There are a lot of different factors that can interfere with quality sleep. This can include family responsibilities, work, everyday stress, and unexpected new challenges.
Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important things you can do to maximize your health. While there are different factors that we cannot control, below, we've listed healthy habits and sleeping tips that can encourage better sleep.
We'll discuss the following tips to help you sleep:
- Exercise in the Morning
- How Nutrition Plays a Role in Sleep
- The Effects of Caffeine and Alcohol
- Temperature and Sleep
- Stay Cooler with Cooling Bed Systems
- Why Turn Off the Technology
- Your Sleep Environment
- Is Sleep Duration Important
- Make a Sleep Schedule
Sleep Tricks to Sleeping Better
In just the same way, there are some sleep tricks that we can all benefit from sleeping like a pro.
Exercise in the Morning
Exercise is one of the best ways for your body to naturally find its way into a deep sleep. An exercise and sleep study was done by Appalachian State University tracked three groups exercising at 7 am, 1 pm, or 7 pm 3 days per week and it showed that the participants who got the deepest, longest sleep (aka, the best sleep) were those who exercised in the morning.
Morning exercise supplies you with the energy that you need to soar through the day and ensure that you’re in good shape for another round of regenerative rest come evening.
In the case of sleep health, it’s more beneficial to exercise in the morning as opposed to night due to the rise in your core temperature, which stays elevated for roughly four to five hours after a workout.\
Does Exercise Help You Sleep?
Studies suggest that developing an exercise routine can help you sleep better, and getting a sufficient amount of sleep may encourage healthier physical activity levels throughout the day.
Individuals who perform at least 30 minutes of mode ate aerobic exercise can see a distinction in sleep quality that same night.
Tip: What are the effects of exercise before bedtime? Studies suggest that moderate exercise close to bedtime won’t harm your sleep. But it’s recommended to complete your exercise at least one hour before your bedtime.
Nutrition and Sleep
A bad diet is a double whammy when it comes to sleep. Not only does it make you feel tired and sluggish, but it also inhibits your ability to get good sleep.
Talk about an unhealthy sleep cycle – that’s why it’s so important to eat a healthy well-balanced diet and time your meals. This means starting your day with a nutritious breakfast and being judicious about those late-night snacks. Experts advise that we eat dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime to ensure good sleep.
Consuming high-carbohydrate meals can impair your sleep. Studies have found that meals high in carbohydrates can increase the number of times you wake up at night, reducing deep sleep quality.
Avoid eating late or large meals late at night and smoking altogether. If cutting it cold turkey is difficult, consider drinking caffeine-free tea like Chamomile or Lavender, which naturally promote relaxation and sleep.
Nutrients That Increase Sleep
There are two types of nutrients that can increase your ability to get good sleep are tryptophan (turkey-the thanksgiving napping tale is true- eggs, cheese, pineapples, salmon, nuts and seeds, turkey, seaweed, turnip, sunflower seeds) and vitamin C (oranges, red peppers, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit, guava, kiwi, green peppers).
So, continue to eat your fruits and vegetables!
Caffeine and Alcohol
I hate to be a buzzkill, but both caffeine and alcohol are detrimental to sleep performance.
Effects of Caffeine on Sleep
Let’s start with coffee and caffeine, stimulants that we love for its effect on getting us going. That is until we don’t want us to keep it going. We can't turn its stimulating effects off, so we’ve got to rely on our ability to limit the intake after a certain period of time. Most sources recommend the amount of caffeine intake sometime between 2-4 pm and not exceeding 400mg of caffeine daily.
Effects of Alcohol on Sleep
Then there’s alcohol, a depressant. Many people experience alcohol's relaxing qualities without understanding the disruption it causes to our sleep. How does alcohol affect sleep? Well, while alcohol may help us fall asleep more quickly, it reduces REM sleep, which is a more mentally restorative time for sleep.
Read More: Does Drinking Alcohol Help You Sleep.
Interestingly enough, getting some time outside while the sun's up can help you sleep when the sun goes down. Scientists say that getting as little as 10 minutes a day of continuous sun exposure can lower your evening cortisol levels and allow you to wind down and get quality sleep. A very good idea (if possible) is to combine sleep trick #1 of morning exercise with this tip to double down on efficiency.
Temperature and Sleep
The key is to keep your sleep environment cool. The best temperature for sleep is said to be somewhere between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit, so set that thermostat somewhere in that range until you find the temperature that works best for you (everyone is has a slightly different optimal sleep temperature).
Sleep with light, breathable clothing like cotton or bamboo, and stay away from synthetic materials that trap heat and keep your body hot.
Bed Cooler Systems
If you don’t share the same sleeping habits as your partner, another option that can help improve sleep can be done by one of the following cooling bed systems.
Cube Sleep System
A cooling mattress pad that allows you to set your ideal temperature with the device or remote control.
OOLER Sleep System
Our state-of-the-art hydro-powered cooling sleep system allows you to schedule different temperatures, ranging from 55-115°F / 13-46°C. Pre-set your sleep schedule throughout the night with our mobile app.
This 15lb cooling blanket can circulate channels of water to neutralize the ambient temperature. Hydro-powered thermal range that operates from 55-115°F / 13-46°C.
Turn Off The Technology
Most people have a nighttime routine that involves watching tv to unwind or catching up on social media before going to bed. The blue light emitted from these devices block the release of melatonin after only 1.5 hours of use in the evening, making it harder to fall asleep.
Most of the devices we use to emit blue light, are also defined as “a type of high-energy visible light, defined as having a wavelength between 380 and 500 nm.” The most common sources of blue light are commonly found in:
How does blue light affect sleep? Well, overexposure to this light throws off our circadian rhythms by tricking your mind into thinking that it’s still daytime, causing you to be more alert, thus making it harder to fall asleep and get good rest at night. So to get better sleep, turn off the tech at least an hour before bedtime.
Tip: Power down for the night at least two hours before you plan on going to sleep and replace the time you would have spent on your phone or watching TV unwinding by meditating, relaxing, or reading a (paper) book, or, just going to bed!
Keeping your sleep environment as dark as possible is critical to let your body know that it’s time to produce melatonin and get quality sleep. Try to keep any electronics or lights off while sleeping, in addition to shutting out any external light if possible. An excellent way to do this is by using blackout curtains or a sleep mask.
Light exposure during nighttime can cause havoc on our naturally increased melatonin levels, which slow down the body's natural progression to sleep.
While all of these tips are to help you sleep and enhance the quality of your sleep, the quantity of sleep is just as important. How many hours of sleep do you need? It is almost universally agreed that we need to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. The best way to do this is to stick to a sleep schedule and stick to it. This includes same time to bedtime and wake up time.
Make a Sleep Schedule – and Stick to It
Between the the everyday stresses, it’s more important than ever to have a normal sleep schedule. This is where your immune system builds and maintains itself, so while it may be tough right now, try your best to sleep well.
If you’re really tired during the day, take a twenty-minute nap during the early part of the day (between 1 and 3).
Read More: Are Naps Good for You or Harmful
These sleeping tips won’t make you faster, but they might make you feel like you could. So use these sleeping tricks to help you sleep your best.