One of the worst things that can happen to you is having a dearth of sleep hours. You may feel irritable, unable to focus, and miserable throughout the day. You may be up all night because of stress, excitement, or from a physical illness such as acid reflux. Sadly, we won’t be able to help you with that – only a doctor can.
But for everything else, it’s all possible to fix. This is because when it comes down to it, our daily habits play an important role in how restful of a sleep we get.
Plan your workouts
Do you enjoy working out before you go to bed? Does it seem like the only time that the gym is ever empty is between the hours of 9:00 and 10:00 at night? While it may be great to have the entire gym to yourself, this late workout schedule is actually affecting your sleep patterns. Your body creates adrenaline when you work out, and your metabolism runs like crazy as you lift and do cardio. Therefore, it is probably best to work out about 3 to 4 hours before you go to sleep. However, it should be noted that when you do work out at the right time and that when you put enough time between your workout and when you go to bed, you will indeed sleep like a baby.
Your bedroom should be for relaxing
A lot of people have a bureau or a work desk in their bedroom, going straight to sleep after working. However, a large problem with this is that your mind has not been able to create a subconscious barrier between work and relaxation. So while it may be fun to work in your pyjamas, you’re actually causing yourself to stay up due to subconscious work stress.
Instead, you should make sure that your bedroom is only for sleeping and intimate relations only. This way your brain and subconscious will associate your bedroom with good, comfortable, relaxing space, and it will be easier to keep your brain from racing before you go to bed.
What’s in your body matters
Do you like to drink coffee after dinner? Do you like to make sure that you are stuffed to the brim from food when you eat? Because you are likely negatively affecting your sleep patterns if you do any of these things, and you may not even know it.
Having too much caffeine, especially after 2:00pm (or even noon depending on your body type) can make you stay up and affect you for a lot longer after you drink it than you think. Additionally, going to sleep too full or not full enough influences glucose levels in your blood, either making them spike (therefore not letting you fall asleep) or making them drop way too low (and therefore not letting you fall asleep). Instead, for dinner, it is probably best to take the Japanese concept of Hara Hachi Bu, meaning that you eat until you are 75-80 percent full. You’ll stay skinny and be able to sleep well.
Power down your electronics
A lot of times we look at our phones or watch TV right before going to bed. But it turns out that this blue wavelength light coming from our electronics is actually messing with our brain functions which tell us that we are tired and that we need to go to sleep.
So what is the best way to deal with this? Simply limit looking at your phone and television about an hour before you go to bed. Read a book or be with your significant other instead. Your sleep will be a lot better.
Dim the lights
One of the best ways to trick your body into producing melatonin (the sleep chemical in your brain) is to dim the lights. This mimics the sun setting which is when our species would usually start going to sleep (especially in a time before electric lights).
So, dim the lights just a little, prop open a book or magazine, and read for a little bit. And after a few days, your sleep will improve 100 percent.