How to Improve Your Sleep Habits For Better Health
When it comes to sleeping, there are many factors that can interfere with your ability to get enough shut-eye. Whether you suffer from insomnia, excessive daydreaming, or both, there are strategies you can employ in order to enhance your nightly habits and improve overall quality of sleep.
Fostering healthy sleep habits is essential for your overall health and wellbeing. Additionally, some sleep problems may be due to an underlying medical issue that requires medical advice or assistance from a healthcare professional.
Sleep at the Same Time Every Day
Most people find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep when on a consistent sleep schedule. So if you’re struggling with getting enough rest, now is the time to make changes.
Try to set an alarm for the same time each night, so your body can become conditioned to getting adequate rest at night and improve productivity levels.
Consistency in your sleep habits helps regulate your biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which determines when your body’s most productive and energetic. For instance, if you’re regularly waking up at different times throughout the day, this could cause your body to produce melatonin (a hormone responsible for inducing sleepiness) at inappropriate intervals throughout the day.
Avoid Screen Time Before Bed
Screen time – such as video games, social media or TV – causes your brain to be too alert for sleep, preventing you from getting the deep, restful snooze your body needs in the morning to feel refreshed and recharged.
Additionally, smoking reduces the levels of gray matter in your brain that controls cognitive performance and functionality. This impairs your capacity for rational thought, as well as making it harder to pay attention to what’s going on around you.
The blue light emitted by screens disrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone which aids in sleep. If left unchecked, this can lead to chronic sleep deficiency and reduced quality of life.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are various relaxation techniques you can employ to promote better sleeping patterns. These may include breathing exercises, guided imagery, meditation and mindfulness.
Relaxation training involves a systematic shift in the autonomic nervous system (the part of your body that controls breathing, heart rate and blood pressure). Switching from sympathetic stimulation to parasympathetic stimulation helps reduce tension and enhances pain perception.
There are a variety of relaxation exercises you can do at home or at work to help manage stress and unwind. These include progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and meditation.
Manage Your Stress
Stress can disrupt your sleep pattern for many reasons. One of the most prevalent is that stress triggers a fight-or-flight response in your body, elevating your heart rate, quickening breathing and raising cortisol levels.
Management of stress is an integral part of improving sleep habits for better health and wellness. This includes reducing symptoms associated with chronic stress such as anxiety or depression, which can have long-lasting detrimental effects on wellbeing.
Relaxation techniques can help reduce your stress levels. They may reduce your heart rate, lower blood pressure and boost the release of the hormone melatonin.
Get Out of Bed if You Can’t Fall Asleep
Sleep is essential for health, yet it can be challenging to get enough of it. If you find it hard to fall asleep at night, take some time out of bed and do something relaxing like reading or listening to music.
This will help your brain slow down and relax, making it easier to fall asleep quickly.
Once you feel drowsy, try to return to bed and repeat this process as necessary.
One of the most effective ways to improve your sleep quality is by maintaining a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. Doing this helps ensure that your circadian rhythm stays in sync.