10 Tips for Better Sleep - Phoenix Neurology & Sleep Medicine

10 Tips for Better Sleep

By Troy
|
November 10, 2018
|

Tips to Get A Better More Restful Sleep

A good night’s sleep is as important as regular exercises and a healthy diet. Poor sleep leads to negative health effects as it alters with your hormones and how your brain functions. From time to time, you could experience trouble sleeping, a condition called insomnia. When it persists, it can become a problem and affect how you run your daily activities. Lack of enough sleep may make you turn to sleep pills which have side effects. However, the following tips can improve a lack of sleep.

Make Sure to Exercise

Walking daily is a good exercise. It not only helps you to manage your weight but it also gives you a good night sleep. Exercises enhance the effectiveness of natural sleep hormones like melatonin. As you grow older, getting a good sleep is boosted by exercising about four hours weekly. The timing of your workouts is important because exercising before bedtime will make it harder to sleep. Exercising in the morning will help your body function well during the day and get fatigued as the day progresses, helping you sleep better in the evening.

Sleep and Wake at Consistent Times

Your body’s circadian rhythm has set itself in that it knows the sunrise and the sunset. Setting when you go to sleep and when you wake up and make it consistent will help you have quality sleep. Irregular sleep patterns alter your circadian rhythm and the levels of melatonin, which signal the brain to go to sleep, drops. Develop a sleep schedule where you will train your body and it will adapt. You may not even need an alarm.

Reduce Blue Light Exposure at Night

Exposure to light during the day is beneficial to your body but not at night. This is because of the effect it has on the circadian rhythm. Light trickles your brain to think that it is still daytime. This confusion of the brain reduces the melatonin hormone that helps you relax and fall asleep. Electronic devices like smartphones and computers produce blue light that is the worst type of light at night. You can block the blue light by either wearing glasses that block the light, turning off sources of blue and bright light two hours before retiring to bed.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol

Drinking alcohol just before you sleep negatively affects your sleeping pattern as it interferes with the sleep hormones. Alcohol increases sleep apnea and chances of snoring. In addition, consuming alcohol at night decreases the natural nighttime elevations of the growth hormone cortisol, which helps your body maintain the circadian rhythm. As much as possible, resist alcohol consumption at night as it disrupts the sleeping patterns.

Consume Caffeine in the Morning

Caffeine has several benefits to the body. A single dose of caffeine enhances energy, focus, and sports performance. For this reason, it is okay to consume it in the morning. However, when consumed later in the day, the stimulation of your nervous system will prevent your body from relaxing at night. Caffeine can stay in the blood for up to eight hours hence avoid having coffee, tea, or soda after 3 pm. Stick to decaffeinated coffee if you must consume coffee later in the day.

Get Comfortable

Having a comfortable mattress and clean bedding improves the chances of better sleep. A medium-firm mattress positively affects the quality of your sleep by preventing disturbances and reducing muscular discomfort. The quality of your pillow should also be clean and soft as it can affect your neck and your health when you inhale dirty air from the pillowcases. Orthopedic pillows are much better than feather pillows. Ensure that you use blankets whose weight is favorable to you.

Practice Journaling

Some people have trouble trying to sleep because there is too much in their brains. Having too many thoughts increases anxiety and stress which generate negative emotions that disturb your sleep. Specialists recommend that practicing journaling and staying focused on positive thoughts can calm the mind leading to a better sleep. Always write down the good things that have happened during the day. This act creates gratitude and happiness from within which downgrades the stressful events and promotes relaxation towards bedtime. Practice this technique by setting at least 15 minutes daily and write about your day. Do not focus on the positives only but also on how you feel at that time.

Change Your Sleeping Position

A good sleep depends on your body’s position during the night. Many people use three sleeping positions that are, the back position, the side position or the stomach. In the early days, many people believed that sleeping on the back gives a better sleep quality. However, this has been disputed with time because the back-sleeping position blocks the airways and brings sleep apnea and snoring occurs. You know the sleeping position that is favorable to you but experts recommend that the side position is linked to better sleeping tips.

Visualize Things That Make You Happy

Everyone has different things that happen to them. However, when you are about to sleep, always visualize what makes you happy. Think about the places that make you happy, the places that you visited and made you happy. Lying in bed worrying and thinking about stressful things lowers the chances of having a better sleep. This technique helps you occupy your mind with good thoughts instead of engaging with worries and concerns before you sleep. Picture an environment that makes you happy and peaceful. Figure out why it makes you happy and use it as a technique to have a better sleep.

Practice Reading Pre-sleep

Reading is a good technique to help you wind down before you sleep. Most kids are ready for bedtime stories to help them sleep and for longer hours. Avoid reading electronic books and instead read the traditional physical book, because electronics emit a blue light that alters with the sleeping melatonin hormone.