Are You Experiencing a Sleeping Disorder? 15 Simple Ways to Boost Your Sleep Quality
Good health and a positive outlook on life are built on a solid foundation of sound sleep. But when was the last time you woke up feeling energized, excited and eager to take on the day? Or did you fall asleep without any effort at all?
As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in the United States, about one-third of adults suffer from a sleeping disorder. Stress can exacerbate the problem, making it even more challenging to deal with.
The National Institutes of Health recommends adults must get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night to maintain good mental and physical health, improve quality of life and avoid the greater risk of harm. The following are their suggestions for a restful night's sleep:
15 Simple Ways to Boost Your Sleep Quality
1. Limit your evening caffeine intake
90% of the US population consumes caffeine. One dose can improve concentration, energy, as well as sports performance. Caffeine, especially taken late in the day, can interfere with your body's ability to wind down naturally at night, as it stimulates the nervous system.
Moreover, caffeine consumed within 6 hours of bedtime harms sleep quality in one study. It can take up to 8 hours for the caffeine effects to wear off in your body.
Hence, if you're sensitive to caffeine or have a sleeping disorder, it's best to avoid consuming a considerable amount of coffee after 3–4 p.m. Instead, it's best to drink decaffeinated coffee in the late afternoon or at night if you're feeling the need for a pick-me-up.
2. Reduce the frequency and duration of afternoon naps
The benefits of quick power naps outweigh the risks of daytime naps that are too long or irregular. In addition, taking a nap in the afternoon can disrupt your ability to sleep at night.
Participants in one study reported feeling sleepier throughout the day due to the daytime naps. However, in a separate study, researchers found that while a 30-minute nap can improve daytime brain function, taking longer naps can hamper health and sleep.
On the other hand, some studies show that those who regularly nap during the day have better quality sleep. So you shouldn't be concerned if you nap periodically during the day and subsequently get adequate sleep at night. Napping's effects vary from person to person.
3. Don't ingest any alcoholic beverages
Even a small amount of alcohol late at night might cause a sleeping disorder to your hormones. As a result, snoring, sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues can be aggravated or worsened by alcohol consumption.
Melatonin, an essential hormone in the body's circadian cycle, is likewise affected by light exposure at night. In addition, human growth hormone (HGH), which regulates your circadian rhythm and performs various other vital activities, was found to be reduced by nocturnal alcohol use in another study.
4. Maintain a regular routine
Repetition is key to getting a good night's sleep. Going to sleep and waking up around the same time is a good rule of the thumb. As a result, your body's biological clock will be strengthened, making it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up.
You should begin preparing for sleep at least an hour before you intend to sleep. Go to bed by donning your pajamas, turning down the lights, reading a book or two and doing deep breathing exercises.
5. Make sure you don't eat too late at night
A sleeping disorder and hormonal imbalances might result from eating a large meal before bedtime. Having particular snacks and meals a few hours before going to bed could be beneficial in this regard.
Having a late-night meal can interfere with a good night's sleep and the human growth hormone and melatonin production. That said, your late-night snack's quality and type may also impact.
A high-carbohydrate dinner consumed 4 hours before bedtime was found to hasten sleep in one research. The fact that a low-carb diet also helped with sleep suggests that carbs aren't always important, especially if you're used to one.
6. Hit the gym
Going to the gym, the first thing in the morning, can make it much simpler to fall asleep later in the day. Physical activity releases tension and gets us ready for a good night's sleep, so it's good to get some exercise early in the day to aid your sleeping disorder at night.
According to a study published in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity in 2011, those who exercised for 150 minutes a week were more likely to get a good night's sleep.
7. Relax in the tub or the shower
Another popular method of improving one's sleep quality is to take a bath or shower. Studies have shown overall sleep quality improvement by this method, which helps older folks fall asleep more quickly.
Opting for a hot bath for 90 minutes prior to going to bed has been shown to improve sleep quality. It can aid people to fall asleep more quickly. Instead of a complete bath at night, you can merely soak your feet in hot water to help you relax and go to sleep.
8. Maintain a regular exercise regimen but not before bed
Physical activity is a proven method for improving sleep and overall health. It has been used to alleviate insomnia symptoms and enhance sleep quality.
