Sleeping impacts your body’s functionality, and its purpose is necessary for many other reasons. When your sleep suffers, it can disrupt many facets of your life. Busy lifestyles can contribute to less sleep, but it’s essential to get quality sleep for your well-being.
The Science of Sleep and Why You Need It
There is some science as to what happens while you sleep. The sleep cycle gives way to many biological processes. A couple of crucial happenings include your brain storing information and your body repairing cells. Your heart rate and breathing regulation are known as circadian rhythms.
When you wake up feeling foggy because you didn’t get a good night’s sleep, the brain’s storing abilities likely couldn’t function correctly. The systems for rest give rise to the hormone melatonin, which helps promote sleep.
There is also an association between sleep and mental health. Your cognitive functions depend on sleep, and deprivation can cause concentration, decision-making, and creativity issues. Lack of sleep has even been linked to heart issues, diabetes, and obesity.
With millions of Americans suffering from sleep problems, it’s no surprise that almost 60% of them deal with a chronic disorder. What can you do to get better sleep? Here are some helpful “secrets” to help you unlock the mystery and get good, quality sleep.
How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Now that you understand how sleep helps your body, there are some things that you can do to keep yourself from having poor sleep. Besides affecting your brain function, not getting enough sleep can also affect your mood, making you more irritable and less tolerant.
Besides limiting the caffeine and balancing your nutrition, here are some helpful and effective methods you can start to implore for a more satisfying night’s rest.
Get on a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is the best way to ensure you get enough sleep each night. Going to bed and waking up simultaneously helps regulate your body’s rhythms and makes you feel less groggy. Remember the phrase, “Early to bed, early to rise..?” There’s definitely something to that!
Identifying the optimum sleep and wake-up time to align your body’s internal clock and regulate your sleep would be most helpful. It’s also a good idea to keep napping during the day to a minimum so you’re tired enough to fall asleep at night.
Create Your Sleep Space
Creating your space may involve things like calming colors and soft, subtle scents. Picture what makes you feel the most calm and serene, what will help ensure you’re ready for sleep. Set up your bedroom in a way that encourages a relaxed atmosphere.
You may like the feel of a weighted blanket, but during the night, weighted blankets get hot and could disrupt your sleep. It may take time and experimentation, but you must set your sleep space to help you get the best shut-eye. A fan or air conditioner can help keep you cool so the weighted blanket doesn’t get hot and comforts you.
Consider room-darkening curtains or blinds to help keep your room dark at night. Night lights, LED lights, can suppress normal brain signaling of melatonin.
Limiting your screen time is an excellent way to help your mind and body wind down, so stop looking at your phone, computer, tablet, or other device for at least a half hour or more before going to bed. Having a television running can also be a distraction, but if you need the sound, consider using white noise to help lull you to sleep.
Change Your Sleep Position
Your sleep position can influence how well you sleep at night. As an adult, you likely have a preferred position, so here are some tips to help maximize your rest, depending on your sleep position.
- Back Sleepers can find their airway passages more blocked, which is considerably bad for those with sleep apnea. However, sleeping on your back helps keep your spine more aligned, so it minimizes pain in the neck and shoulders and distributes your body weight more evenly. Use a pillow that supports your neck and head.
- Stomach Sleepers can strain the neck and spine, so use a thin pillow to minimize it. You may also want to put a pillow under your hips for more comfort and maintain the curve of your spine so you don’t put as much pressure on internal organs.
- Side Sleepers also can suffer from poor head and neck alignment, so find a pillow that provides good support and keeps the spring in a neutral position. You should also place a pillow between your knees for a more comfortable and restful sleep.
Start with small changes, such as getting a better pillow, getting more daylight during the day, or creating a serene environment in your bedroom.
Fix Your Sleep Gradually
It may help to incorporate supplements, like melatonin, to help you wind down and get some sleep. If you have real concerns, suffer from insomnia, or let your mind wander too much during the night, it may be helpful to see a specialist about your sleep habits and get some expert assistance.
Eventually, you’ll turn these gradual changes to your sleep routine into habits. Poor sleep can contribute to poor health, so prioritize rest with these techniques and get a better night’s sleep.