A good nights sleep is just as important as good physical health and diet. Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. It can also cause weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children. But sometimes, it’s easier said than done. This post includes a range of different tips to help!
Increase bright light exposure during the day
Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as night-time sleep quality and duration. Try getting daily sunlight exposure or — if this is not practical — invest in an artificial bright light device or bulbs.
Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but night-time light exposure has the opposite effect. Blue light — which electronic devices like smartphones and computers emit in large amounts — is the worst in this regard.
There are several popular methods you can use to reduce night-time blue light exposure. These include:
- Wear glasses that block blue light
- Download an app such as f.lux to block blue light on your laptop or computer.
- Install an app that blocks blue light on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhones and Android models.
- Stop watching TV and turn off any bright lights 2 hours before heading to bed.
Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
A single dose of caffeine can enhance focus, energy, and sports performance. However, when consumed late in the day, caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. Caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6–8 hours. Therefore, drinking large amounts of coffee after 3–4 p.m. is not recommended, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping.
Try to sleep and wake at consistent times
Being consistent with your sleep and waking times can aid long-term sleep quality. If you struggle with sleep, try to get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at similar times. After several weeks, you may not even need an alarm.
Optimise your bedroom environment
Many people believe that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in getting a good night’s sleep.These factors include temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement. I am now going to mention my grandmother’s favourite quote – “Clean room, clean mind!” To optimize your bedroom environment, try to minimize external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place.
Relax and clear your mind in the evening
Many people have a pre-sleep routine that helps them relax. Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another common technique used to treat insomnia. I shared my evening routine a few months ago, it may help! Try out different methods and find what works best for you.
Take a relaxing bath or shower
A relaxing bath or shower is another popular way to sleep better. I am definitely a more evening shower/bath person, I feel much more relaxed getting into bed! Alternatively, if you don’t want to take a full bath at night, simply bathing your feet in hot water can help you relax and improve sleep.
Get a comfortable bed, mattress, and pillow
Some people wonder why they always sleep better in a hotel. Apart from the relaxing environment, bed quality can also affect sleep. The best mattress and bedding are extremely subjective. If you’re upgrading your bedding, base your choice on personal preference, and it’s recommended that you upgrade your bedding at least every 5–8 years.
And that’s it! Thank you for reading, and I hope you found these tips helpful! Do you have any other tips to share? Or perhaps you have your own evening routine? Let us know in the comments below!