4 Habits To Help You Sleep Better
4 Habits To Help You Sleep Better
When we talk about a healthy lifestyle, sometimes sleep is a factor that either gets forgotten, or comes in a long way down the list. Sleep is usually something we give up to make room for other priorities. Sometimes we struggle to actually get to sleep because all those other priorities are keeping our brain active.
In Australia, July 3rd to the 9th is Sleep Awareness Week. So what better time to teach you a few hacks to help you rest a little easier? Here are four habits you should try to follow to sleep better.
1. Eat dinner early.
Eating a heavy meal before bed can leave you feeling uncomfortable and restless. Your digestive system works better when you’re upright. Laying down when it is trying to digest food may lead to indigestion, which may make it harder to sleep. When you sleep, your parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for rest and digestion) kicks in. If this system is occupied with digesting a meal, the quality of your sleep may suffer.
Try to have your meal at least two hours before you intend to sleep, as that allows plenty of time for digestion. If snacking after meals tends to be a problem, reach for snacks like whole grain crackers or even some light cereal.
2. Establish a bedtime routine.
Remember when you were a child and you had a bedtime ritual, like putting on your pyjamas, brushing your teeth and a story before bed? These rituals aren’t just good for children! A few minutes of calm before bed can help prepare your body for sleep. Reading a book, stretching, following guided meditation or even writing down all of the things on your mind can help to soothe any anxiety you might be feeling and help you drift off to sleep.
Spending a few minutes on your bedtime routine is definitely worth it in the long term. Check out how sleep affects metabolism and your immune system if you want to know why it’s so important to get some shut-eye.
3. Dim the lights.
You may be familiar with the term circadian rhythm, which is basically your body clock. Your body clock can be adjusted by key signals, such as light. Just as natural sunlight can signal to your body that it’s time to wake up, artificial light can also interfere with your circadian rhythm. Light coming in through your eyes, whether from overhead lights or an electronic device, can fool your brain into thinking it should still be awake. Try closing blinds, dimming lights and putting down your devices for the last hour before bed. You will probably notice the difference.
4. Review your bedding.
Poor sleep may also be a result of your bedding. A pillow that is uncomfortable or a mattress that isn’t supporting your body can leave you tossing and turning. Mattresses are designed to last up to 10 years, but if you are waking up with aches or feeling like you ran a marathon while you should have been sleeping, it might be time to consider an upgrade. Make sure you also regularly change your sheets and pillow cases. Unfortunately pillows can have allergens trapped in the fibres, which may irritate you during the night, so make sure you swap them regularly as well.
There are a lot of elements involved when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep! Give your body the best possible chance of a good rest by trying out some of these habits.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.