Most people don't get enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation reports that adults aged 18-64 should sleep for 7-9 hours a night, but nearly one-third of Americans get less than 7 hours.
This is largely due to the modern-day lifestyle.
We are constantly connected to technology, which means we're always working or engaged in some type of activity.
As an end result, reduces the amount and quality of sleep we get.
There are ways to improve our sleep, however. And in this article, we'll discuss just that!
If you've recently had difficulty falling asleep, or you wake up only to feel more tired than you did prior to your shut-eye session, keep reading!
The Importance Of Sleep
We all know that feeling: you're yawning at your desk, struggling to keep your eyes open.
You might think that you can power through the fatigue, but the truth is that lack of sleep can have a serious impact on your health.
In fact, sleep deprivation is linked to a variety of problems, including obesity, heart disease, and mental health issues.
With this in mind, if you're looking to improve your overall quality of life, it's time to focus on getting a good night's sleep.
Because this is the time when your body is at true, deep rest.
Now let us give you our five best tips to improve your sleep INSTANTLY, starting TODAY!
Reduce Screen Time
Nowadays, it seems like we're constantly staring at screens.
Whether we're working on a laptop, scrolling through our phones, or watching TV, it's easy to spend hours looking at a screen.
And while this increased screen time may not seem like a big deal, it can actually have a significant impact on our sleep.
This is because the blue light emitted by screens can interfere with our natural sleep patterns, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
It may sound odd at first, but the truth is that sunlight is what controls the sleep-wake cycle to a big extent, and unnatural lights can disrupt that cycle.
Here are some of our actionable tips for you to apply today and change your sleep for the better:
- Reduce screentime in the hours prior to bedtime
- Download a yellow filter app on your phone
- Get blue light-blocking glasses
- Don't go to bed with your phone!
Get Sun Exposure
Ever wondered why you naturally feel more awake and alert during the daytime? It's all thanks to sunlight!
Sunlight helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle of the body by regulating the circadian clock.
This internal clock governs when we feel sleepy or wide awake and is based on the alternation of light and darkness.
Exposure to sunlight during the day helps to keep the circadian clock on track and, consequently, can improve sleep quality at night.
In fact, sun exposure is one of the best ways to improve your sleep... And your daytime energy levels!
The actionable tip here? Get at least some time out in the sun during the day!
Do More Exercise
According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your sleep. But why is that?
One theory is that exercise helps to tire out the body, making it easier to fall asleep.
But there may be more to it than that. Exercise also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, two common culprits of sleepless nights.
In addition, exercise has been shown to improve the quality of sleep, even if it doesn't necessarily increase the amount of time spent asleep.
So if you're looking for a way to get a better night's rest, consider adding some exercise to your daily routine.
You might just find that you sleep like a baby after heaving some weights around!
We've all been there before- it's late at night, we're starving, and the only thing that sounds good is a big, hearty meal.
However, you may want to think twice before chowing down right before bed.
Eating a heavy meal shortly before bedtime can disrupt your sleep, causing you to simply have low-quality sleep.
So if you're looking for a good night's rest, it's best to avoid big meals shortly before bedtime.
If you're planning to have a big meal, have it a couple of hours before going to bed.
And if the situation demands that you eat right before bedtime, have light, liquid or semi-liquid food, such as yogurt or a casein shake!
Most of us know the feeling of finally crawling into bed after a long day, only to lie awake for hours, staring at the ceiling.
If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from creating a pre-bed ritual. A pre-bed ritual is simply a set of actions that you perform every night before going to sleep.
This can include things like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or writing in a journal.
The key is to find activities that relax you and help you to wind down.
By establishing a set bedtime routine, you train your body and mind to know that it's time to start winding down for the night.
As a result, you'll find it easier to fall asleep - and stay asleep through the night.
So, what can you do TODAY to start improving your sleep?
Start by making small changes in your bedtime routine and your daytime choices.
Dim the lights an hour before bed and avoid electronic screens.
Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
If all of this sounds like too much work… consider investing in a quality mattress or pillow (or both) to help you get deep, restful slumbers night after night.
What do YOU do to improve your sleep?