Sleep Is One of the Most Discussed Topics
Every morning, people wake up with complaints related to their sleep. Phrases like “I couldn’t shut down my brain and get to sleep,” “I woke up at three and couldn’t get back to sleep,” or “I just tossed and turned all night” are common. According to studies, sleep is elusive, and lack of sleep makes people irritable, angry, and prone to rants and rages.
However, there are things you can do during the day to promote better sleep. Here are 15 effective strategies based on research that can help you improve your sleep and solve any sleep-related issues that you may be facing.
1. Control Your Caloric Intake
According to researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the higher your caloric intake, the more likely you are to experience sleep problems. However, the study also pointed out that the intake of healthier fats tended to have a positive impact on sleep.
2. Avoid Unhealthy Fats
A University of Minnesota study found that unhealthy animal fats reduce the levels of orexin, a brain chemical that regulates sleep habits. This leads to restless and difficult sleep at night while promoting unwanted sleep needs during daytime hours.
3. Consume Healthy Fats Instead
Studies at the Harvard School of Medicine revealed that healthy fats, such as omega-3’s, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated oils, improve sleep quality. This is because the change from unhealthy to healthy fats reduces belly fat, which tends to obstruct airways during sleep, resulting in sleep interruptions.
4. Eat More Thiamine and Magnesium
According to a study published by the University of Maryland Medical Center, magnesium and thiamine deficiencies correlated with sleep disorders. A thiamine deficiency causes magnesium deficiency, leading to sleep disorders. Thus, if your diet lacks magnesium and thiamine, taking the supplements may help improve your sleep.
5. Solve Your Snoring Problems
Snoring affects not only your partner but also yourself. According to many snorers, they often wake themselves up with their own snoring. Solutions may range from using breathing strips to buying a sleeping device.
6. Do Not Toss and Turn
Tossing and turning is usually a phenomenon caused by a lack of comfort in your surroundings. Solutions may include changing your pillow or mattress, or changing the room temperature. If you continue to toss and turn, get up and try some relaxation techniques, listen to quiet music, or read a book.
7. Get at Least 30 Minutes of Sunlight During the Day
Getting sunlight during the day increases your serotonin levels, which produces more melatonin, a sleep enhancement. This is because serotonin levels play a vital role in reducing anxiety. If it’s impossible to get direct sunlight, taking a melatonin supplement a few hours before bed may help.
Exercise is an effective way to promote restful sleep. Studies from the University of Oregon Medical School indicate that exercise in both long and short intervals can lead to better sleep. Thus, taking a 30-minute brisk walk a few times a week or doing housecleaning chores count as well, as long as they are done “briskly.”
9. Get Rid of the Blue Screen
The blue light from device screens has a shorter wavelength and can reduce melatonin levels, making it hard to relax and fall asleep. Software such as f.lux or amber-lensed glasses can help reduce blue light emissions.
10. Embrace Candlelit Dinners
Artificial lights can be disruptive to sleep, so switch off the lights and light some candles. Watching the tiny flames puts you in a relaxed state, promoting faster unwinding and, thus, better sleep.
11. Adopt a Ritual of Bedtime Preparation
A consistent bedtime ritual signals your body that it’s time for rest, and your body and brain will respond better to the transition from activity to rest. A bedtime ritual may involve reading, taking a short walk, brushing your teeth, and so on.
12. Sniff Some Lavender
Research conducted at the University of Southampton in England and at Wesleyan University in Connecticut showed that adults who had the scent of lavender oil present as they slept experienced better, more restful sleep. Place several drops on a tissue and place it next to your pillow when you retire.
13. Write Down All Your Woes and Thoughts
If you have a “Type A” personality, your days are filled with frenetic activity, which can translate into further frenetic brain activity at night, leading to sleep issues. Keeping a notepad next to the bed can help you to write down your issues, possible solutions, or things you could do tomorrow to resolve them.
14. Enjoy the White Noise
Many people find that sound machines with natural sounds can induce calmness and promote better sleep.
15. Try Cold Therapy
Taking a cool bath before bedtime can improve sleep and assist with weight loss in the long term.
These 15 effective strategies are guaranteed to help you achieve better sleep and improve your overall well-being. Incorporating them into your daily routine can significantly reduce the likelihood that you will toss and turn all night or wake up feeling groggy and unfocused. The key is to try and integrate as many as you can, depending on your unique circumstances, lifestyle, and preferences.