4 Tips to Improve Your Sleep
Tired of tossing and turning at night? These 4 simple tips may improve your sleep quality and help you feel more energetic and productive during the day. Not enough sleep or poor quality sleep can have an adverse effect on your mood, brain & heart health, immune system, stress levels, creativity, vitality and even your weight.
Tip 1 – Get in sync with your natural sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm)
This is one of the most important strategies for improving sleep.
Start by choosing a regular bedtime, preferably a time that you normally start to feel tired, don’t wait until you are over tired. Set your alarm for 7-8 hours and avoid sleeping in, even on weekends! Regardless of how much of this 7-8 hours you manage to sleep at first, keep persisting and avoid daytime napping.
If you keep a regular sleep-wake cycle you will feel more refreshed and energised than if you get the same number of hours of sleep at random times.
Tip 2 – Spend time in the sun
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle and it’s controlled by light exposure. Your brain secretes melatonin when it’s dark, which is what makes us feel sleepy. Time in the sun during the day will help your body to recognise the difference when nightfall arrives, as well as keeping light exposure in the home to a minimum as you are winding down for sleep.
Tip 3 – Exercise
Exercising during the day not only helps you to sleep better at night, but also helps you feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise can aid with insomnia and sleep apnea, as well as increasing the amount of time you spend in deep sleep. The more vigorously you exercise the greater the sleep benefits.
Tip 4 – Improve your sleep environment
A supportive pillow and mattress will result in the correct alignment of your neck and spine, allowing complete muscle relaxation, providing the necessary comfort for you to sleep the whole night through.
The temperature of your room can also affect how well you sleep. Too hot, or too cold can result in poor sleep quality. On average, keeping your body at approximately 18 degrees is ideal. This may mean an extra layer in winter or sleeping commando in summer!
Lastly, reserve your bedroom for sleeping and intimacy only. Working on your computer or watching TV in bed, can result in overstimulation. Doing those activities elsewhere, will give your brain the direct command to wind down when you enter your bedroom.