Lack of adequate sleep is a problem that is afflicting more people than ever in the United States. Demands of work and the daily stresses of life can quickly take their toll and we can simply forget how to sleep. Stress and anxiety levels will then likely continue to get worse because quality of sleep is directly related to mental health.
Health and mental issues aside, it just makes you feel so much better when you get a full night of deep and restorative sleep. There are some precautions you can take and there are things you can avoid doing right before bed that can drastically improve your quality and duration of sleep. This is commonly referred to as sleep hygiene, a guiding set of practices and habits that are conducive to a good night’s sleep.
Create a Sleep Inducing Environment
Set the stage for a good night’s sleep by adjusting your immediate environment to support it. Remember that the cleanliness and order of your environment can have a calming effect on your mood. Put every electronic gadget you have been using, such as your smartphone, away at least an hour before bedtime.
The lights emitted by computer screens, smartphones and LED television sets can keep you up at night, even if they aren’t directly in front of you. LED lights and devices emit a spectrum of light known as “blue light”. This light spectrum can disrupt your circadian rhythm and keep you up at night.
The mattress you sleep can either help you sleep or keep you from it. Pressure points on cheaper mattresses are not located with enough consideration on cheap mattresses. High quality mattresses and bedding create simple design features that can have a powerful effect on how comfortable and relaxed you feel while in bed.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Many men and women mistakenly associate alcohol with deep levels of continued sleep after a hard day’s work or hard night’s partying. Although alcohol can be a powerful and effective sedative, it actually interrupts your natural sleep patterns and degrades the quality of sleep you do get. Alcohol should be taken in moderation, especially when it’s getting close to bedtime.
Although a few cups of coffee might be great in the morning hours, you should avoid it like the plague during the afternoon hours. Caffeine can linger in the body and affect sleep for up to six hours in many people.
Even though you might not feel the effects of caffeine, it’s still stimulating your nervous system more than normal and can keep you from drifting into sleep. This is especially true for older adults because it takes longer for their bodies to process caffeine.
Exercise for Deeper Sleep
Exercise the stress and anxiety away and prepare your body for a deep cycle of sleep hours beforehand. As little as ten minutes a day of aerobic exercise can be enough for some people to notice the difference.
The time of day matters, but it depends on the individual. Some people notice they sleep better if they exercise in the evening, but others prefer the morning or even afternoon hours. You’ll have to experiment to find out, but you’ll be glad you took the time to.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa– I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.