Getting quality sleep is very important for your overall physical and mental health. It allows your body to recharge, helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves mood, reduces stress, lowers the risk for health problems such as heart disease and diabetes and helps your brain function. Many people struggle to fall asleep or to stay asleep due to stress or anxiety or other reasons. If you have trouble sleeping or you want to improve the quality of your sleep, here are 5 tips for getting better sleep.
Watch What and When You Eat
Your diet can affect your overall physical and mental health and can also affect your sleep quality. In order to get better sleep, avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed. Alcohol and caffeine can disrupt your sleep patterns. While caffeine can be helpful for giving you a boost of energy during the day, when consumed too close to bedtime it can make it harder for you to relax and can disrupt your sleep. Eating late at night can also have a negative effect on your sleep but it depends what you eat.
Some foods have been shown to actually help you sleep, such as almonds, walnuts and turkey. You can try including herbs to aid sleep in your diet, such as chamomile, lavender and valerian root. Also, try including supplements in your diet such as magnesium and melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that lets your brain know that it’s time to go to sleep.
Get More Exercise
Just like eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise is important for your physical and mental health. Getting regular exercise can also help improve your sleep. Exercising can help you fall asleep faster and help you stay asleep throughout the night. However, you may want to pay attention when you exercise. For some people, exercising too close to bedtime keeps them awake because exercise increases adrenaline.
Don’t Use Electronics Before Bed
Exposure to light has a large effect on your body’s circadian rhythm and on its production of melatonin. Therefore, spending time outside and getting plenty of sunlight during the day can help you sleep at night. However, too much light at night can have a negative effect on your sleep. Therefore, in order to improve your sleep it’s important to not use electronic devices before bed. Devices such as laptops and phones emit a lot of blue light, which can reduce your body’s production of melatonin, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Manage Stress and Relax
Having a lot of stress and anxiety are common reasons people can’t fall asleep at night. If you struggle with falling asleep due to stress or anxiety, try some different methods to help you relax before you go to bed. Listening to music, taking a shower, reading a book, journaling or meditating are helpful for many people. Also, deep breathing can help relax your brain, so trying some breathing techniques before bed can be very helpful for relaxing and falling asleep. It’s also important to make sure the environment where you sleep is peaceful and calms you. Make sure that the room is the right temperature, that there are no disruptive noises and that there is not too much light. Some people also find it calming to listen to white noise while falling asleep.
Don’t Nap Too Much
Napping actually has many benefits, such as giving you a boost of energy, relaxing you, improving your mood and increasing your productivity. However, taking a nap that is too long or too late in the day can make it difficult for you to sleep at night. Therefore, keep naps short and early in the day in order to have the benefits of napping without it negatively affecting your sleep quality at night.
If you struggle with falling asleep or with getting enough quality sleep, try these tips for getting better sleep.
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