HEALTH & WELLNESS
How to get the perfect night's sleep
We all know that feeling when your alarm goes off and it’s time to get up and get into the day, but you don’t feel rested at all. But what can we do to help ourselves wake up feeling rested and ready for the day?
Sticking to a sleeping schedule is one tip to improve your night’s sleep.
The reason that this helps is that this reinforces your body’s sleeping-wake cycle. You should try to maintain this as much as you can, including on weekends, holidays and days off. It is also recommended you create a bed time ritual, as doing the same thing each night lets your body know that it is time to wind down. This could be a shower or bath, listening to soothing music or reading a book.
Another helpful tip is to watch what you eat and drink before hitting the hay.
Going to bed either hungry or overfull is not advisable. We also suggest you limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent those middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet. Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Getting some exercise through the day is also a great way to improve your night’s sleep.
There are many benefits to this including improving your mental health and helping you to feel tired later in the day. There is also some evidence that this may stimulate longer periods of slow wave sleep, the deepest and most restorative phase of sleep.
Put down the smart phone!
Smartphones and tablets disrupt sleep-in part because they emit what's known as "blue" light. This light is picked up by special cells inside our eyes, and it communicates to the brain that it's morning. Ideally at least one hour before going to sleep stop using your smart phone, tablet and laptop to allow you brain time to relax.
A final tip to improve your sleep is to have a relaxing and peaceful sleeping environment.
If you can't avoid or eliminate noise from neighbors, traffic, or other people in your household, try masking it with a fan or sound machine. Earplugs may also help. Keep your room cool. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room (around 65° F or 18° C) with adequate ventilation. A bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep. Make sure your bed is comfortable. Bed covers should leave you enough room to stretch and turn comfortably without becoming tangled. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to experiment with different levels of mattress firmness, foam toppers, and pillows that provide more or less support. Reserve your bed for sleeping. By not working, watching TV, or using your computer in bed, your brain will associate the bedroom with just sleep and make it easier to wind down at night.
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