Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important to our health, while some people may dismiss this, regularly sleeping less than 6 hours a night drastically increases the likelihood of you succumbing to a wide range of health conditions and diseases, ranging from small inconveniences such as fatigue and reduced mental cognition, all the way up to life changing issues like heart disease and infertility.
We’re all on the same page here, sleep is important and not having enough can be perilous to your health on a short term as well as the long term. As well as this, there are many positive benefits of getting a good amount of sleep, getting consistent quality sleep can help you lose weight, increase your sex drive and reduce the likelihood of you getting a variety of ailments.
Now we fully understand the importance of sleep, how can you correct your poor sleeping habits and get more quality sleep?
Well, today we’ll explore four easy ways that all of us can improve the quality of our sleep, to live more healthy and fulfilling lives.
- Exercise In The Evening
First on our list, is exercising in the Evening, lots of us exercise in the morning as a great way to wake up and prepare for the day ahead, but a quick exercise session in the evening before bed can help deal with any excess energy from the day and help prepare your body for sleep.
To get the most out of this, you’ll want to exercise around 2 hours before you go to bed, to allow you to cool down and return your heart rate to normal. But as your heart rate returns to normal, this will cause a ‘slingshot’ effect on your body, as you fall asleep your heart rate slowly drops, so correctly timing an evening exercise can help kickstart the sleep process as your heart rate declines from it’s peak.
- Have A Shower Before Bed
Again, a shower is something lots of us find great for waking up in the morning, but like exercise, a nice shower can help send you to sleep as well as wake you up. Whereas in the morning you want a cold shower to wake you up, in the evening you’ll want to have a warm shower to send you to sleep.
A warm shower helps send you off to sleep by helping your body relax as well as increasing your body temperature. Once you get out of the warm shower, your body heat will start to drop. During sleep your body’s temperature also drops, so cooling down after a shower helps kickstart the process of falling asleep, again using a ‘slingshot’ effect to recreate things that happen naturally during the process of getting to sleep.
- Put Your Phone Down
Next up, we have a contentious issue: mobile phones and other electronic devices. This isn’t an article about the dangers of using electronic devices (That’s a whole article in itself, but we’ll leave it for another day), but rather the blue light which is emitted by the screens on our TVs, iPads and phones.
Blue light is problematic for sleep as it’s also produced by the Sun and as such has some weird effects on our body. But the long and short of it is that exposure to Blue Light will keep you awake and alert as our brains think it’s natural light from the Sun and will block our bodies from producing Melatonin which helps us sleep. Putting your electronic devices away an hour or two before bed, allows your body to realise that it is night time and begin producing melatonin.
- Black Out Your Room
Now for the final tip of the list, we’ve just mentioned that Blue Light can delay the process of falling asleep, but anyone who lives in an urban area can attest that normal light from streetlights and passing cars can make it hard to sleep and even rouse us during the night.
To solution to this? Having a made to measure blind with blackout lining in your bedroom can help stop light pollution from leaking into your room. Having a blackout blind will completely cut out that pesky light pollution and allow you to fall asleep easier and avoid being woken up from your sleep during the night by passing cars.
There you have it, four easy to follow tips on how to sleep better to allow you to be the healthiest you possible. Remember these are only four possibilities, there are tones of other ways to bring on good sleep like meditation, having dinners earlier and general mindfulness, so what works best for you may not be the same as what works best for us!