Get Regular – How to Sleep Better
When life gets busy and stressful, the first sacrifice people choose for more time is their sleep. Unfortunately like the rest of your decisions after losing sleep, choosing to be awake longer actually negatively affects your decision making.
Sleep is a vital part of life because it keeps you healthy. When you’re not awake, your brain works to prepare for the next time you are. It forms new brain pathways for the things you learn and did that day, which allows you to remember the information. Sleep alters other brain activity like decision making mentioned earlier and your feelings – without it, it’s harder to make good decisions and it’s more likely that you’d be more agitated. Lastly, your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy and stronger and fight infections.
New Habits to Improve Your Sleep
Getting better sleep starts changing the way you go to sleep. Good sleeping habits keeps your circadian rhythm healthy. This helps the body to stay awake and tells it when it’s time to sleep. A healthy circadian rhythm gives you more energy during the day and signals when it’s time for sleep for optimal energy the next day.
- Be Consistent
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. On weekends, it’s recommended to only adjust by one hour.
- More Daylight, Less Blue Light
When you are awake, it’s important to get as much natural sunlight as you can for a healthy circadian rhythm. If you can’t, look for an artificial bright light device or bulbs to compensate.
During the evening, try to avoid as much blue light as you can at least two hours before bed. Electronic devices with screens like tablets, laptops, and phones emit blue light, which makes your brain think that it has to be awake.
- Midnight Snacks
There’s nothing wrong with a midnight snack, but try not to have a full three-course meal before bed. Your body will be busy trying to digest that rather than maintaining other functions.
A comfy environment is helpful for adequate rest. A quiet, dark room with a comfortable pillow, mattress, and blanket works gives your body the ultimate place for a good sleep – so buy that extra, fluffy pillow!
Start a wind-down routine about an hour before bed. This could be listening to soothing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, or asking someone nicely to give you a massage.
As tempting as it can be, if you can fit it into your schedule, don’t take naps. Short naps are beneficial, however, and if you do nap, it’s best to keep it under 20 minutes. Long irregular naps can confuse your circadian rhythm and knock it off balance.
The key to being well-rested is to get a proper night’s sleep so that your brain and body can be in tip top shape for whatever you have to do when you wake up. Without it, your brain might resort to microsleeping, which can result in fatal accidents.