A good night’s sleep is one of the things that many people seemingly can’t have. A large percentage of people find themselves deprived of quality sleep so instead of being productive during the day, they get sleepy. However, it’s been proven that sleep is essential to our physical and mental health.
There’s a wide range of causes why people lack sleep. Good thing there are also proven ways to have a more restful sleep. These small changes can really improve the quality of sleep you have, make you well-rested in the morning, and establish healthier sleep habits. (Read: 7 Things to Do to Achieve 7 Types of Rest)
Here are four tips to getting better sleep at night. Read on.
Tips for better sleep: Increase bright light exposure during the day
You might have heard that reducing blue light exposure– phone and computer screens– can help you sleep better at night. But did you know that by increasing bright light exposure you are contributing to having better sleep? This is because of your body’s natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy– it improves your daytime energy and nighttime sleep quality and duration.
In fact, studies show that daytime bright light exposure improved sleep quality and duration for people with insomnia.
Tips for better sleep: Be careful with naps
While taking a nap during the day can be tempting, it’s important to use caution with naps. If you nap for too long or too late in the day, it can throw off your sleep schedule and make it harder for you to get sleep when you want to. Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your body clock. A study shows that those who take long naps ended up sleepier during the day.
Take short power naps of 20 minutes shortly after lunch so you will be well-rested and energized.
Tips for better sleep: Optimize your bedroom for sleep
It is believed that bedroom environment is one of the key factors in getting a good night’s sleep. Optimizing your bedroom means you take into consideration the temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement. Try to minimize external noise and light. (Read: 6 Design Tips to Improve Wellbeing at Home)
It would also help to adjust the temperature of your bedroom. Body and bedroom temperature can greatly affect sleep quality. When it’s too warm, getting sleep is hard. Studies show that increased body and bedroom temperature can decrease sleep quality and increase wakefulness.
Tips for better sleep: Be mindful of what and when you drink
Caffeinated drinks including coffee, tea, and sodas can reduce your sleep. Some people often use the jolt of energy from caffeine to avoid being sleepy during the day. However, this causes long-term sleep deprivation. If you must drink coffee, do it in the morning and avoid caffeinated drinks later in the day.
Another drink that can have a bad effect on your sleep is alcohol. Some people are keen on drinking alcohol before bed as it can induce drowsiness. However, alcohol affects the brain in ways that can lower sleep quality. (Read: Octoberfest Special: 3 Alcoholic Beverages With Catholic Origins)
Likewise, drinking large amounts of liquid before bed can trigger frequent urination during the night. While hydration is important, it’s better to reduce fluid intake in the late evening, particularly one to two hours before bed.