If you have a hard time falling asleep, know that you are not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 3 Americans doesn’t get enough sleep. Better quality sleep starts with a soothing bedtime routine. Before you reach for the melatonin, follow these sleep tips to up your chances of feeling well-rested.
Consistent Bedtime Means Better Sleeping
According to the National Institute on Aging, following a regular sleep schedule can help with sleep problems. Sleep experts say that making sure you fall asleep and setting when you wake at the time every day helps set your internal clock.
Furthermore, science-backed research states that setting a consistent waking time is critical for balancing your circadian rhythm. This is your internal body clock which sets your sleep-wake cycle.
National Sleep Foundation Tips for a Good Night Sleep
Do you find yourself sleepy during the day? It may mean that sleep deprivation is getting robbing you of good sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, things that you can do to improve good-quality sleep.
The first step if you are suffering from insomnia is to ask yourself if you are drinking too much caffeine. What you drink can greatly affect your sleep quality and can keep you up at night. If you want a restful evening, make sure you’re setting yourself up for success with the following suggestions.
- Establish a regular sleep routine.
- Avoid taking a nap unless you are a child.
- Limit the use of electronic devices before bed, which stimulate your brain.
- Engage in physical activity and exercise during the day to feel sleepy at night.
- Prioritize your sleep with a regular bedtime.
Practice a Quality Sleep Hygiene Routine
Pre-bed routines matter. Studies show that dimming the lights a few hours before bed can help trigger your body that it’s time to unwind and de-stress. The way you wound down after a long day can either set you up for failure or success.
Body temperature matters when it comes to getting into REM sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, the perfect temperature for sleep is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Our bodies dip in core temperature at night, and lower temperatures may help signal that it’s time for bed.
In addition, consider taking a warm bath to wind down if you have a hard time settling down for the evening.
Embrace Better Sleep Tips and Habits That Include Breath Work
A sleep-friendly to-do list can help you to practice sleep-inducing steps that can lead to a restful night. This includes practicing relaxation techniques before going to bed. Breathing exercises are an easy way to relax your body. The 4-7-8 breathing technique created by Dr. Andrew Weil is an effective way to increase your well-being.
The steps include inhaling through your nose for four counts, holding your breath for seven counts, and exhaling through your mouth for eight counts in a cycle of 8. According to Dr. Weil, this activates the relaxation response of your nervous system.
Things That Prevent Shut-Eye
Many factors can lead to the middle of the night wake-up cycles. This includes mid-afternoon naps that are longer than 20 minutes. In addition, late-night drinking can block the deepest cycles of sleep. Also, looking at a bright light before bed can negatively affect the sleep-wake cycle for many people.
If daytime sleepiness affects the quality of your life, consider if you need to invest in earplugs and a sleep mask so you’re not exposed to too much light exposure before bed. Sleep apnea can also be an obstacle to a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Check with your doctor if you suspect you have an issue with snoring and you stop breathing momentarily while sleeping.
Sleep apnea can lead to heart disease and other detrimental side effects if left untreated. In addition, jet lag can lead to normal sleep patterns becoming disrupted. To regulate your sleep-wake cycle after traveling to a different time zone, be sure to spend time outside to rebalance your sleep-wake cycle.
Before you find yourself in an unintentional all-nighter binging on infomercials because you can’t get to sleep, consider investing in sleep devices or apps that measure your sleep. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Electronic sleep aids that measure your sleep cycles include the Oura Ring, Fitbit, and Sleep Cycle.
Some of these devices even measure heart rate so you can observe your sleep-deprived patterns the next day. If you don’t feel like going the electronic route, you can always opt for writing down what time you go to bed and what time you wake up daily. Regulating your sleep-wake cycle starts with identifying what time you actually go to bed and what time you get up.
Tips to Set Your Sleep up for Success
The first step to getting good sleep is prioritizing it. Permit yourself to de-stress before going to bed. It will be impossible to have a restful night’s sleep if you’re stressed out and ruminating. Activating your parasympathetic nervous system will stimulate your rest and digest response to put you in the mood for falling asleep.
All-nighters and staying up too late past your bedtime mess up your sleep-wake cycles. According to the Center for Disease Control, adults need an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Studies show that going to bed very late at night can lead to depressive symptoms. Keeping a regular sleep and wake time daily will set you up for sleep success! The body is always seeking a healthy routine and balance.
Lack of sleep can ruin your day. Remember, your sleep is in your hands.