If you want to stay healthy you really need to look at your sleeping habits and see whether there is anything you can do to sleep better at night. Did you know that not getting enough sleep may result in a type of brain abnormality associated with Alzheimer’s disease? This is just one of the many reasons why sleep is so important.
Other negative effects of sleep deprivation include depression, weakened immune system, memory issues, high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
How is your sleep? Are you getting a good night’s sleep every day?
If you are sleep-deprived with your health suffering, now it’s time to change. Don’t let this drag any longer and do take some actions to improve your sleep in order to be healthier. Here are the things to consider and actions to take to improve your sleep naturally:
Do you consume excessive amounts of caffeinated drinks such as energy drinks, Coke, coffee and black tea? While this may help you get through the day, too much caffeine is really not good for your health.
In high doses, caffeine causes nervousness, anxiety, addiction, high blood pressure and insomnia, just to mention some of the side effects it has on your body.
To help you sleep better, reduce your caffeine intake and avoid consuming any caffeinated drinks after 2 pm.
To sleep better at night naturally, the sleep environment is really important so you should work on setting up your bedroom in a way that helps you sleep better at night.
First of all, take a look at your mattress and see whether it needs replacing. How comfortable is it? Does it offer enough support? Do you ever wake up at night achy because of the mattress? Does your mattress show any signs of wear and tear? It may need to be replaced. Keep in mind that the mattress should be replaced every 7 or 8 years, this is because over time it will lose much of its original comfort and support.
Secondly, make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible when the lights are off. When it’s dark, we release melatonin, which relaxes the body and helps us to drift off so don’t neglect this when trying to sleep better at night. If needed, invest in good quality blackout blinds or curtains.
Next, try and make your bedroom’s temperature comfortable for you. If the temperature is not right, your sleep will no doubt be affected. According to The Sleep Council, an ideal temperature in a bedroom is 16-18°C.
Finally, try to control and adjust noise levels. Ideally, your bedroom should be a quiet place with no disturbing and irritating noises.
Having a good bedtime routine is crucial to a good night’s sleep. It helps your body to slow down and relax and consequently you will fall asleep quicker which will result in more sleep for you.
First of all, think about what you do in the hour leading up to going to bed. Do you spend your time on your smartphone reading news or scrolling through social media? If this is what you do, you may want to focus on a little less screen time because the blue light emitting from your phone suppresses melatonin (‘sleep hormone’) production.
Instead of being on the phone, try introducing some relaxation time which doesn’t involve technology. You could, for example, have a bubble bath while listening to some relaxing music, or you could sip herbal tea while reading a fiction book or a magazine.
If you have a partner, you could give each other a massage or you could even meditate together. Find something that works for you and you will be one step closer to better sleep at night.
Natural remedies for better sleep
If you are finding it hard to relax in the evening for whatever the reason, it’s a good idea you try some of the natural remedies that will help you ease the tension, reduce stress and help your body and mind to relax.
Have a cup of chamomile tea before bed and spray some lavender mist on your pillow to help you relax in the bed.
You can also try herbal supplements such as valerian root, hops and passionflower. Also, consider diffusing some sleep-promoting essential oils in your bedroom such as lavender, geranium, cedarwood, ylang ylang and jasmine.
Things to avoid before going to bed
Finally, we also wanted to mention things you should avoid doing before going to bed.
If you want to sleep better at night we recommend you don’t do the following just before bedtime:
- read news
- watch violent TV
- have an exciting conversation with a partner or a family member
- eat a heavy meal
- engage in demanding mental activities
All these activities can affect your sleep negatively so do try to avoid them.
There is a lot you can do to improve your sleep naturally and relax your body before bedtime but the first thing you should do is realise that sleep plays an enormous role in your health. Getting enough sleep doesn’t only protect your physical health but also your mental health and quality of life.
Long-term sleep deprivation can increase your risk of some chronic health conditions and it can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others. So is it time to reclaim your sleep?