Not getting enough good quality sleep can have serious consequences for your health. You may find you are unable to focus easily and your stress levels are likely to increase. Over time this can affect your heart, cognitive function, blood pressure and even your weight.
The chance of you developing these problems can be reduced if you change your sleeping habits for the better. Take a look at the following easy sleep hacks to help improve its quality.
Did you know the electromagnetic field of electronic devices like computers and mobile phones negatively affect your sleep? This is why experts recommend we unplug before bed. This means switching off your devices when you go to sleep.
Avoid blue light emissions
Another technology-related tip – artificial blue light emitted from smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs suppress the production of sleep hormone melatonin. This makes the body think it is active and awake, rather than getting ready for sleep. Try to refrain from using electronics an hour before bed and if you wake in the middle of the night, resist the temptation to check your phone and scroll through social media – this will only keep you awake longer!
Many people use meditation as a way to lower stress, but it’s important to get the timing right. Some styles of meditation actually increase your energy levels, which may affect your ability to fall asleep. Instead try to meditate late afternoon or early evening, ideally no later than three hours before bed.
Avoid late-night binging
Eating requires our body to produce energy to digest the food and this can lead to wakefulness. Avoid this by cutting out any late-night snacking. Eat a light evening meal and avoid caffeinated foods and drinks.
Avoid late-night drinking
Drinking alcohol makes the body dehydrated and this can lead to sleep deprivation. Alcohol also affects our quality of sleep, so although you may find it easier to drop off after that glass of wine, your sleep will be poor quality. Stick to the recommended amounts of alcohol and enjoy it earlier in the evening.
Keep to a sleep schedule
Going to bed and waking at the same time every day helps your body’s sleep cycle to regulate. This triggers a much deeper and better quality sleep. Try to create a relaxation routine to prepare you for sleep and don’t deviate from your schedule.
It’s important to note that your quality of sleep can take time to improve – so don’t expect dramatic changes instantly. If you use the hacks above regularly though, over time you should feel a significant difference.