Posted on Jul 08, 2021, 3 p.m.
Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health and wellness. Sleep deprivation causes hormonal disruption, mood imbalances, weight management issues, and even chronic diseases.
Getting better sleep is often as simple as incorporating healthy sleep habits and building a nighttime routine. Here are five proven ways to get better sleep:
Invest in a Quality Mattress
The first step in getting healthier sleep is ensuring you have a high-quality mattress. The two important considerations are your body type and sleep style when choosing the best online mattresses, according to sleep experts.
Side sleepers require a slightly softer mattress to offer ample joint support and maintain spinal alignment, while stomach and back sleepers benefit from something firmer. Those with heavier bodies require a firm, supportive mattress, while lighter-bodied individuals need something slightly softer.
If you co-sleep with someone who has a different body type or sleep style, go with a high-quality mattress with medium firmness and minimal motion transference.
Turn Down the Temperature
Recent studies have shown that a cooler room temperature promotes better-quality sleep. Your body naturally experiences a core temperature dip during periods of rest. Turning down the temperature not only creates an ideal sleep environment but signals the body that it's time for rest.
If you have a smart thermostat, consider programming it to cool down during the evening. This practice will help you sleep better and save you money on heating costs.
Unplug and Unwind
If you're struggling with falling asleep and staying asleep, evaluate your screen time in the hours before bed. The blue wavelengths from smartphones and computers are known to disrupt your natural circadian rhythm. The experts advise unplugging from screen time at least one hour before bed, though more is ideal.
It's also important to practice stress management before bed to help clear the mind. If you struggle with intrusive thoughts and anxiety during the late hours, try journaling, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation before bed.
Practice Mindful Eating
It's a myth that eating right before bed will directly cause weight gain. However, activating your digestive system before trying to sleep can be disruptive. This effect is especially true for those who experience heartburn or reflux, as lying horizontally after eating can exacerbate irritation in the GI tract.
When possible, stop eating at least two hours before bed. Avoid heavy meals or snacks that cause indigestion. Additionally, while water and hydration are ideal for your overall health and wellness, try to stop drinking a few hours before bedtime.
Finally, moving your body and engaging in physical activity can also help improve your sleep quality over time. However, it's essential to work with the nuances and idiosyncrasies of your unique body.
Some people find that working out in the evenings makes falling asleep more difficult. Others find that exercise right before bed is just what they need to fall asleep. Keep in mind that physical activity doesn't necessarily require a high-impact, sweaty cardio workout. Going for a walk or doing some intentional stretching are great for getting the blood flowing.
With these five tips, you can help to improve the quality of your sleep, thus improving your quality of life.
This article was written by Ashley Lipman, blogger and health advocate.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Content may be edited for style and length.
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