In a study of older persons, exercise cut down the time it took to fall asleep by nearly half and increased sleep time by 41 minutes every night. The exercise was more beneficial than most medications for persons with severe insomnia.
By exercising, the time taken to fall asleep was cut down by 55%, time taken to stay awake was cut down by 30%, and the time taken to fall asleep got increased by 18%. A good night's sleep depends on regular exercise, but doing it too late in the day can induce sleep issues.
9. Drink tart cherry juice
Rather than drinking wine, sip on some sour cherry juice. You'll get a better night's sleep if you drink some tart cherry juice. More than 85 minutes of extra sleep were gained by elderly insomniacs who drank two eight-ounce glasses of sour cherry juice a day.
10. Sleep better using an Ashwagandha tablet
People who take Ashwagandha may be able to fall asleep more quickly, stay asleep for a longer period, and have improved sleep quality. For example, participants in an actigraphy-based study, who took Ashwagandha for 6 weeks described their sleep to be 72% better on average.
A variety of Ashwagandha's components may be responsible for its sleep-enhancing properties. Triethylene glycol, a naturally occurring compound in the herb, has been linked to drowsiness by researchers. In addition, Ashwagandha may affect GABA receptors, which are critical to the sleep-wake cycle. Ashwagandha's apparent medicinal properties may be due to other molecules yet to be found.
Withanolides, the primary active element in Ashwagandha, is thought to have various health advantages, including the capacity to reduce stress. Studies have shown that those under a lot of stress have a lower sleep and are more tired during the day. Therefore, if taken before bed for improved relaxation, the Ashwagandha tablets can help you sleep better.
11. Make the appropriate mattress & pillow purchases
Mattresses aren't one-size-fits-all, and they don't all work for everyone. It all boils down to the mattress's level of support. Consider your height, weight, body type and preferred sleeping position when purchasing a new mattress.
For example, if you weigh more than 200 pounds, you'll want a greater density support foam mattress or one with lower-gagged coils that will push you back and hold you in place as you sleep.
Make sure to keep this in mind while shopping for a new mattress. You must spend at least 30 days with a new bed before you can get used to and adapt to your new mattress.
12. Refuse to overindulge right before bedtime
Reflux might occur if you go to bed with a full stomach. Those who've been through it may attest to the fact that it's a frightening experience. Reduce the risk of this by not eating within 3 hours of going to bed.
13. Enhance the ambience of your bedroom
Many individuals feel that a good night's sleep results from the bedroom environment and its arrangement. Temperature, noise, light from the outside and furniture layout are all examples of environmental influences.
In numerous studies, external noise, particularly from traffic, has been linked to poor sleep and long-term health problems. Noise and light were found to significantly impact the quality of sleep for women in a recent study.
Try to keep your bedroom as quiet as possible by reducing the amount of noise, light and artificial light from gadgets like alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is a peaceful, restful, tidy and pleasurable location to spend time at night!
14. Take a couple of deep breaths
Take a moment to focus on your breathing if you're having trouble falling asleep because of tension. Begin the night by focusing on deep belly breathing. You can apply this method if you are prone to waking up early in the morning or even in the middle of the night.
15. Avoid gadgets before bed
When it comes to pre-sleep activities, you would think that scrolling through your Instagram feed is actually calming. Checking email or social networking sites before bed might make it difficult to relax and drift off to sleep because of the light they emit and the feelings they evoke.
Blue light inhibits melatonin production. This essentially is the hormone responsible for controlling your sleep-wake cycles). As a result, when you're ready to go to sleep, set your phone into ‘sleep’ mode, as this removes the blue light from the screen. However, if possible, avoid using any electronic devices at all.
Conclusion: Final Thoughts!
You can't function properly with a sleeping disorder. Insufficient sleep was found to be associated with an 89% increase in the risk of childhood obesity and a 55% rise in adult obesity.
Studies show that having fewer than 7–8 hours of sleep per night raises the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, among other health problems. To be at your healthiest and happiest, it is recommended that you prioritise sleep and use a few of the suggestions listed above.