Sleep is one of the most important things that every person should be getting in their everyday life. Not only is sleep good for helping you feel rested and energized for the day ahead, but a lack of sleep can negatively impact multiple areas related to your overall health.
An improper amount of sleep is strongly linked to weight gain, loss of concentration, a risk of heart disease and strokes, depression, and a weakened immune system. So if you struggle from lack of sleep or sleep-related disorders, you may need to find avenues to get a good night’s rest. Here are five ways that you can sleep better at night.
Increase bright light exposure in the morning
One of the best ways to improve your sleep patterns is by introducing bright light exposure to yourself early in the day. Although you should also lessen the amount of blue light you’re exposed to in the evening, the best thing you could do is make use of bright lights.
Your body has a natural timekeeping system called your circadian rhythm, which is heavily affected by light. Natural light helps keep your rhythm healthy. It can improve daytime energy and sleep quality at night. In a study conducted on insomniacs, 83 percent experienced improved sleep through light therapy. This was especially successful when they exposed themselves to light around the same time in the early morning.
So, you may enjoy staying up until 3 a.m. and sleeping in until 11 the next morning, but it may be better for your overall health to focus on early bed and wake-up times.
Lessen dependence on caffeine, especially late in the day
Coffee is a real addiction for many people. Caffeine does have numerous benefits, but overconsumption of coffee can be detrimental to your sleeping habits. For instance, consuming caffeine up to six hours before bed worsens sleep.
Caffeine can stay in your blood for up to 6-8 hours, disrupting any sleep you try to have later on. So, if you have to option to grab a cup of coffee after a long day of work, opt for something else — maybe tea instead.
Next, you’ll want to make your sleep schedule more consistent. Consistency helps your circadian rhythm stay on a normal track and helps you to fall asleep at desired times each night. For instance, one study found that individuals who went to bed at irregular times or stayed up late on weekends had worse sleep patterns.
Likewise, interrupting your schedule with abnormal, long naps can disrupt your rhythm and impact your overall sleep. Small naps are fine, but long naps at random times can hurt your ability to sleep later on at night and can throw of your circadian rhythm.
Optimize your sleeping environment
Optimizing your bedroom or sleeping environment to promote healthy sleep can be very helpful. Factors like temperature, noise, light, and furniture all play a role in how well you’re able to sleep. Constant outside noise from an obnoxious downstairs neighbor or too many light sources can make your bedroom a poor environment for sleeping in.
One study found that 50 percent of women who eliminated noise from their bedroom environment slept better overall. So trying to minimize noise and light at night goes a long way toward getting you a better night’s rest. Setting your temperature also can play a big role, with 70 degrees Fahrenheit being the optimal temperature for most people.
Seek out appropriate medication, supplements
If all else fails, there’s this beautiful thing called medication, which is prescribed and heavily researched by professionals. With medication, you can seek out a medical professional, explain to them your current predicament with sleeping and inquire about appropriate medications or supplements.
Some may tell you to try out melatonin, a supplement made from the hormone that humans secrete when tired. Others may see a need for prescription medication, like Ambien or Dalmane. You can even buy Ambien online, as the use of medications to treat sleep disorders and issues has been heavily researched and normalized. It’s a rather safe process, so there’s little to worry about.