Living healthily is not only about exercising and eating well. Having a good night’s sleep and being well-rested in the mornings also impact our health. If you are having trouble sleeping, it could cause you more stress, cause you to have less energy for exercise, and generally cause you to have poor health. Here are some ways for you to improve your sleep quality.
Get a Better Mattress
One of the reasons why your sleep quality is poor could be your mattress. Poor bed quality can be a cause of back and shoulder pains. If your mattress hasn’t been replaced for more than five years now, you’d better buy a new mattress now. Don’t rush the process, though, because you want to get the best possible bed for yourself. After all, you’d be sleeping in it every single night for the next five years.
There is no strict rule to looking for a new mattress other than your personal comfort. Some people like to sleep on a firm mattress, while some swear by memory foam. As long as your back is well-supported, you’re more likely to get better quality sleep.
Turn Off Blue Light on Your Gadgets at Night
There’s a reason why night mode is an option for many gadgets, apps, and even websites nowadays. This is because bright white light can actually cause you to stay awake. When you expose yourself to “daytime” lighting, your body clock gets confused, and you will think it isn’t time to sleep yet. This causes your body to produce less melatonin, the sleep hormone, and causes you to sleep much later.
Your smartphone and other gadgets are probably already optimized to help you sleep better at night. Notice how at some point early in the evening, your phone screen shifts to a more yellowish or orangey hue. This is your phone’s way of reducing its blue light, therefore helping your eyes adjust to a dimmer environment once the sun sets. Your computer desktop might not be optimized yet. Your computer might already have the option built-in, and you have to set it, or you could get apps like f.lux to apply a blue light filter on your computer.
Your Bedroom Environment Is a Huge Factor
If your bedroom is cluttered, full of distractions, or just generally uncomfortable, it could be causing you to sleep poorly. Many factors can make your bedroom environment poor, and they may be external too. Things like a construction site nearby that’s causing noise at random times late in the night or way too early in the morning, pets running around or howling way too loudly, or even the summer heat seeping into your room, making you sweat too much.
While these external factors often cannot be helped, you can still control things inside your room. For example, try playing white noise to drown out other sounds or hanging a blackout curtain to block excess light from outside.
Develop a Nighttime Routine
One way to help you create a consistent sleep schedule is to have a nightly routine. It can be a skincare routine that you do right before bedtime, a meditation session, or a quick read while in bed. Any activity that helps you relax before bedtime can help you get in the mood to sleep, and your body will recognize this pattern the more you keep doing it.
Try to avoid activities that stimulate the senses, like exercising. While regular exercise can help reduce insomnia, doing it before you sleep might keep you awake due to adrenaline. This differs from person to person, though, and some actually find it helpful to get a good night’s sleep if they exercise at night. So try your hand at it and see if it changes your sleep quality for the better.
Seek Professional Help
Most importantly, you should get the advice of a professional if you are having problems sleeping. There could be an underlying cause, and a professional can help you figure it out and find a solution for it. One common sleep disorder, sleep apnea, could be a reason for you feeling unrested every morning. This is because sleep apnea can cause you to have inconsistent breathing patterns while sleeping. If you have insomnia, you can get proper treatment through the advice of your doctor.
All in all, the way you live your life on a day-to-day basis can affect how you go to bed at night. Find out the factors that affect your sleep, and address them the best way you can. And if doing it your own way doesn’t help much, it’s much better to seek the help of your doctor.