Experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep every day for all adults. Unfortunately, most people do not hit that target. According to the National Institute of Health, most adults get less than seven hours of sleep. That’s a big problem because insufficient sleep leads to various issues. It can negatively affect your hormonal levels, resulting in health issues. Lack of enough sleep can also impact brain functions, which can affect your productivity and mental health.
To avoid these issues, you have no option but to be intentional about boosting your sleep quality. How do you do that? Here are seven tips to help you out:
1. Reduce Exposure To Blue Light
Exposure to blue light makes it harder for your body to go to sleep. Studies show that blue light can interfere with your circadian rhythm, causing your brain to think it’s daytime when it’s actually nighttime. It can also interfere with hormones involved in resting and sleeping. That’s one of the reasons why you may find yourself spending hours staring at the ceiling instead of falling asleep.
You must minimize exposure to blue light as much as possible to boost your sleep quality. There are various ways of doing that. First, use glasses to block blue light. You can also install applications that block blue light on your smartphone and computer.
The other trick is to avoid watching television two hours before going to bed. You should also switch off all the bright lights during this time. Doing this helps put your body in the state of resting and sleeping.
2. Avoid Taking Caffeine In The Evening
Another no-brainer hack to boost your sleep quality is staying away from caffeine in the evening. Caffeine is a stimulant. It’s very effective when you want to boost your mental awareness and other cognitive functions. While this is helpful during the day (or any other time when you have tasks to do), it is far from ideal when you want to sleep.
Caffeine will stimulate your brain, causing you to stay awake instead of falling asleep. You should also know that caffeine can remain in your system for 6-8 hours. Therefore, do not take caffeine within 6 to 8 hours of going to bed.
3. Reduce Daytime Naps
Daytime naps can be pretty beneficial. One study published on NCBI showed napping for 30 minutes or less can boost brain functions. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with longer naps.
Taking long naps during the day can confuse your internal clock, making it harder for the body to fall asleep at night. In fact, taking daytime naps for an extended period can make your body feel sleepy during the daytime and stay awake at night.
Avoid that confusion by steering clear of daytime naps. If you have to sleep during the day, make sure it’s a short nap.
4. Create A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Maintaining a consistent sleeping pattern will ultimately improve your sleeping quality. Again, it goes back to the circadian rhythm. Having a consistent sleep schedule helps keep your circadian rhythm in check. And when the rhythm is working optimally, falling asleep will never be a struggle.
5. Optimize Your Bedroom For Sleeping
How do you optimize your bedroom to enhance sleep quality? First, minimize light. Check any devices emitting artificial lights in the room and get rid of them. If you live in a city, make sure no lights from nearby buildings get into your bedroom.
Next, minimize external noises. Noise creates distractions which make it really hard for your system to rest and fall asleep.
Speaking of bedrooms, you may also want to invest in comfortable and healthy sleeping furniture. Get a cozy bed, mattress, and linens. You should also arrange your furniture properly to make the bedroom more soothing.
6. Watch What You Eat And Drink
Your diet influences sleep quality in various ways. For starters, having a heavy meal before going to bed is ill-advised. This will make you uncomfortable, increasing the time it takes to fall asleep.
Secondly, refined carbs and sugary foods can affect your restorative sleep. They can also extend the time to sleep. So avoid white rice, white bread, and other similar foods.
Instead, focus on a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. You can also experiment with sleep aids and other solutions like cannabis. But, learn how to measure weed to ensure you’re getting the appropriate portions. You should also confirm you are using the right strains for sleep.
7. Exercise Regularly
Exercising is an excellent way to relieve severe insomnia. It can ease night wakefulness and anxiety to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
That said, some individuals struggle to fall asleep when they exercise a few hours before going to bed. This can be linked to increased adrenaline and epinephrine, which usually happens after exercising.
Therefore, avoid exercising a few hours before going to bed if you feel like your workouts affect your ability to fall asleep.
That’s how to boost your sleep quality. Consider seeing a physician if none of these hacks work for you. That can help pinpoint sleeping disorders or other underlying conditions that might be affecting your sleep quality.