhythm making you feel more sleepy during the day and more alert at night.
Americans love their sugar and caffeine, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid these two things entirely. However, one thing you should do is avoid sugar and caffeine late in the afternoon or before bed. Both sugar and caffeine will make you feel alert immediately after consuming them, but cause you to crash later. This is unhealthy right before bed as your body should be slowly winding down for the night.
Consistency is also a very important part of maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. If you’re used to getting four to six hours a sleep a night, you may find it difficult to get into a routine where you’re sleeping seven to eight hours a night. People who try to make an abrupt transition are often left feeling restless and unable to get to sleep. Instead of going directly into your new sleep pattern, try easing into it. Increase the amount of sleep you get periodically by a half an hour each night and see the difference it makes!
Many of us like to flip off the lights and turn on our laptop or phones to watch a show or two before going to bed. Although this may seem rather harmless, it could be very harmful to our sleep patterns. Staring at a screen makes our eyes dilate and make us more alert. We also tend to lose track of time when we’re surfing the web, so we may stay up a lot later than we had originally planned. Do yourself a favor and keep the electronics far away when you get into bed.
People have long debated when the best time to exercise is. Some report having a more restful night’s sleep after exercising, while others prefer exercising right after waking up. Ultimately, you need to find what works for you and stick with it, which will help you maintain a consistent sleep routine.
Melatonin is a popular supplement used to fall asleep faster and have a better night’s sleep. Melatonin is often used to treat insomnia and no withdrawal effects have been reported by using it. Make sure you speak with a doctor before taking any supplements to ensure it’s a healthy choice for you.
Be sure not to consume any liquid several hours before going to bed. Unfortunately, many people don’t get the water intake they need throughout the day and make up for this right before bed. Instead, drink lots of water right when you get up and throughout the day so that you can clear your system at night and not disturb your sleep with a bathroom visit during the night. Of course, you’ll also want to avoid alcohol before bed which can result in sleep apnea, snoring, and disrupted sleep patterns.
It’s not easy to get the right amount of sleep every night, especially if you’re busy with work and still want to accomplish other things before settling down for the night. The important thing to remember is that you should stay focused on what you’re trying to accomplish. The more aware you are of your problematic sleeping routine, the more likely you’ll be to take action on it.
At Fitness Specialist, we believe in helping you make healthy lifestyle choices one step at a time. If you’re having trouble getting a full night’s sleep or fitting exercise into your schedule, save yourself the trip to the gym and build your own in-home gym. If you have any questions about our exercise equipment, give us a call today.