5 mins

27 April 2022

8 Science-Backed Tips for Better Sleep

It’s well-established that getting quality sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and regular exercise. But despite its importance, over the past few decades, people’s sleep quality and quantity have declined with a troubling percentage of 33% among adults not getting enough proper sleep. Many are seeking the best tips for better sleep because poor sleep has immediate negative psychical and mental impacts on health

When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed or energized to take on the day? Or, when did you fall asleep with ease? If you always feel tired daily and struggle to get a good night’s sleep, it might be time to reconsider your bedtime habits. In this guide, we’ll cover 8 science-backed tips for falling asleep, better sleep easier, and waking up well-rested.

For many people, trying to implement all these strategies can be challenging, especially for those with a busy schedule. Keep in mind that you can start with small changes and work your way up toward building healthier sleep habits. Read on!

An essential tip to getting better sleep is to make your bedroom a place conducive to comfort and relaxation. Too much light exposure can prevent proper sleep because it disrupts melatonin production. Although this might seem obvious, it is often overlooked and a factor contributing to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep through the night.

Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian cycle healthy, so it’s important that you get as much of this. The circadian cycle is your body’s natural clock and it regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It is also regulated by light exposure. In turn, getting as much daylight exposure during the daytime improves sleep quality and duration.

During the night, however, focus on avoiding light disruption when designing your sleep environment. Excess light exposure can throw off your sleep and circadian cycle. Using a sleep mask or blackout curtains can block out light and prevent sleep disturbance.

Cultivating peace and quiet when approaching bedtime plays a pivotal role in getting better sleep. You can achieve this by keeping noises to a minimum. Undoubtedly, a noisy room can make it harder for you to sleep. According to a study, environmental noises associated with sleep disturbances can have negative health consequences such as tiredness, mood swings, and the like.

If you cannot eliminate nearby sources of noise, consider drawing them out with an electric fan or white noise. Using earphones and listening to relaxing playlists is another option to stop loud noise from disrupting your sleep.

You wouldn’t want your bedroom temperature to limit you from getting better sleep. As much as possible, you’ll want it to be at just the right temperature.

Surprisingly, a study found out that bedroom temperature affects sleep quality more than noise. Other studies suggest that increased bedroom temperature can also increase wakefulness.

The ideal bedroom temperature can vary from person to person, but most people find it ideal to sleep in a cool round that is about 70°F (21°C).

Apart from curating a relaxing bedroom ambience, your bed quality can also help in getting better sleep. A study proved that poor bedding quality can lead to increased lower back pain, shoulder pain, and spine stiffness.

Conversely, good bedding improves sleep quality. The right mattress and bedding you choose should ensure your spine gets supported properly to avoid aches and pains. They should also be comfortable during sleep.

Caffeinated drinks including coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks, are among the most popular beverages across the world. You might be tempted to drink caffeine to get a jolt of energy and overcome daytime sleepiness, but this approach is not ideal when you’re preparing to sleep. It seems obvious, but some people, unfortunately, have a habit of doing this.

Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and can stop your body from relaxing at night. In one study, consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bed can significantly worsen sleep quality.

Another study found that alcohol negatively affects sleep patterns and increases the symptoms of sleep apnea. Avoid this by not consuming caffeine and alcohol a few hours before sleeping, especially if you have trouble falling asleep. Instead, get your caffeine fix as early as possible with 9:30 AM to 11:30 PM being the ideal window.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is one of the best ways to reinforce your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. On the contrary, irregular sleep patterns can alter the signals of your brain for sleep.

If you want to make sure you get the recommended amount of sleep every night (7 to 9 hours), then you need to incorporate it into your daily schedule. Consider your fixed waking up time, work backwards, and identify a target bedtime.

While short naps are beneficial, long and irregular napping can hamper your ability to get better sleep. According to a study, sleeping in the daytime can confuse your body clock and may make it difficult to sleep at night. To sleep better at night, take caution with naps. The best time to nap is shortly after lunch in the afternoon and the best duration is around 20 minutes.

A relaxing bath or shower before bedtime is another popular method for sleeping better. It is highly effective with studies indicating it improves overall sleep quality and the ability to fall asleep faster, especially among older people. Taking baths also helps you feel more refreshed and comfortable as you’re getting ready for bed.

Getting quality sleep plays a key role in your overall health. If you want to reap the advantages of optimal well-being, make sleep a top priority. Consistently practising these tips will ultimately lead to better sleep and other benefits for your body.

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