People try all sorts of things to get better sleep. Unfortunately, some of these attempts are counterproductive, resulting in further problems sleeping. In fact, good sleep has much more to do with the ability to simply fall asleep. Our brains need to go through cycles of sleep in order to have appropriate psychological and physical rest. If you do not wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to go, you may be able to get better sleep by making these 10 healthy changes.
Top 10 Ways to Get Better Sleep
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. The body has an internal clock which makes you sleepy, so do not ignore this. If you go to bed and wake up within the same 15 minute window, your body gets used to it.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. It does not matter what type of exercise it is, as long as you are moving and breathing hard. Daily exercise improves restful sleep.
- Try to spend at least 30 minutes during daylight hours in natural light. Sunlight exposure early in the day can help synchronise your body’s internal clock.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep. Using the bedroom as a home office, media room, or hobby area results in your brain connecting the bedroom with tasks other than sleeping. The bedroom is for sleeping and all sleeping should happen in the bed.
- Avoid stimulating media one hour before bedtime. Playing a competitive game, watching a dramatic TV program, or having an important conversation stimulates your brain. Also avoid planning the next day’s activity.
- Make the bedroom a place of rest and peace, keeping the room cool, quiet, and very dark. Have a light that is easy to reach if you need it. Turn off distracting things such as radios, TVs, and chiming cell phones.
- Be comfortable and relaxed. If you have uncomfortable pillows, mattress, or bedding, get it fixed. You spend 7-9 hours a day in bed, so make sure it is comfortable.
- Address aches and pains. If pain and discomfort keep you up at night, get it diagnosed and addressed by your doctor of chiropractic.
- Don’t smoke. Quitting smoking eliminates the stimulant effects of nicotine that contribute to sleep loss.
- Don’t use alcohol as a sleep aid. Alcohol may aid in getting to sleep, but it results in more trips to the restroom, stimulates wakefulness only hours later, causes fragmented sleep, and exacerbates snoring and sleep apnea.
Who needs to get better sleep?
Better sleep is crucial for children and adults at any stage of life. Achieving better sleep through natural sleep hygiene prevents the development of sleep disorders, improves your physical and psychological state, and gives you the energy needed to perform well all day long.
For more details about sleep hygiene, visit HelpGuide.org.