Getting a bad night’s sleep can completely throw you off your game the next day, and I don’t just mean getting too few hours of shut-eye. It’s not just about how much you sleep – more importantly, what is the quality of the sleep you get each night? Ensure you get the most restful sleep possible by trying out a few of these tips.
You may not know you snore, but studies show that those who snore get significantly worse sleep at night. Do you wake up after a long sleep feeling not-so-well-rested? If so, snoring may be the culprit. If you don’t share a bed with a partner or have a roommate to listen in, try out an app like SnoreLab to find out if this is a problem you’re experiencing at night. Speak with your doctor if you suspect snoring is the issue. They may want to sign you up for a sleep study to detect underlying conditions, such as sleep apnea, which can be life threatening if not treated. Once your snoring is treated, you’ll find yourself feeling rejuvenated each morning once again.
Assess your sleeping set-up.
Mattresses, box springs, and bed frames can be major investments, especially the higher end ones, but it is undoubtedly the most important investment to make in your home or apartment.
If you’re renting, don’t wait until you finally purchase that piece of Halton real estate before you make a new mattress or box spring purchase. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity for a restful night’s sleep, to find a mattress set-up that works for you and your body. Firm, soft, memory foam, whatever you end up choosing.
Develop a routine.
Helpful to many is the development of a nightly routine that trains the body to prepare for sleep. This could be anything from washing your face, putting on the same playlist each night, or even using meditative apps to fall asleep. Following a bedtime routine signals to the body that it’s time to start winding down for the day. An anxious mind at bedtime can result in a less restful sleep, especially if you tend to have stressful dreams about work or personal issues that keep you from feeling at peace while you sleep.
The most important thing is that your routine doesn’t include looking at your electronic devices. The blue light that’s emitted from cell phones and TVs can suppress your body’s natural ability to produce melatonin, which is what makes us feel drowsy and ready for bed.
Check what you’re eating before bed.
Most people know not to eat right before going to bed, but did you know one of the reasons is because it can make you more uncomfortable in your sleep? If you’re overly full, you may experience a less restful sleep. Going to bed hungry is also a no-no.
Avoid nicotine and alcohol.
In addition to food, nicotine and alcohol before bed can have a negative impact on your quality of sleep. You may be reaching for one last cigarette before bed to relax, but that couldn’t be further than the actual results. Nicotine actually stimulates your body, so while you may feel calmer initially, it can actually keep you up at night. Try to avoid smoking for a few hours before bed. Similarly, many people find alcohol helps them get to sleep, which can be true, but your quality of sleep will suffer. Alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to enter and stay in REM sleep.