Plenty of people wander around the internet looking for sleep aids and gadgets that can help them sleep better. However, why should one go through all that trouble when all it takes to fix a broken sleep-wake cycle is a set of minor changes in their lifestyle. Something as small as a pre-bedtime shower or cutting the amount of caffeine can have a visibly positive impact on your sleep health. We have therefore compiled a list of several important lifestyle practices, their effect on sleep and insights on how does sleep affect your health.
#01 Be Sure to Work Out
Although this goes without saying, exercise regularly. Studies have shown how even a small amount of exercise everyday can have a drastically positive effect on your sleep quality. A session of light aerobic exercise or playing an outdoor sport can help reduce the level of stress and anxiety in your body and make it easier for your body to fall asleep. Such sessions are better when placed in the morning or afternoon as your body can also benefit from the natural sunlight that balances your inner clock. However, make sure that you do not exercise too close to your bedtime as the increased body temperature and stimulation can make it harder for your body to shut down.
#02 Sleep Schedule is Important
A consistent sleep schedule in your lifestyle is almost as important as regular exercise, if not more. People who have unestablished timings for sleeping and waking up often find it difficult to fall asleep when compared to those who sleep every day at almost the same time. Not only does this prepare your body gradually for the sleep ahead but also makes the act of waking up less arduous. Set a bedtime practical enough to be followed even on weekends and make sure you get the full eight hours of sleep that your body requires.
#03 Bedtime Ritual
Incorporating a set of bedtime rituals in your everyday lifestyle is one of the most sure shot ways of attaining a peaceful night of sleep without much hassle. Light activities like book reading, taking a warm bath, performing yoga or meditation can soothe your mind and body and make the process of falling asleep more natural.
#04 Reserve the Bed Only for Sleep
A large number of people around the globe use the bed for all sorts of activities like sitting, working, eating, playing, watching TV, etc. However, the more you do such activities on the bed, the less your mind associates it with the act of sleeping. It is therefore key that you reserve the bed only for sleeping and do everything else on the couch or your study table so that when you lie down on the bed, your mind knows that you are in for your daily dose of sleep.
#05 Avoid Stimulants that Keep you Awake
To ensure a good night’s sleep, avoid the intake of caffeinated products after lunch hours as the stimulating effect of caffeine can last as long as 6 hours. One must also avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol as these are also the things that affect sleep quality. Many people are under the impression that alcohol is a sleep aid and makes it easier to doze off. While it does make people fall asleep quickly it damages the overall sleep by disrupting the later part of the sleep which is crucial for restoration and hormonal balance.
#06 Get Yourself a Good Mattress
Investing in a good mattress is a far easier lifestyle change when compared to the commitment required to follow a sleep schedule or regular exercising. All you have to do is find the mattress that best suits your need and bring it home. Most of the times than not your old and saggy mattress is partly to blame for ruining your sleep quality. Therefore, find yourself a mattress that is not only comfortable and soft on your skin but also firm enough to support your body’s natural alignment such as the ones made of memory foam or gel foam. Check out this useful article which explains the difference between gel foam and memory foam.
#07 Limit your Screen Time
The modern lifestyle almost always includes a heavy usage of electronics such as laptops, smartphones, TVs, etc., but few realize that the blue light emitting from such devices can hinder the production of the body’s natural sleep hormone known as melatonin. Moreover, a study published in the Journal of Sleep Disorders and therapy claims that such devices are bad for your sleep health, especially in the case of children who can face a number of sleep issues like reduced overall sleep quantity and a disrupted circadian rhythm.
Knowing how can sleep affect your health is the first step towards dealing with your sleep problems. It is therefore important that you maintain healthy lifestyle practices as they can in turn control the kind of overall health your body maintains. We hope that the practices mentioned above can help you identify your wrong lifestyle practices and help you sleep better.