Quality sleep is an asset, but a third of American adults sadly do not get enough sleep, according to the CDC. With sleep deprivation being a constant enemy that they have to fight, such people have to come to terms with weight gain, reduced productivity and the looming threat of contracting common diseases. If you are a driver, this also increases the risk of being involved in an accident spawning from fatigue.
Unfortunately, the long working hours most people have to commit to do, so little to help towards improving sleep hygiene. Luckily, gaining back quality sleep can be as easy as committing to a few tips.
Here is how to improve your sleep hygiene:
Take Melatonin Supplements
Melatonin is a pivotal sleep hormone that induces sleep. If you lack enough of it, then your sleep patterns will be impaired. Luckily, melatonin can be found in the form of supplements which you can take right before nap time. Not only is it effective in improving normal sleep, but it can also be wise when trying to adjust to sleeping in a different time zone.
While some countries will make the supplements available over the counter, others will need a doctor to prescribe it. When taking the supplements, be sure to start with low concentrated doses and move up to the level that suits you. It might also be wise to consult a doctor as melatonin supplements tend to alter the chemistry of the brain.
Have Control Over Light Exposure
Your body has a ‘clock’ called the circadian rhythm that helps to tell it what time of the day it is. It affects the body, brain and even your sleep cycles. Typically natural light triggers it making the body think that it is daytime. On the other hand, once the night time arrives, the circadian rhythm makes the body think that it is time to sleep, triggering the production of melatonin.
As such, it only makes sense to look for a way to optimize the circadian rhythm. For instance, ensure that you get enough light exposure during the day, even if it means investing in artificial light. During the night, avoid exposing yourself to excessive blue light sources, especially a few minutes before heading to sleep. This will include staying away from backlit devices that produce blue light. Other ways to optimize the circadian rhythm include:
- Sleeping and waking at consistent hours of the day
- Avoid exercising excessively
- Be social in the day
- Have a consistent eating schedule
Avoid Caffeine Before Sleep
Coffee is undeniably one of the most loved drinks in the world. Sadly, it can have adverse effects on your sleep hygiene. When taken, it offers the body bouts of energy which makes it tougher for your body to relax.
Additionally, its diuretic nature increases the chances that you will wake up to go to the bathroom. As such, avoid taking too much coffee, three to four hours before your normal sleep time. If you still crave a hot cup of coffee at this time, it might be wise to take the decaffeinated option.
Optimize Your Sleeping Environment
Your sleep quality trickles down to the environment in which you take naps. Light, noise, and temperature are all pivotal in improving your sleep quality. As a result, make your room as conducive as possible by eliminating any distraction from external light and noise and adjust your room temperature, according to Mattress City.
For instance, you should invest in heavy curtains as well as limit light from devices such as alarm clocks. As for noise, wearing noise-cancelling ear plugs when heading to sleep is advisable if you live in noisy neighborhoods. Keeping your room clean and allergen free is also wise- this includes making your bedroom a pet-free zone to avoid the accumulation of pet dander.
Sleep will offer you the harmony you need before starting a productive and attention-demanding day. The quality of sleep all trickles down to what you expose yourself to both during the day and when asleep. Consider the tips above to enjoy blissful moments of sleep.