Do you think that you sleep well enough at night? Chances are, if you are reading this right now, you suspect that you aren’t sleeping as well as you would like. But worry not, as there are simple things you can change tonight that will greatly improve your quality of sleep. While overall amount of sleep is important, it is equally important that your time asleep be truly restorative.
Not Sleeping In The Dark
The number of people sleeping with the lights on has consistently increased, with their reasons ranging from one thing to another. However, what often coincides with this exposure to light is disruption of your body’s natural circadian rhythm. In the dark, the neurotransmitter/hormone melatonin is produced, which promotes deep restful sleep.
However, artificial exposure to light breaks down this chemical, so that you are not truly experiencing the restorative effects of deep sleep. The simple fix to this is to ensure you sleep in a room as dark as possible. You should notice a difference in the way your body feels following a week of good sleep.
Sounds Wake You Often
Let’s say that your room is perfectly dark, but you are still tossing and turning due to the tiniest annoying noise. Let’s just say true silence is deafening. What can be done about that? Obviously sound proofing is a viable option, but there is one thing that is superior to that. Introducing white noise- a controlled, consistent low “hum” that tends to drown out other minor nuisances.
Take for example a fan running in the room. It is not noisy enough to be acutely annoying, but is still soothing with its ever present whirring. There also exist specialized white noise machines, which can mimic sounds such as rain, or waves gently crashing on the shoreline. This can contribute to a truly serene sleep experience.
Eating Too Much Before Bed
Those it might sound straightforward that eating too close to bedtime is a bad plan, a staggeringly large number of people still do so religiously, night after night. This poses a problem for a couple reasons.
Firstly, eating a large meal causes food to rest on your stomach for a longer time, which can cause discomfort and inability to sleep.
Secondly, with food in your stomach, the likelihood of experiencing reflux is much higher when you lay down. Many people experience nocturnal acid reflux, which can be serious if inhaled into the lungs unconsciously.
Consuming Stimulants Too Late Into The Day
Most of us drink some sort of stimulant based beverage during the day, whether that be coffee, tea or something of the sort. These are generally accepted to be safe, but can be troublesome when taken too late in the day. While caffeine is common in many of them, it does take about 4 hours to be completed eliminated by the body. So, if you go to be at 10PM every night, stay clear of 6PM if you must have one last boost.
Your Mattress Is Sub-par
When a bout of sleeplessness ensues, the first thing people seem to turn to is some sort of sleep aid. While there are good and bad sleep aids, other avenues should be explored first. Your mattress is one such avenue. If you’ve had your mattress for more than a few years, chances are it’s less efficient than it was yesterday. Springs go out of place, sponge sinks in and bed bugs accumulate- making sleep less restorative and instead a nightly battle.