A good night’s sleep affects your brain function, mood, immune system, heart health and more.
In essence, everything just works better when you’re sleeping well – but sometimes that’s easier said than done.
Here are six tips to help you sleep better.
Improve your sleep environment
For optimal sleep, you want your bedroom to be cool, dark, quiet and comfortable.
Experts say we should aim for a temperature of around 18°C. Anything over 24°C can make you toss and turn at night, while anything under 12°C might make it difficult to fall asleep.
You also want to eliminate noise as much as you can and shut out any lingering light – both of which could be achieved with a decent pair of blockout curtains.
You also want to prioritise the cosy factor, so invest in good quality bedding that’s as firm or as soft as you need it to be.
Embrace the daylight
Fresh air and sunlight during the day helps you sleep better at night, thanks to its suppressing effect on your body’s melatonin production – a hormone that influences sleeping patterns.
A lack of exercise is often associated with poor sleep too, so if you’re struggling to catch some Zs, take a brisk morning walk or grab your gardening gloves and get to it!
READ >> Why gardening is so good for you
Have a regular routine
Our internal body clocks – known as circadian rhythms – regulate our sleep patterns.
Going to sleep and waking up at consistent times helps keep your clock ticking as it should, in turn optimising your sleep quality.
So try to stay in sync with your natural cycle by avoiding too many sleep-ins or sporadic naps – and be rewarded with sweeter dreams!
Focus on relaxing habits
There’s a reason lullabies and bedtime stories help put little ones to sleep.
If you want to get some shut eye sooner, consider listening to soft music or reading a good book before you go to bed. Researchers found that it takes just six minutes of reading to send your body and mind to a more relaxed state, thus helping you doze off in no time.
READ >> 6 reasons to keep reading books
Avoid screens before bed
Mobile devices emit blue light – an artificial colour that mimics daylight. This is all well and good during the day, but not so much in the night time.
Blue light has a tendency to suppress melatonin and disrupt our sleep-wake cycles. So if you’re finding it hard to get to sleep, it might be a good idea to avoid your Facebook feed in the hours before bedtime.
Avoid caffeine before bed
Caffeine – the most popular drug in the world!
The problem with caffeine? Just like blue light, it keeps us up, too. While that’s perfect on those dreary mornings we’d rather stay in bed, it ain’t so great when we actually want to get to bed.
Whether it’s a pre-workout energy drink or an after-dinner cuppa, it’s best to avoid caffeine if you’re planning to hit the sack soon.