Have you ever come home and the only thing you can think of is falling asleep, but something went wrong, and sleep just never comes, no matter how hard you try? Well, you are not alone. Statistics show that almost 50% of modern society experiences insomnia-related sleep issues.
However, sleep is so important for overall health, so people are trying to manage sleep hygiene and achieve a better night’s rest. Sleep affects health and mood, so when we have enough sleep, we are happier, more productive and stay healthier. In contrast, lack of sleep makes us tense and leads to health diseases when it is chronic in nature.
So how can you hack your sleep and achieve a quality night’s rest? Explore below:
Create & Keep a Regular Schedule
Our organisms prefer regularity. Sleep experts believe that creating and following a sleep schedule is a great way to boost sleep quality. While some prefer to wake up later during the weekend, the key is to always go to bed and get up at a certain time.
If you remain consistent, your body will know when to release a sleep hormone known as melatonin. It will also stimulate hormones responsible for our waking up process. Keeping the schedule helps us not only get a better night’s rest but also makes it easier to wake up, so we feel refreshed and energized.
Reduce Alcohol & Caffeine
Quality night rest comes only with healthy and calm hormone levels. Although it may seem like you are relaxing when you drink alcohol, over 1-2 drinks after midday can interfere with deep sleep. The same can be said about caffeine. So reduce alcohol and try to avoid it in the evening. Caffeine needs 4-6 hours to fully leave the organism, so reduce it as well. Otherwise, your sleep won’t be deep and quality even if you sleep 7 hours.
Having a large dinner just before falling asleep can disrupt your ability to fall and stay asleep. That is why it is best to eat a light dinner a few hours before bedtime. It is recommended to blend protein, carbs and fats to help keep you satiated, while it may also improve your ability to fall asleep as your brain converts carbs to serotonin.
Relax Your Mind
We all have times when we can’t fall asleep just because our thoughts appear and appear, and they don’t allow us to relax. However, a relaxed mind is best for deep-quality sleep.
While it could be hard to achieve this, you can still soothe stress and reduce racing thoughts through several methods. For example, you can download a sleep app that is specially designed for this purpose. Also, applications like the sound of rain app help you promote relaxation, which makes it easier for you to fall asleep. Meditation is also great, but not everyone likes this practice.
Turn off Electronics
Digital devices are an enemy if you are trying to fall asleep. The light produced by devices stimulates our brains. These lights confuse our inner clocks, which negatively affects sleep quality. That is why you should consider unplugging from all screens — TVs, computers, phones, and tablets. This should be done at least an hour before hitting the sack.
Our bodies produce a sleep hormone known as melatonin when the light decreases. So when you watch TV or check social media before sleep, you damage your circadian rhythm and confuse the body. If your body can’t release enough melatonin, you will have poor sleep quality.
Go to Bed Before Midnight
Scientists report that because of the way our circadian rhythms (inner clocks) work, every sleeping hour before midnight is worth two hours after. Even though there is small evidence supporting these claims, some people also report a higher sleep quality and a better feeling in the morning when falling asleep before midnight. According to sleep experts, we should go to sleep as soon as it gets dark to wake up as soon as it gets light. In addition, our parents always told us to fall asleep early, so maybe this is one of the most effective tips to consider, especially if you like early morning wake-ups.
Sleep at Least Seven Hours
Sleep experts say that people need at least 7 hours of sleep. Even though some recommend 7-9 hours of sleep, 7 is the minimum, regardless of your age or lifestyle. Some people, like professional athletes, require 10-11 hours of sleep. In case you are going to wake up early, it is recommended to move to bed by 9:00.
While it sounds impossible, you can try it and see how it goes for you. Having at least 7 hours of quality sleep is great for our health. It helps us stabilize hormones, and mood, improve digestion, reduce appetite and improve productivity.
Exercising regularly helps us stay not only healthy but also directly affects how we sleep. When we exercise, our bodies release a happy hormone which reduces stress, improves mood and helps us relax. In addition, regular exercises have also been shown to help normalize circadian rhythms, calm down the sympathetic nervous system, and regulate endocrine function.
However, it is vital to note that you don’t need to exercise before sleep. Try to exercise in the morning or at least 4-5 hours before going to sleep. Intensive exercises before sleep may make you feel tired, but in reality, they damage your inner clocks and make you feel energized, which isn’t good for healthy sleep.
Take a Warm Bath
One of the great tips to improve your sleep quality is taking a warm bath before going to sleep. While not everyone prefers showering before sleep, it has allowed them to fall asleep more easily. That is because when you go out from a warm shower, your bodies reduce the temperature, mimicking the process that happens when you fall asleep. In addition, warm water reduces stress and tension and creates a feeling of safety.