A staggering 70 million people desperately crave for a good night’s sleep in the US alone. This has prompted experts to raise the alarm over sleep troubles, which they now consider a public health concern. With today’s many distractions and your super busy schedule, the struggle to get a restful sleep is real and can be frustrating. Miss a night of proper sleep and you wake up grumpy, disoriented and less productive. How can you turn everything around and get the right dose of sleep? Here’s your need-to-know guide to healthy sleeping.
1. Keep Sugary Foods at Bay
Sugary foods should be avoided at bedtime. They can over-stimulate your nervous system and get in the way of sleeping at the right time. When you’re having trouble sleeping at night, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation and have a piece of donut or a slice of cake. It’s alright to crave for something sweet, but a healthy tip is to substitute artificially sugared foods with naturally sweet alternatives. Frozen bananas with almond milk, for example, taste delicious and can satisfy your sweet cravings before bedtime.
2. Lights Out, Please
One of the primary steps to better sleep is to turn off the bedroom lights. Light regulates the human sleep-wake cycle. Which is why our bodies are naturally wired to sleep at night. Leaving artificial lights on will mimic daytime and can likely affect your sleeping schedule. Even if you close your eyes, remember that light can pass through your eyelids. This likely results in the inhibition of your sleeping hormone called melatonin. A bright bedroom can confuse your brain into thinking that it’s daytime. If you absolutely can’t sleep with all the lights turned off, it’s best to experiment by dimming the light until you get more comfortable.
3. Take a Bath with Epsom Salt and Lavander
A great way to feel comfortable and be prepared for bedtime is to have a nice bath. Epsom salt dissolved in warm water can help you feel calm and relaxed. The magnesium in epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and can balance your body’s nerve and muscle function. To best combat the effects of a sleep deprived body, throw in lavender into the bath mix. The essence of this purple-flowered plant can help you fall asleep better and faster. Together, Epsom salt and lavender can be your key to finally have a refreshing night’s sleep.
4. Observe the Goldilocks Rule for Room Temperature
Neither hot nor cold, the “Goldilocks Rule” applied to your room temperature will help you sleep comfortably. Usually, the recommended temperature is around 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. However, the ideal sleeping condition can vary from person to person. Experiment with the right level for you. A good rule of thumb is when you’re able to sleep without sweating and without having the need for additional blanket.
5. Invest in a Sleep-Worthy Bed
Chances are your sleepless nights are caused by your outdated mattress. Invest in a high-quality mattress to significantly improve your sleep. A mattress that can naturally repel bacteria and microbes means that you will never have to suffer from itchy or uncomfortable sleep. In addition to having high-quality material, the best mattress for healthy sleeping should be able to provide great support. This will help eradicate those pesky backaches because the foam will alleviate your body’s pressure points. Having an advanced technology-designed mattress can provide the most relaxing and comfortable sleep to any slumberer.
6. Try Some Yoga Poses
Going to bed and waking up with poor blood circulation is one of the signs of sleep deprivation. Try out some yoga poses before bedtime to bring out a healthy mind-body balance. The tree pose and the butterfly pose can help you sleep better at night. These poses improve circulation while helping re-align your internal equilibrium. Add to this benefit the convenience of doing yoga before bedtime. The poses are relatively easy and doesn’t require too much space.
7. Hydrate at Least an Hour Before Bedtime
Make sure you’re hydrated at least an hour before bedtime. This will ensure that you won’t wake up in the middle of the night parched. Conversely, avoid drinking liquids minutes before bedtime as this will likely result in unwanted bathroom trips. Plain water is great, although you can also try chamomile tea. Milk is another good bedtime drink because it contains the sleep-inducing ingredient melatonin. Dehydration is a common malady of sleep-deprived people, so it’s healthy to ensure that you’re hydrated at night.
8. Establish and Stick to Your Sleeping Schedule
Establishing a bedtime schedule and sticking to it will build a healthy biological response to sleep. A consistently maintained schedule will not only make bedtime easy for you; it will also prevent you from missing sleep. Bedtime routines vary among people, so it’s best to base your schedule on your lifestyle. Bear in mind, however, that the recommended hours of sleep for adults is seven to nine hours.
9. Practice This Breathing Technique as You Visualize Sleep
The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is super simple and can help you sleep in a matter of minutes. Here’s how you do it. After exhaling completely through your mouth, close your mouth and inhale quietly through the nose as you do a mental count of four. Hold your breath for seven seconds. Exhale completely through your mouth as you make a whoosh sound for eight counts. Repeat the process until you’re relaxed and starting to drift away from your sleep trouble.
10. Release Your Stress Through a Journal
Daily stressors can get in the way of a healthy sleep. In fact, anxiety and stress are among the top reasons why people are kept awake at night. A great way to free your mind of negative thoughts is to write everything down in a non-electronic journal. This form of release can help you achieve a clearer and calmer mental state conducive to sleep.
Whether it’s avoiding sugary foods or sleeping on a great foam mattress, observing healthy sleeping habits is essential for your well-being. Following these 10 smart tips is super easy, so there’s no really excuse for you to suffer any longer with poor sleep. Do your best to incorporate these healthy sleeping tips for that best sleep you’ve always dreamed of.