Sleep is one of the most important parts of our daily routines, sleep helps the body heal and keeps your mind sharp for when you’re awake and of course a good night’s sleep can help you look your best, that’s why they call it ‘beauty sleep’ after all!
But what people don’t often talk about is the downsides of having a bad night’s sleep, we all know that not getting enough sleep will leave you tired and cranky the next day, but did you also know that bad sleep is linked to a wide range of ailments from heart disease to diabetes? While the odd night of poor sleep won’t be too harmful to you, if it becomes a regular occurrence you are putting your body in danger.
So, how can we best avoid the pitfalls of a bad night’s sleep and instead reap the rewards of a good night’s sleep? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today funnily enough. There are lots of things you can do to improve your sleep ranging from interior décor changes to small lifestyle changes and today we’ll be running through a few tips on how you can improve your sleep.
Tip 1 – Change Your Eating Routine
Let’s start off with a simple change to make in order to improve your sleep, changing your eating routine in the evening. This change has rather simple reasoning behind it, when your body is still actively digesting food, you’re less likely to be able to get to sleep and if you do get to sleep, this can interfere with your digestive process.
If you have your Dinner late in the evening or snack up until bedtime, this may be causing you to be restless in bed. It’s recommended to stop eating in the day around two hours before you plan to go to bed, to allow you to digest your food. So by simply having your evening meal an hour or so earlier and cutting down on late night snacks you should find it easier to get to bed.
Tip 2 – Burn Off Excess Energy Before Bedtime
The reasoning behind this tip, is also quite simple, if you have lots of unspent energy before going to bed, you’ll find it hard to get to sleep and be restless throughout the night, as while your brain may be ready for bed, your body is still ready for action. Even if you exercise regularly, you may still have energy before bed which will keep you awake.
So, going on a quick run, doing a HiiT workout or even just taking a long stroll before bed can help you burn off that energy ready for bed. But like with food, make sure you do this at least two hours before your planned bedtime, as exercising will elevate your heart rate (which will keep you awake), but once your body is back in it’s resting state and you’ve cooled down, you’ll be ready for a full night of sleep.
Tip 3 – Keep Your Bedroom Dark
It’s not a secret that we sleep best in the dark, after all the human brain has been programmed to be awake during the day and asleep at night, as light stops our brains excreting melatonin which is an important chemical in the sleep process. So any light in your bedroom can prevent you from getting to sleep and can even wake you up at night.
So keeping light from leaking into your bedroom is important to sleep. Most often light leakage occurs through windows in our bedrooms, as light from streetlights, passing cars and other houses can leak into our rooms. To avoid this you’ll want to shade your windows with a made to measure wide blind, which will cut out light leaking through your window and help keep your room dark and perfect for sleeping in.
Tip 4 – Ditch Electronics Before Bed
In the last tip, we mentioned how light stops our bodies from producing melatonin and while natural light does this, blue light from electronic screens also does this. Blue light is emitted from almost every electronic screen like TVs, mobile phones and computers, so by using these before bed, you can delay your sleep process.
Studies show that using a phone before bed can set your sleep back by about half an hour to an hour as it blocks melatonin production. The best way to avoid this is to put your electronic devices away about an hour before bed, which will let your body start the sleep process. In this time, rather than using your electronics, do something simple and relaxing to fill the time like read a book or meditate.