Better quality sleep is available and important, dealing with insomnia is hard but not impossible – here are some suggestions to fix your sleep problems.
Sleep is one of the most mysterious activities our bodies perform to stay alive and healthy. A good night’s rest is just as essential as eating and breathing. You may think that meditation or the typical resting-my-eyes times can replace sleep, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Missing sleep for just one night has it’s consequences as a study conducted by NCBI revealed. The findings verified that sleep deprivation can lead to a lower quality of life and ruined cognitive function. Lack of sleep can lead to poor judgement, bad moods, bad eating habits and a host of emotional and physical problems. We all need our sleep to function to the best of our ability mentally and physically. Sleep time is when our cells repair and renew so when we awake each morning we have undergone a little maintenance!
What Causes Poor Sleep Quality in the First Place?
The same way your dreams are limitless, the causes for sleep deprivation and insomnia are endless. Many people experience sleep loss and sleeplessness without a clear reason. For some, despite their healthy routines, falling asleep can be a genuine nightmare. For others there are very obvious reasons for not sleeping, stress being a major factor and one of the most common.
Some of the reasons that contribute to poor sleep quality can include:
- An unhealthy amount of screen time
- Subconscious stress
- A broken schedule
- Certain food/caffeine
- Day time naps
Here are some of the best possible ways to avoid sleep deprivation and insomnia.
You need to identify the factors that are possibly causing your poor sleep quality – only you can find the right way to put yourself into a healthy sleep, so finding the best methods is essential. Below are some great ways to maintain healthy sleep.
Get a Bedtime Routine. This will help you wind down and your brain will know it’s time to go to sleep. Try and do the same routine activity every night and go to bed at the same time also. Sticking to a bed time programs your brain and sets your body clock to know it is time to sleep.
Spend thirty minutes before you go to bed preparing by doing the same thing every night. Everyone has a different routine but it could be as simple as switching off all distractions, having a warm drink and spending time in mediation/prayer. It is all about telling your brain that you are getting ready for bed -to sleep.
Reduce Blue Light Exposure
Your laptop’s screen may be emitting too much blue light. After spending hours doing research or work, you may begin to feel discomfort or excess weight in your eyes and head. Such pain can occur because your exhausted mind requires sleep, and your laptop’s blue light prevents that from happening.
If you have a display color setting in your laptop, set it to warmer tones of light, rather than energetic blue light. Doing so will most-likely aid your sleep problems.
Eliminate Long Naps
If you feel tired after a long day of work, try your best to resist the urge to take a quick nap. Understand that a quick nap can turn into a long, deep sleep. If you sleep during the day, your entire circadian rhythm could be disrupted resulting in insomnia, poor-quality sleep, less cognitive function, and many more undesirable results.
If you feel tired, go to bed earlier than usual, but make sure that you wake up earlier, too. Doing so will help you maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and a healthy sleep schedule.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
For many people, caffeine is a source of energy so avoid a few hours before bed! Make sure to maintain a healthy balance of nutrition to ensure that sleep problems won’t bother you. Have a look at he list below for foods to avoid and foods that help with sleep.
Temperature Changes Everything
When creating the ideal environment for sleep, it’s best to find a balance between 60- and 67-degrees Fahrenheit as your room temperature. A drop below 60 degrees could be just as impactful on your sleep as temperatures exceeding 70 degrees.
When maintaining higher-quality sleep, it’s best to ensure that the temperature of your room stays the same at all times. Don’t let it get too hot or cold, since a disruption in the recommended temperature range could result in insomnia and sleeplessness.
Relax the Mind Before Heading to Bed
One of the most significant assets of maintaining healthy sleep and eliminating insomnia is meditation. Before going to bed, you should calm the mind and become aware of every incoming thought.
As soon as your body becomes as relaxed as your mind, sleeplessness shouldn’t be a problem.
Turn Off Devices
Switch off that ipad and stop scrolling, only keep your mobile on if you really have to be available, maybe for your kids that are out or your parents. Otherwise turn it off! Hours can pass without realizing it and what have you achieved only less hours to sleep. Taking your devices to bed result in having stimulated your mind too much to fall asleep. If it helps – keep the devices in another room and then the temptation won’t be so great!
Foods to Avoid Before Bed
Foods that are hard to digest include cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli, meat, cheeses and certain fruit. Some of our most healthiest fruit and vegetables are best taken during the day so your body can digest without disrupting your sleep. Some of these foods are high in amino acids which give you energy so definitely stick to these food types earlier in the day or evening. Try and hydrate well during the day so that you don’t have to drink so much at night, drinking water at bedtime will cause you to waken for a bathroom visit during the night. Water is vital to our overall health and plays a major part in keeping our body working as it should so it is important to drink plenty of it – just not before bed.
15 Foods to Avoid Before Bed
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Cured Foods
- Ice Cream
- Orange Juice
- Foods High in Fat i.e French Fries
- Dried Fruit
- Spicy Foods
Don’t worry though, you don’t need to go to bed hungry, there are foods that actually do help you sleep better. Foods that contain magnesium help reduce cortisol the stress hormone are ideal as are foods rich in the sleep regulating hormone melatonin. Serotonin found in certain foods is also a sleep enhancing food, a recent study as published in ncbi that involved giving the participants kiwi before bed showed a marked increase in better sleep. Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan which increases the sleep hormone melatonin. Check the list below for the best foods and drinks to take before bed.
Fifteen Foods That Help You Sleep
- Tart Cherry Juice
- Chamomile Tea
- Low Sugar Wholegrain Cereals
- Calcium Rich Drinks such as Milk
- Cottage Cheese
- Leafy Greens
Insomnia is a condition that affects millions of people around the globe but you can overcome it. From eliminating blue light to setting the temperature of your room to 60-67 degrees in Fahrenheit, there are countless ways to fight recurring sleep problems. Hopefully, the sleep-improvement methods mentioned above will help you cope with insomnia or trouble falling asleep. It is all about switching off, relaxing and watching the bedtime foods, take the ideas discussed, stick with it and you will begin to see the benefits.