Considering that we’re supposed to spend a third of our life sleeping, it can really have a big impact on your body – both physically and mentally – if you don’t get enough hours of rest. We recommend 7-8 hours per night between 22:00-06:00 in order to get the best quality of sleep. Doesn’t sound like your sleeping pattern? Check out these tips!
One of the biggest contributors to lack of sleep is, you guessed it, stress. It makes you tense and anxious, which in return makes it difficult to fall asleep at night. Try to figure out what is causing your stress, and then take the necessary steps to prevent it. If you’re not able to change whatever is causing you to feel this way, at least try to spend a few hours each day unwinding and doing what makes you happy!
Just like other mammals, we’re created for a life in motion. Lack of movement can easily set our bodies off balance, causing us to feel tired during the day yet not being able to sleep at night. Doing a quick 7 minute workout every day fits into any schedule and can make a huge difference, both for your sleep and for your health. Not the exercising type? Then walking or taking the bike to work is a great way to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. And if it’s too far, park a couple of blocks farther away or get off the bus a few stops earlier instead.
Consumption of caffeine, even up to 5 hours prior to bedtime, has been shown to have a negative impact on your sleep. Try to not drink caffeine after noon, and stick to decaf coffee or tea instead.
Alcohol and nicotine
Sleep after drinking alcohol is associated with more frequent awakenings, night sweats, nightmares, headaches and is overall much less restful. Alcohol will affect your levels of melatonin for several hours, and excess drinking will keep them off balance for a whole week! So remember to drink in moderation, and to put the glass down 4 hours before bedtime.
Nicotine has also shown to have a big impact on sleep. Smokers take longer to fall asleep, sleep less and have less deep sleep. In the study those who quit smoking had immediate improved sleep, so laying off the cigarettes could really make a difference.
Follow a sleeping schedule
Hitting the snooze button and sleeping in might be tempting, but this will actually cause you to feel more tired during the day, and decrease your quality of sleep the following night. Going to bed at a set time and then getting up (without snoozing) at the same time every morning, will get you in a regular sleeping schedule that your body, health and mood will thank you for in the long run!
Use your bedroom only for sleeping
Working, studying or doing anything stressful in your bedroom is a big no-no. Your bed should be a place to switch off, relax and recharge. If it’s doubling as your desk you might find it hard to to settle in for a good night’s sleep, because your body won’t know if it should be winding down for rest or gearing up for work.