Snooze Like a Pro: Tips to Improve Sleep
In this fast-paced world we often forget to prioritize sleep. Getting enough good quality sleep can do wonders for your brain performance, mood, and overall health? On the other hand, consistently not getting enough quality sleep can increase your risk of a variety of health issues, ranging from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia. So, don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. Here are a few tips on how you can improve your sleep cycle that you can incorporate into your routine.
Create a Calm and Tranquil Sleep Environment
Your bedroom is your sanctuary and probably your favorite place to be in the house. Therefore, invest your time to make it as cosy as you like. Invest in comfortable bedding, a good mattress, consider blackout curtains, avoid bright lights and instead opt for lighting that is conducive to relaxation. Did you know that the colors of your night lights could have an impact on the quality of your sleep? It's recommended that you opt for warmer and more soothing colors such as red and amber, as they promote a calming effect and can contribute to a restful night's sleep. Interestingly, these colors are believed to stimulate the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates sleep. So, the next time you're choosing a night light, consider the color and how it may affect your sleep! A calm and tranquil environment prepares your body for a more restful sleep.
Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Humans love habits and our body thrives on a routine. Another way to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep is to set a fixed bed-time and wake-up routine. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. With this you can time how long you sleep. The recommended time for adults is between 7-8 hours every time in order to wake up well rested.
Be Mindful of What You Eat Before Bed
Eating a heavy meal too close to bedtime can interfere with your sleep and make it harder to fall asleep. Your body needs time to properly digest food, and if you eat a heavy meal right before bed, your body will be working hard to digest it instead of resting. This can lead to discomfort, indigestion, and even nightmares. Furthermore, eating heavy meals can also disrupt your natural sleep cycle, causing you to wake up feeling tired and groggy. So, it's best to avoid heavy meals before bedtime and opt for light, sleep-friendly snacks instead. Snacks like bananas, almonds, or a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea can help you satisfy your hunger while also promoting restful sleep.
One of the reasons why we struggle to sleep is because our bodies are not as tired as they should be for us to relax. Exercise helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, which are all factors that can contribute to poor sleep. Additionally, exercise can boost the production of endorphins, which are natural hormones that help you feel more relaxed and happier. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, but make sure to finish your workout a few hours before bedtime to avoid a post-gym energy surge. This is because exercise stimulates your body to produce cortisol, a hormone that can keep you feeling alert and awake. By finishing your workout a few hours before bedtime, you give your body enough time to cool down and relax, making it easier to fall asleep. So, if you want to get better sleep, regular exercise is like a superhero that can come to your rescue!
Take a Break from Screens
The Blue light coming from the screens can interfere with your circadian rhythms which are the behavioral, physical, and mental changes that follow a 24-hr cycle. Therefore, avoid using your phone or any electronic gadget at least an hour before you plan to sleep and allow your brain to relax and wind down before going to bed. Instead engage in other activities like reading a book or drinking a cup of herbal tea.
Integrating Supplements that Support Sleep
Supplements can play a complementary role in your efforts to improve your sleep cycle. For instance, melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone and can help synchronize your sleep cycle. Adding that as a supplement 30 mins before you sleep can help you in sleeping better.
Magnesium containing supplements are also known to help improve sleep as magnesium is recognized for its relaxing properties. Incorporating it into your routine can support muscle and mental health.
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A Strategic Approach to Better Sleep
If you're looking to improve your sleep routine, there are a few things you can do to optimize your chances of getting a good night's rest. By making some environmental adjustments, adopting healthy lifestyle choices, and possibly incorporating sleep-promoting supplements (if recommended by a healthcare professional), you can set yourself up for better sleep and overall well-being. It's important to experiment with evidence-based strategies to find out what works best for you in terms of improving your sleep quality.