8 small changes for better sleep tonight
How To Adjust Your Sleep Schedule For The Better
We need up to 9 hours of sleep in order to have a healthy and productive life so setting up a sleep schedule is very important to ensure we get enough rest. Below are some of the ways you can work towards adjusting your sleep schedule to get sufficient sleep.
A good night time routine
Be aware of all the activities you perform before bedtime that may help or hinder you from sleeping well. This routine should not include stimulating activities so that the body can adjust to getting ready for rest.
Avoid anything caffeinated before bed
Caffeine takes up to 10 hours to leave the body depending on variables like gender, age and other physiological factors. You should not take anything with caffeine prior to bedtime because it is a stimulant and will keep you awake or disrupt your sleep cycles. Nicotine, which is another stimulant found in cigarettes, falls into this category as well.
Alcohol just before you sleep
Alcohol is a depressant and will send you to sleep. However, alcohol interrupts REM sleep, which is an important sleep stage for body and brain health. You may think it helps you sleep but the quality of the sleep will be dramatically effected.
Switch off your screens
The blue light from computer screens and phones keeps you awake through the night because the body is designed to wake up when there is light and go to sleep when it becomes dark. Exposure to bright light just before bed tells your body to be alert and wake up. If you have to use an electric device in the evening, you could try reducing the brightness setting to curb the effect of the light.
Adjusting body temperature
Your body temperature drops as you go to sleep and you can therefore trick the body by mimicking this change in temperature. This can be done by taking a hot shower late in the day during warmer weather and a cold shower during colder weather.
Controlling your bodies temperature in bed is incredibly important. You need to ensure you have a mattress that aids this process. A horsehair layered mattress will move moisture away from the body to create a microclimate.
Reduce external distractions
As you prepare to go to sleep it is essential that you minimise any distractions so as to ease yourself into sleep.
Avoid taking daytime naps
This is essential so that the body trains itself to sleep at the end of the day when you’re tired and not later because of a power nap earlier.
Try to avoid stress and worry
If it’s 11pm and you still haven’t fallen asleep despite having employed the following, don’t stress out because you haven’t done so. You can get out of the bed and do something to relax or calm yourself down then go back to bed. You should fall asleep sooner than expected.
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