When we were kids, our parents and teachers often told us that a good night’s sleep is essential for better performance the next day. But we would hardly believe that back then. We would rather spend our time watching our favorite shows on TV rather than following “early to bed, early to rise makes you wise.”
But as we grow up and have more things to do than the hours in a day, we hardly get the time to sleep. And when we do finally get to the bed, that’s when the sleeplessness kicks in even though we are exhausted. Multiple studies have shown that insomnia ranges from 30-60% in the worldwide population. It is widespread in people with mental or physical health conditions, females, and older adults (1).
In cases where people do not have insomnia, they usually suffer from other disturbed sleep patterns, such as waking up frequently throughout the night. Various factors in today’s world have caused the decline in sleep quantity and quality among people.
Researchers worldwide have conducted numerous studies that have proved sleep is not only a resting phase of your body. It is essential for the normal cognitive and motor functioning of the body. Therefore, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial if you want to maintain your optimum health (2).
So, if you suffer from sleep disorders, here are some science-proved tips that can help you sleep better at night.
Five Healthy Sleeping Tips That Will Make You Sleep Like A Baby
Your food habits can disturb your sleep quality and pattern more than you know. At the same time, it may seem fun and soothing to have foods containing caffeine and chocolate before bed. But in reality, it is not. The caffeine in the food increases your energy level that can prevent you from falling asleep.
You should also avoid consuming large portions of meals before going to bed, as it can cause heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. These problems can disturb your sleep and keep you waking up from time to time (3).
The most appropriate time to have dinner is at least three hours prior to bedtime. That way, you can allow your stomach to digest the food properly and your body to focus on your sleep.
Get The Right Pillow And Mattress
If you keep waking up in the middle of the night because of a stiff neck, your pillow is to blame. You need to get the right-sized pillow for yourself that is not too flat or thick. Your pillow is responsible for maintaining your sleeping posture that includes aligning your neck while sleeping. When you get a pillow that helps you maintain a healthy posture, your hips, back, shoulders, and neck will get proper support to sleep comfortably and deeply.
Besides, you should also clean and change your mattress from time to time. Mattresses get allergens that can cause itchiness, sniffles, and sneezes in the middle of the night. Dusting them regularly can prevent your mattress from dust mite droppings and molds. You can even seal your mattress to enjoy a night of undisturbed sleep.
Limit Blue Light Exposure
You can increase your concentration by exposing yourself to blue light during the day, but it does not have the same effect at night. When you expose yourself to blue light at night, it tricks your brain by making it think it is night-time. It does so by affecting your circadian rhythm and reduces the production of melatonin in your body (4).
Your body needs this hormone for relaxing and allowing you to get into a deep sleep. Hence, limit blue light exposure by avoiding electronic devices like computers and smartphones at least an hour before going to sleep. Besides, wear anti-blue light glasses when you are using smart devices.
Adopt Relaxing Methods
Exercising daily offers various health benefits, and one of them is to help you sleep. Exercise initiates energy use in the body and maintains body temperature that assists in promoting solid sleep. So, if you cannot focus on falling asleep, try to relax.
There are various relaxation techniques that you can adopt for relaxing yourself, such as guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation, and controlled breathing (5). However, you have to remember that these relaxing methods will require some time to affect you. Hence you have to be patient.
Maintain Your Sleep Schedule
You have to maintain a consistent sleep cycle to improve your sleep quality in the long run. Individuals who have irregular sleeping patterns tend to report poor sleep compared to those who go to bed on time. It can hamper your body’s melatonin level and alter the circadian rhythm that can make you sleepless.
Therefore if you have insomnia or any other sleeping disorder, try to follow a healthy sleep routine.
Although these healthy sleeping hacks can help you fix your mediocre sleep issues, in cases of severe discomfort, always refer to a doctor. That way, you can identify and treat any underlying conditions that are responsible for your sleepless nights.
Madelline completed her studies in community healthcare education. Apart from being a freelance writer, she also volunteers at the local non-profit organisations that help people suffering from mental disorders like depression and anxiety.