DID you know that sleep takes up between a third and a half of a human’s entire life span? When it comes to mental peace, nothing on earth can match sleep. We all cherish a restful night’s sleep after a long, exhausting day.
Sleep is an essential component of human life because it is a complex biological process that enables us to process new information, maintain our health, and replenish our energy.
In simple terms, sleep serves as a daily recharge for humans. As a result, sleep is important for both physical and mental health.
Lack of rest and sleep can increase health risks, developing serious medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In fact, poor sleeping habits may also lead to reduced immunity, allowing an increase in the chance of disease and infection.
The National Institutes of Health states that “Sleep services all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness, and mood.”
It turns out that sleep plays a significant role in maintaining our health. Simply put, you cannot afford to ignore this issue. As a result, good sleeping habits are required for humans to get a good night’s sleep.
Below are some of the tips and good sleeping habits that can improve your sleep health:
-> Maintain a sleeping schedule
You can improve the quality of your sleep by keeping a regular bedtime and synchronising it with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Put yourself to bed and wake up at the same times every day, including weekends.
If you’re getting enough rest, you shouldn’t need an alarm to wake up. If you require an alarm clock, your bedtime may need to be adjusted. Also, sleeping time shouldn’t exceed eight hours. Adults in good health are advised to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. The objective is to maintain consistency.
-> Improve sleep environment
Your brain should receive a strong signal that it is time to unwind and let go of the day’s stresses from a relaxing bedtime routine. Your ability to sleep well can sometimes be greatly affected by even minor changes to your environment.
The key is to maintain your room cool, dark, quiet, and relaxing. Light exposure during the night could cause falling asleep more difficult.
Avoid using light-emitting screens for an extended period of time right before going to bed. So, do turn off all electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smartphones an hour before bedtime.
Set the right temperature as it plays an important role too. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room with adequate ventilation, ranging from 18°C to 24°C. A hot or cold bedroom can disrupt quality sleep.
-> Exercise during the day
Do some physical activities such as light exercise. Being active during the day can make it easier for you to sleep at night. Regular exercise also reduces the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time spent in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.
If you exercise in the morning or the afternoon, this won’t be a problem, but exercising too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep. Try to complete a moderate-to-vigorous workout at least three hours before going to bed. Move your workouts even earlier if you’re still having trouble falling asleep.
The evening hours can be used to promote sleep by engaging in calming, low-impact activities like yoga or gentle stretching.
-> Be smart about what you eat and drink
Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
It’s your overall eating patterns rather than specific foods that can make the biggest difference to your quality of sleep, as well as your overall health. Your daytime eating habits play a role in how well you sleep, especially in the hours before bedtime.
Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can interfere with sleep.
-> Track your sleep
Keeping track of your bedtime and wake-up times will allow you to analyse them and make a change for quality sleep time. Keep track of how long you anticipate it will take you to fall asleep or how frequently you wake up during the night.
You may get all those information if you are using a smartwatch, as nowadays most of them include a sleep tracker and analysis. Once you have a general sense of how many hours of sleep you’re receiving each night, you can adjust your bedtime accordingly. However, if you don’t have one, you can also use the old-fashioned method of writing them down in a notebook.