A good night’s sleep is just as important as a nutritious, healthy diet and regular exercise. It can also cause weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children.
Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function.
Over the past years, both sleep quality and quantity have declined. In fact, many people frequently get poor sleep.
If you want to improve your well-being or health, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you should do and simply follow the next steps.
Wind down from the day
Your body needs some time to wind down after a busy day, so stop scrolling through your social media or reading emails once you prepare yourself for sleep. "This period is crucial in separating the chaos of the day from the quiet of bedtime. Try turning on a podcast, reading a book or drawing in an adult colouring book before going to sleep’’. If you can't fall asleep or you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, it is recommended to get out of bed and relax or write down your worries in another room for about 20 min.
Consider your environment
According to Dr Amiinah Kung, an allergist and immunologist at Northwestern Medicine Central Du Page, poor sleep can be explained by allergies, and pollution, especially things like dust mites, pets, and mould. "Itchy eyes, congestion, runny nose can prevent you from falling asleep or wake you up during the night," Kung says. Try using a nasal spray or just taking an antihistamine to ease any symptoms. Keeping your pets out of the bed or bedroom entirely and washing your sheets at least once a week can also help.
Drown out the noise
Living in big cities or near the road creates plenty of noise from distant cars, planes or even loud people that interrupt your rest. A recent study published in Antioxidants & Redox Signalling found that outdoor night-time noise is linked to a greater risk of oxidative stress, a risk factor for heart disease. That’s why you should consider environmental annoyances to turn on a fan, get a white noise machine to drown out sounds or just use earplugs.
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Cut down on caffeine
According to Harvard Health Publishing having too much caffeine throughout the day may be the issue of trouble falling asleep. "For some people, a single cup of coffee in the morning means a sleepless night. Caffeine can also increase the need to urinate during the night." Just try reducing your caffeine intake or even try replacing it with an apple that is proven to be more effective in waking you up.
According to Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D., manager of wellness nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic, the perfect sleep-inducing meal contains lean protein (tofu, roasted turkey, salmon) and complex carbohydrates (lentils, sweet potato, quinoa). The combo has been shown to stimulate calming neurotransmitters that help you doze off. At the same time, you'll need to avoid foods high in saturated fat, because your digestive system will work overtime to break down these, keeping you up later.
Take a relaxing bath or shower
A relaxing bath or shower is another popular way to sleep better.
Studies indicate that they can help improve overall sleep quality and help especially elders fall asleep faster.
Another study proved that taking a hot bath 90 minutes before bed improved sleep quality and helped people get more deep sleep.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to take a full bath at night, simply have a shower or put your feet in hot water before bed, that can help you relax and improve your sleep quality.
Stop and think
Just after a hectic day take a few minutes to pause and notice your surroundings, smells and sounds. Simply being aware and mindful may improve sleep quality and daytime functioning better than a formal program that includes stress reduction tactics, suggests research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Turn off your devices
Switch off your smartphones! The light emitted from tablets, laptops, and smartphones can keep you up at night, mess with levels of sleep time hormone melatonin, and wake you up if they buzz in the middle of the night don’t forget to use a blue light filter setting for your screen.
Take a natural sleep aid
Oxocan CBD oil a natural supplement can be especially helpful for those who have trouble falling asleep and for when you're trying to sleep at a time other than your "normal" bedtime. However, you should clear any new vitamins or supplements with your doctor.
alt="" />Try a sleep lamp
"The artificial light that is surrounding us reacts with the cells in your eyes and tells your brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that your body makes to help regulate your sleep cycle," says Michael Breus, PhD, a sleep specialist in Scottsdale, AZ. A simple solution for this is a Sunrise and sunset alarm clock that harnesses the natural benefits of the light and helps you with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Put on comfy socks
Here is a little secret about taking your socks to bed. These warm up your extremities, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow, to help you fall and stay asleep, says Cathy Goldstein, M.D., a sleep specialist and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center. Preferably choose ones that are made of a breathable fabric, like cotton, or cashmere blend, and make sure they are a bit loose for your more relaxed sleep.
Cut down the alcohol
Studies found that alcohol consumption at night decreased the natural nighttime elevations in human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a role in your circadian rhythm and has many other key functions This can leave us feeling tired the next day - no matter how long we stay in bed. So, if you are drinking alcohol, try to avoid it too close to bedtime. Give your body time to process the alcohol you've drunk before your sleep – on average it takes an hour to process one unit, but this can vary widely from personal metabolism.
Drink herbal tea
Just imagine settling down with a hot cup of Oxocan tea at night. Not only is the act of itself relaxing, but there's also research to show that herbal teas like chamomile naturally calm the body to induce sleep. Your body has an internal body clock that dictates when you wake and sleep—it's called your circadian rhythm. Erratic sleep messes with this biological timepiece. First, figure out how many hours of sleep you want to get. Say that's seven hours. Set a bedtime and wake-up alarm and try to stick to it every day. Also keep in mind that you have about 30 to 60 minutes of wiggle room that allows you to flex your schedule and still get the same sleep benefits, according to Shanon Makekau, M.D., medical director, Kaiser Permanente sleep lab in Hawaii.