Healthy living is good for a long and healthy life. However, it is important to know that eating healthy and exercising is not the only ways in which we can live healthily. Healthy living includes good mental and physical health and there are a number of things we should be doing or not-doing in order to be healthy.
Getting the appropriate amount of sleep and a good night’s sleep is one of the ways in addition to eating healthy and exercising that we can enhance our quality of life. Sleeping is directly connected to our mental health and determines to some extent how active and productive you would be for the rest of the day. Falling short of the required amount of sleep you should be having could have a direct negative impact on your health and daytime productivity because it could destabilize your immune system, energy, heart health and balance as well as your emotions and in some cases, your weight.
Knowing all this, getting a good night’s sleep is still difficult for most of us as we find ourselves wide awake at 2 am, tossing, turning, counting sheep and struggling to get the sleep we need.
Here are some simple but important daytime routine changes and bedtime habits that can profoundly impact your quality of sleep, and help you stay full of energy, emotionally balanced, and mentally sharp all day long. By trying out the following tips you can take notes and find the ones that work best for you.
Tip 1: Stay synced with your body’s sleeping-waking cycle
Your body has a natural sleeping-waking cycle or rhythm. You should get in sync with this natural cycle. A lot of people try to distort this cycle by forcing themselves awake especially while doing some work or seeing movies. This is unhealthy and getting in sync with your body’s natural sleeping cycle is one of the best ways to get better sleep.
However, you could also keep your own sleeping and waking schedule like having 20 minutes afternoon naps, trying to go to bed and wake at a particular time avoiding weekend bing-sleeping as well as fighting drowsiness in the evenings before your bedtime because if you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.
Tip 2: Choose a good pillow
The right sleeping setting or environment can make a big difference in the quality of our sleep. Many people spend a great deal of money and time looking for the perfect mattress but when it comes to choosing a pillow we don’t really think much about it.
However, the pillow is actually very important and plays a big role in the quality of sleep we get because it supports our head and neck.
If you are struggling to get a good night’s rest, before you drop hundreds of dollars on a new mattress, you should consider changing your pillows. You can give your aching back and neck a break with Cooling Pillows. These pillows that have been referred to as the snooze button are sleeping aid that allows you to keep cool and sleep comfortably, the whole night through. There is a variety of them and you should make sure to check out their materials and features to find the best one for you.
Tip 3: Control your exposure to light
Our exposure to light influences our sleeping cycle.
Don’t you wonder how it is that you go to another country where the time zone is different from yours and after some time your sleeping cycle adjusts and you start feeling drowsy when it is night there? As a kid, I used to wonder how this happens all the time. Melatonin is how!
Melatonin is a hormone which is controlled by the light exposure that helps regulate our sleeping and waking cycle. The brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making us sleepy—and then it secretes less melatonin when it’s light—making us more alert.
However, our lifestyle, environment and light exposure can alter the body’s melatonin production and change or disrupt our sleeping-waking cycle.
We can influence our light exposure during the day by keeping curtains and blinds open and letting the sunlight in during the day as well as spending time outside. At night, we should avoid bright screens such as TV, tablet, computer etc. few hours to bedtime. If you cannot do without your phone or gadget, you can turn the brightness down. Make sure the room is dark when you are ready to sleep.
Tip 4: Exercise during the day
Of course! Exercising regularly helps our body in a lot of ways including enabling us to sleep better at night. According to a survey, people who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise also reduces insomnia, elevates body temperature, speeds up your metabolism and stimulates hormones.
However, you should exercise hours before your bedtime and not too close to your bedtime.
Tip 5: Be smart about what you eat and drink
Eating habits play a major role in how well we sleep, especially when and what we eat hours before bedtime. To prevent disruption of your sleep, you should limit alcohol, nicotine and caffeine hours before bedtime.
You should also avoid eating big meals at night, drinking too many liquids to avoid too many trips to the bathroom, cut back on carbs and sugar and shift your dinnertime earlier in the evening.
However, you could take some night-time snacks that can help you sleep such as a