How to Get Better Sleep
In our latest blog on 9 Tips To Reduce Stress we learned that there are many variables that can affect your stress levels. One of the key factors that attributed to stress in people’s lives was improper sleep. In this blog post we have taken the time to research and explore the top methods to improve your sleep.
Does “sleep” really affect me?
First, let’s just take a lookat how crucial sleep is to our lives. What are the major ways proper and improper sleep affect us? According to Web MD there are some surprising effects of sleep loss. Effects of sleep deprivation include impaired cognitive functioning, raised risk for serious health problems like heart related diseases and diabetes, lower sex drive levels, increased risk of depression, aging of skin, and may even attribute to weight gain.
However, proper and restful sleep can have many amazing health benefits for people. One article by Health Ambition discusses why sleep is so important to your physical and mental health.The benefits include the following: improved memory and cognitive functioning, aides in the longevity of our lives, curbing inflammation, boosting our performance for physical activities, helping us maintain a healthy weight (with proper diet and exercise levels), lowering overall stress, and avoiding the pitfall of depression.
How you can get better sleep
The Power of Light
- One effective method to signal your body it is time to sleep is to dim the lights progressively 2-3 hours before your bedtime. Why? Because lower light conditions send a signal to your brain to make melatonin which aides in sleep.
- Power down your electronic devices. The light from our mobile devices is highly comprised of blue light which can affect the hormone melatonin. Try turning off electronic devices an hour before bed completely and cover up any displays you can’t turn off.
- If you have to get up in the middle of the night, try to avoid turning on the lights completely. This harsh and sudden exposure to light can make it more difficult to fall back asleep. Instead, try using a gentle nightlight in the hallways or a use a flashlight to navigate the house at night.
Create a Sleep Routine
- Train your body to function as a natural internal clock. This means committing to setting a natural sleep cycle by going to sleep at the same time every night. Doing this will allow your body to adapt and become to the used to the new sleep cycle.
- Avoid sleeping in on the weekends. The greater the difference between your weekday and weekend sleep schedules the harder it will be on your sleep cycle.
- Use wisdom when it comes to napping. We know the temptation to nap when we are tired is great. But if you do end up napping minimize your naps to 20 minutes or less. Any naps longer than 20 minutes could affect your sleep at night.
What’s Your Position?
- Try and keep your neck in a neutral position. This means your pillow shouldn’t be too thick or too flat. The perfect pillow will support the natural curvature of your neck while sleeping on your back. If you sleep on your side try lining up your nose with the center of your body. Finally, avoiding sleeping on your stomach at all costs. Sleeping on your stomach is detrimental to your neck because of unnatural twisting and positioning.
- If you suffer from any back pain at all try placing a pillow between your legs. Placing a pillow between your legs will allow your hips to be properly aligned and reduce pain and stress on your lower-back.
Create an Atmosphere of Relaxation
- Your bedroom needs to be a place designated and designed for rest. For example, this means refraining from doing work or watching TV in the bedroom. Get in the habit of making your bedroom a place that is associated with rest and relaxation.
Get Pumped Up
- Regular exercise throughout the day will help you sleep better at night. Continually work at building a regular exercise routine. Essentially, the stronger your exercise routine is the stronger your sleep routine will be.
- However, be careful doing vigorous exercising close to your bedtime. A post-workout pump or boost of energy can keep you from falling asleep properly. Try to finish any exercises or physical activities roughly 3 hours before bed.
Food and Drink
- Limit caffeine and nicotine intake. Both of these are stimulants which can keep your body up. Even drinking coffee 10-12 hours before bed can affect your sleep. Also, even small amounts of caffeine found in chocolate have been found to affect sleep.
- Avoid eating big meals in the evening. Eating massive meals for dinner can overload or burden your digestive system in the night hours while you are trying to sleep.
- To limit your number of night-time bathroom trips try avoiding drinking anything 2 hours before bed. Getting up in the middle of the night can greatly disrupt your sleep cycle.
Silence is Golden
- This one may seem a little obvious to state but the level of noise can affect sleep. Simple things like a faucet dripping through the night or a neighbor’s dog barking can cause us to have trouble sleeping.
- Sometimes when noise reduction is out of your control you can mask the disturbing noise with a different noise. Often times a source of low, yet constant noise can help you sleep. For example, consider using a fan, air-conditioner, or white noise machine to drown out other noises around you.
Freeze Yourself to Sleep
Still having trouble sleeping? Live Cryo can help. The benefits of cryotherapy extend to your sleep. Cryotherapy can help your body physically perform better while exercising by releasing more endorphins and increasing blood flow. Next, cryotherapy also helps relieve any pain or discomfort you may have by reducing muscle inflammation and encouraging healing of damaged muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Being able to perform better physically and being able to heal faster will help ensure your body a restful nigh