Sleep deprivation is a highly prevalent and neglected health problem. According to a recent survey, there are up to 83.6 million adults in the US alone who suffer from lack of sleep. Though apparently harmless, chronic sleep deprivation can wreck your overall health.
Sleep is the only guaranteed way to refuel and recharge your mind and body naturally. Several studies have shown why sleep deprivation is your worst enemy and how it can negatively impact your health and performance.
The sooner you enhance your sleep habits, the better your sleep quality will be. If you have been coping with sleep deprivation for a while, there are plenty of scientifically-proven ways that can help you to improve your sleep.
We have compiled the top 10 sure-fire tips that will help you to sleep better starting tonight.
Let’s get started!
Avoid Blue Light Around Bedtime
Here is a fun-fact. Your brain produces a hormone called melatonin. It helps you stay calm and fall asleep better, but here’s the exciting part:
Your brain produces high levels of melatonin during the night to maintain a natural sleep-wake cycle in your body.
When you mess with your melatonin, your sleep cycle gets disturbed, and dozing off can become difficult. So how does one interfere with their melatonin production? The culprit is in your hands right now… electronic screens.
Most people habitually scroll through their Instagram feed at night or catch up with their favorite shows on Netflix. Some studies have shown how exposure of blue light and artificial light at night can cause havoc to your circadian rhythms by lowering the production of melatonin.
What you should do: Steer clear of all screens starting at sunset. If that is too restrictive, at least try to get away from them 2-3 hours before bedtime. Dim your room’s light and set up a nighttime routine. A warm bath and a good book work wonders in helping you to fall asleep better and improving your overall quality of sleep. It is best to keep that trouble-making screen away from your bedside, preferably in another room until you awake the next morning. Lastly, don’t worry about not getting up early in the morning; between alarm clocks, home assistants and other gadgets, you can still easily get a reliable wake-up call.
Maintain a Comfortable Room Temperature
Your room’s temperature has a lot to do with improving your sleep. Imagine falling into a restful sleep only to wake up in the middle of the better night’s sleep, drenched in perspiration. We know that sounds icky and you hate it, but you can avoid this sweaty mess by cooling your environment.
Several scientific pieces of research have shown that setting up a comfortable room temperature can help you sleep much better. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the choicest temperature for supporting overall quality of sleep lies anywhere between 60 to 67 degrees F, so lower your thermostat, please.
If you don’t have central air or air conditioning, don’t worry; there’s plenty you can do without lowering your room’s thermostat.
Make the most out of a fan in your room and many of the other sleep products specifically designed to improve your better night’s sleep. We personally love using a cooling pad that keeps our mattress perfectly cool and comfortable. Not only does it refine your sleep quality, but it also reduces night sweats. And some cooling pads offer both heat and cooling, like this Dual Cooling and Heating Pad. It works perfectly throughout the year keeping your mattress cool during summers and toasty warm during winters.
Invest in a Comfortable Sleep Mattress
Speaking of mattresses, invest in a comfortable one that provides proper support. Use a dust mite protector pad to help avoid allergies and irritation that can arise when dust mites inhabit your mattress. Additionally, there are many organic mattresses now available. Avoid the toxic off gassing from traditional mattresses and consider an organic version, especially if you are susceptible to allergies.
Try Sleep-Inducing Essential Oils
Essential oils work wonders in helping to improve your sleep. Researchers have found that essential oils can improve your health in countless ways. In fact, aromatherapy is a complete science dedicated to healing and promoting health just by using essential oils!
Some studies have shown the benefits of applying essential oils in helping you sleep better. They help you relax, can support improved your breathing, help with headaches, and much much more.
One of our favorite essential oils is Lavender oil by do TERRA. Prepared from the beautiful purple flowers of the lavender herb, this essential oil is pure bliss. Pure lavender oil has a distinct scent that helps you relax your mind, calm your senses, and sleep well. Just add a few drops of lavender oil to your pillows, bedding, and lightly massage on the bottom of your feet and / or the back of your neck.
Out of the many health benefits of exercise is that it helps you sleep better. And there is scientific evidence to back this up:
This scientific review has shown that sleep and exercise are positively related to each other.
Working out not only helps you stay fit and prevent obesity, but it also promotes heart health and keeps anxiety at bay. Science has proven that exercise induces the release of serotonin from our brains – a chemical that improves mood and gives you a feeling of euphoria.
Likewise, people who exercise regularly are better at coping stress and staying relaxed.
The only question is whether you should be working out in the morning or at night. While no evidence discourages exercising at night, you can see what works best for you. As a general rule, low impact exercise before bedtime helps some people sleep better. Alternatively, some people feel their mind gets more alert and active while exercising at night. If that is the case, workout in the morning to get your fitness needs met while not interfering with a good night’s sleep.
Stop Eating before Bedtime
Late-night binging not only presents you with some extra pounds, but it also disrupts your sleep. The general advice of eating early before bedtime is sage advice.
When you eat 3-4 hours before bedtime, you provide your gut enough time to digest food and move it to your intestines, thus saving you from common digestive issues like heartburn and indigestion, as well as reducing those annoying midnight bathroom visits.
Get a Sound Machine
You might have heard the growing trend of using a white or pink noise machine to make babies sleep better. Guess what, it works wonders for adults, too!
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sounds from white noise machines are very similar to nature-like sounds that relax your mind and promote better sleep at night.
Meditation and Breathing Exercises
Meditation is a great way to calm your body and destress your mind. There is lots of research on the subject that claims meditation can help you sleep better.
When you meditate and breathe slowly and deeply, your heart rate lowers, facilitating a better night’s sleep.
Here’s a simple breathing exercise you can do right before hitting up your bed: Close your mouth and inhale strongly through your nose for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for about 7 seconds. Now exhale slowly through your mouth to a count of 8 seconds. Repeat the exercise a few times. This exercise activates a calming mechanism in the body helping to transition out of a state of fight or flight into a more relaxed state that more easily drift off to sleep.
Cut Back on Coffee and Alcohol
We know a lot of you are coffeeholics – it’s a wonderful brain stimulant, and we are not against it. It helps you stay alert, but no one wants to be all active and energetic around bedtime.
We recommend you avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks after 12 o’clock. If you do crave coffee around bedtime, try a decaffeinated herbal tea instead. Chamomile is known for its relaxing and soothing qualities and makes for a great beverage before sleep.
Many people enjoy a nightly glass of wine or alcohol to unwind from the day and help with general relaxation. Although alcohol may help you get sleepy, it has been shown to be disruptive to sleep quality. It is better to avoid alcohol if you are struggling with sleeping well through the night.
Try Sleep Aid Supplements
There are times when you have tried every single remedy to sleep better, but nothing seems to make much difference. If that’s the case, you might want to try natural sleep aids and supplements.
Ensure you are following all the tips mentioned above and are avoiding afternoon naps. Sleep supplements will help lower your stress levels and relax your mind. Some sleep supplements include hormones like melatonin that improve your sleep. CBD has also become a popular sleep support supplement where it can be sold legally.
However, if you are new to sleep supplements, start slowly and avoid taking them regularly.
Ready to Hop into Your Bed?
Being better night’s sleep deprived means depriving your body of its much-needed break. A better night’s sleep can work wonders for helping to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health. If you are sleep deprived, the tips mentioned above can really make a difference. Try including these in your daily habits to enhance your ability to fall asleep and your overall sleep quality.
And by the way, share how these tips or any other tips work for you in the comments section below.
Also, if you find this article helpful, don’t forget to hit the share button and spread the word among your family and friends. After all, sharing is caring!
Till then, Happy Sleeping!
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.