How Can You Improve Your Sleep?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to improve your sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep can be refreshing and rejuvenating.
Sleep is also directly connected to weight loss. People who regularly get a good night’s sleep weigh less than those who don’t. Getting an adequate amount of quality sleep helps balance your hormones, mainly those responsible for regulating your metabolism.
For millions, though, a good night’s sleep seems just out of reach. People of all ages suffer from occasional to chronic insomnia. Insomnia is a condition that interrupts your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you are suffering from this sleep disturbance, you may be hesitant to turn to harsh medications to help you fall asleep. Here are 5 ways that you can help improve your sleep naturally.
5 Natural Ways To Improve Your Sleep
1. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
The morning cup of coffee seems to be a staple beverage for many people. However, caffeine is not just in coffee. Caffeine can be hiding in the cola you drink, the tea, and even some of the foods you eat. While eliminating caffeine out of your diet 100% may not be possible, to improve your sleep try to limit your consumption of caffeine to the mornings only. Prevention Magazine tells us that ingesting caffeine, even 6 hours before bedtime, can disrupt sleep.
Not only does exercise help you maintain a healthy body weight and better mental outlook but a Sleep Foundation study found that those who exercised regularly were less sleepy during the day and slept better at night. While a new exercise routine may leave you a little tired at first, regular exercise will give you more energy and help you fall asleep at bedtime.
This may have to do with the chemicals released by the body when you exercise. The neurotransmitters released by the brain during exercise have all sorts of beneficial properties and will help to improve your sleep. Sleep also helps you feel more energized to follow through on your exercise plans and it helps you make better food decisions so you’re not craving for high-calorie foods.
Meditation has a restorative effect on the brain. There are all sorts of benefits that meditation can have for a person. Many of the benefits of meditation include reduced stress and a better ability to cope with difficult issues in one’s life.
Meditation is also great for insomnia. A Harvard study found that mindful meditation helped combat insomnia. It invokes a relaxation response in those who participate helping them relax enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night. If you are not familiar with how to meditate there are many guided meditation audio programs that you can buy or check out from your library.
Sleep hygiene is a practice to help you improve your sleep. It has to do with environmental cues. Alaska sleep notes that these environmental cues should be taken into consideration if you aren’t sleeping:
- Use the bedroom for sex and sleep only
- No electronics
- Keep the room dark and quiet
- Keep your room cool
- Have a good mattress
- Set your alarm clock away from your bed
Get Up Every Morning
Getting up at the same time every day and avoiding naps helps your body follow a circadian rhythm. According to Verywell we need this to sleep well at night. There are two really important elements to this step.
- Stop hitting the snooze button. Train yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you hit the snooze button once or twice (or 6 times), you are not really training yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you know you don’t need to get up until 7:30am, stop setting your alarm for 7am. Save yourself the 30 minutes of interrupted sleep and set the alarm for 7:30am, get up the first time it rings.
- No Naps. If you’re not used to getting up in the morning, then this may be the hard part for you. Napping can throw you off for sleeping at night because you simply aren’t tired enough to get to bed on time. Skip the nap (and the caffeine), and stay up so that you can get a good nights sleep.
The 4 Best Foods To Eat Before Bed
Researchers have linked poor sleep and lack of sleep with weight gain. There are some reports out there saying that you shouldn’t eat after 7pm if you want to lose weight. But this is not true. The secret is knowing which foods fuel your fat burning metabolism as you sleep, as those that you must avoid. Discover the best foods to eat before bed and all the foods you must avoid in this free report from top nutritionist Joel Marion, The 4 Best Foods To Eat Before Bed.