7 Ways to Sleep Better
Sleep quality has a major impact on many aspects of your life.
Sleeping poorly negatively affects brain function, decreasing concentration, energy, and motor and cognitive performance throughout the day.
It also has negative effects on emotional balance and interpersonal relationships.
In addition, sleepless nights increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity.
More than sleeping a lot, it is important to sleep well.
The good news is that there are small changes you can make to your daily life that can bring you substantial improvements in the quality of your sleep.
Here are some suggestions.
1. Maintain a stable sleep schedule
In addition to sleeping the recommended time (7 to 8 hours for adults, at least 10 hours for children and adolescents), maintain a stable sleep schedule.
Lie down and always wake up at the same time, including the weekend.
This way your body will get used to this routine and will be easier to relax and fall asleep at bedtime.
It is also important to avoid too long naps and / or too late during the day.
If you feel the need to take a nap, limit it to a maximum of 20 minutes and never after mid-afternoon.
Late naps can make it difficult to fall asleep.
2. Create a relaxing ritual before bedtime
The body needs time to calm down and relax before falling asleep, so it is a good idea to create a relaxing ritual before going to bed.
Do what works best for you, such as reading on paper, listening to music, or doing short stretches.
Avoid screens in the hours before bedtime, and if you can't avoid using screens as small as possible and lower the brightness.
Also, avoid over-stimulation during the day: have the right times to check social media and email
Continuous notifications habituate the brain to a state of constant stimulation, which makes relaxation difficult.
3. Make the room a sleep-friendly environment
Your room should have a sleepy environment.
Keep the temperature cool between 18 and 21 degrees centigrade, cover any spotlights or noise.
If it is not possible to keep the room completely dark, consider using a blindfold.
If you live in an urban center, if you have a snoring partner or, for some reason, cannot guarantee silence in your room, wear ear plugs.
You can use white noise, such as a fan, to prevent noise from bothering you.
Prevent any objects that may create distraction from entering the room when trying to fall asleep or if you wake up in the middle of the night.
4. Sleep in a good bed
Make sure the bed you sleep in is comfortable.
Your mattress must provide good lumbar and cervical support and allow it to move freely.
The mattress is a determining factor in sleep quality.
It is important to know that even a good mattress has a shelf life of approximately 7 to 10 years.
When used daily, you should ensure that yours is within the shelf life.
If your mattress is not of quality, it is an investment that can bring major improvements to the quality of your sleep.
The pillow should have the right height to maintain good posture whether you sleep on your back, side or belly.
While sleeping, it is normal for you to move often without even realizing it.
These movements should be facilitated not only by the mattress and pillow, but also by the sheets, blankets and pajamas you wear.
Make sure they are comfortable for you and wide enough to allow movement.
5. Exercise regularly
Exercise every day will have a very significant impact on the quality of your sleep.
This need not be too exhausting, a daily 20 minute walk can do wonders for your sleep.
However, avoid leaving physical activity for 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. If you can do it in the morning, all the better.
If you exercise regularly and still have trouble falling asleep, try to anticipate it earlier in the day.
6. Be careful with eating habits
Healthy and balanced eating habits are key to improving the quality of your sleep.
It is also important to avoid heavy meals in the 2 to 3 hours prior to going to bed.
If you are hungry, eat something light, such as a banana or an apple, within 1 hour of going to sleep.
You should also avoid drinking too much water too close to bedtime.
As this increases the likelihood that you will need to make trips to the toilet in the middle of the night.
7. Reduce or avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
Avoid stimulants such as sugar and caffeine too close to bedtime.
Nicotine, present in tobacco, is also a stimulant that should be avoided or minimized throughout the day.
Alcohol may make it easier to fall asleep, but it has a detrimental effect on overall sleep quality.
Alcohol increases the likelihood of waking up in the middle of the night, so you should avoid it in the last hours before bedtime.
Follow these 7 recommendations and quickly feel an improvement in your sleep.
Sleep well, live happily.