Five ways to improve your sleep
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 | Blog
Sleep is a universal requirement. It doesn’t matter who you are, at the end of each day - or night - you need to get your head down and catch some rest. It’s the body’s way of recovering from the stresses and strains of daily life, whilst also processing events and committing them to memory.
The recommended duration that people need to sleep varies, but the general time is a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per night. When people fall short of this they can find themselves experiencing tiredness along with other symptoms. We’ve created a list to help you get the most out your sleep time, ensuring you’re fresh and energetic for the next day!
Reduce technology use before bed
The circadian rhythm is the body's biological process of deciding when it is time to sleep. Using the external light around the body, this rhythm knows when it is time to sleep and can produce melatonin in order to prepare the body for sleep. Modern technology wreaks havoc on the circadian rhythm as TVs, phones and even tablets all have blue LED lit screens. The blue light fools the body into thinking it is still day time, meaning the body does not produce the melatonin needed to fall asleep. This is why it is wise to spend your time before sleep away from screen technology.
Monitor your food and drink intake
It’s important to watch what you drink and eat during the day. The closer you are to bedtime, the more likely any food or drink you digest is going to affect your ability to sleep. You should steer clear of drinking too many caffeinated drinks during the day, and definitely don’t drink them before bed. Alcohol can initially make you quite drowsy which might make it seem like a great idea before bed but it will affect your ability to sleep consistently through the night. Food can also have an adverse effect on how you sleep because large meals can make you bloated, therefore making sleep uncomfortable.
Get plenty of exercise
Exercise is an important part of everyday life. Regular daily physical activity will not only increase your life expectancy but it also keeps you physically fit. Exercise can also improve the amount of sleep a person gets during the night due to the brain forcing a deeper sleep in response to the damage of physical activity.
Remove distractions before bed
As we previously mentioned, the blue lights that are prevalent in screen technology can play havoc on the circadian rhythm, but It also worth altering other aspects of your sleeping environment in order to properly prepare for sleep. An hour or so before you want to go to sleep, try settling down with a book or listening to some relaxing music - you could even do both. You should also try to dim the lights if possible, a darker environment will increase the production of melatonin - a chemical that tells the body to sleep.
Relax in the evening
There’s nothing worse than lying in bed and worrying about not being able to sleep at night. Rather than lying there, getting worked up, it is actually better for you to get up and do something mildly stimulating. Read a book in a lowly lit room, or even just sit and ponder the day’s events in a comfy chair. As soon as you start to feel sleepy, return to bed.
Sleep is an intrinsic element of day-to-day life, which is why it is vital that we properly prepare and ensure that we get as much of it as possible. How do you like to prepare for bed? Please tell us in the comments below.
Here’s a little tip from a member of the Kare Plus team.
“ If you can’t get to sleep, lie on your back and imagine a wave of relaxation passing from the top of your head to your toes that relaxes each part of your body as it goes. Then breath in for 3 and out for 4. Think of nothing else but your breathing. It’s quite hard to do but focusing your mind on something so simple and nothing else can have a ‘lulling’ effect. It is in effect, a form of meditation that makes a busy mind hopefully slow down to sleep mode.
“In for 3...out for 4….in for 3...out for 4…”