Sleep is crucial to overall health. Sleep deprivation can lead to a variety of health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and even cancer. Long term sleep deprivation can even lead to insomnia. If you are searching for ways to improve your sleep quality and achieve better health, there a few simple tricks that can help you wake up feeling well-rested. Try one or all of the suggestions below to see for yourself:
Routine is something that a lot of people overlook when it comes to improving sleep quality. Many things can interfere with a routine such as kids, activities, school studies, job(s), etc. Sometimes it can be nearly impossible to maintain a consistent bedtime every night. Also, the duration of your sleep might be affected. So how can you establish a routine?
Start with a daily goal. Determine what time is best for you to head to bed. This time varies from person to person. The idea is to get your biological clock to reset so that you will naturally fall asleep at the same time every night.
The duration of sleep that people need also varies. Some people seem to function well on four or five hours of sleep, and some need more. Begin by picking an ideal bedtime for you and stick with it for a month. If you don’t have time to finish that term paper, you should still go to bed on time but set your alarm clock and get up earlier to finish it.
The environment you are sleeping in can also severely affect your sleep. For example, when humidity is at its peak and you are lying in bed feeling uncomfortable, you might find yourself tossing and turning most of the night in attempt to get comfortable.
Conversely, if you are too cold, you might find yourself wriggling under your blankets and shivering most of the night. Shoot for a bedroom temperature of about 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, be sure to take note of the humidity level. High humidity and 65-70 degrees will feel a lot less tolerable than 65-70 degrees in dry heat, which is comfortable for most people.
3. Limit Caffeine
Limiting caffeine may seem incredibly tricky but try to cut back on your caffeine consumption. Studies suggest that caffeine can stay in your system from between 6-10 hours after consumption. So if you need your morning cup of coffee, that’s fine, but stop drinking caffeine by noon to be sure your sleep schedule isn’t affected.
4. Avoid Overeating at Bedtime
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day. However, many people skip it and only eat a light lunch. By supper, they look to it as their biggest meal for the day. Newer studies suggest that this may be a bad habit to keep. Eating large meals right before bedtime can cause things like bloating and indigestion, which can lead to interruptions in sleep (or preventing good sleep from happening altogether).
Tried everything on your better-sleep list and still can’t wake up feeling well-rested? Why not try to establish a workout routine? Just thirty minutes a day, three days per week can help. The ideal time to workout is actually in the morning, but if you can’t fit it in, you can try an afternoon routine. If you prefer to exercise in the evening, be sure to do it a few hours before bedtime as the adrenaline rush will keep you from getting the proper shuteye you need to feel well-rested in the morning.
Another factor to consider while you are trying to wake up well-rested is stress level. If things have you so worried that you can’t relax at night you may need to take up a stress-relieving activity to combat the tension.
Tai Chi and Yoga are two effective practices to rid yourself of stress, but if those activities do not appeal to you, you may want to try listening to calming music for an hour or getting a full body massage. Also note that when stress is fueling you daily, you may also be deficient in B Vitamins. Be sure to take a B Complex vitamin in the morning for additional stress management.