Small changes in your daily life can mean big changes in your overall well-being. While many adults don't get the good night of sleep they need to ensure a healthy, productive day, just tweaking a few of your daily habits can help put you in the right direction.
To make sure that you are on track to be the best that you can, you need to make a plan for how you will realize your goals. Here are five tips for how you can make small changes in your daily routine and learn how to live healthier for a better night’s sleep.
Eat Healthy All Day Long
The best way to improve your overall well being is to eat healthily. The fewer carbohydrates and sugars you have in your diet, the more likely you are to stay alert and ready. Think about preparing meals ahead of time packed with protein and vegetables as this study illustrates. You can buy ready-made salads or add pre-cooked chicken, seafood, or meat alternatives to your meals. Consider purchasing snack bars that are loaded with extra protein.
Studies also show that consuming alcohol affects the quality and the quantity of your sleep. While alcohol may help you fall asleep better, it interferes with your natural REM patterns and deprives you of an overall good night of sleep. The same principles apply to caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can remain in your body for more than six hours.
Make Time For Exercise
Experts agree that regular exercise provides benefits for a good night's sleep. Exercising regularly not only improves the quality of your sleep but benefits your body and helps your brain, too. Studies have shown that the increase in oxygen to your brain can lead to an increase in memory and the ability to think and learn better. The recommendations are that strength training can be done any time of the day to improve your sleep but for workouts that get your heart racing and your body temperature rising, you should consider performing these during the day. If you must workout at night, try and leave 2 hours or more before you head off to sleep.
Remember that exercise doesn't have to be a bore. Think about the kind of things that make you happy. Have you always wanted to try a new dance technique like hip-hop or ballroom dancing? What about adding yoga into your life to increase your flexibility? Whatever you choose, make it something fun.
Another kind of exercise to consider as you head off to bed are relaxation exercises such as mindful breathing and guided imagery. These types of exercise can provide a sense of calm and peacefulness to help you fall asleep faster. Letting go of the day's events, worries and stresses are important for helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Get Enough Sleep
On that note, most of us are not getting enough sleep and as this study shows us how. As reported in the BBC News, the lack of sleep slows our brain function down considerably. It impairs our ability to make decisions, solve problems and our memory. Create a reasonable bedtime and try to stick to it. Not sure what a reasonable bedtime might be? In a report published by the Sleep Health, Journal of the National Sleep Foundation, guidelines are established for each stage of life with most adults needing about seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Changing your daily habits just slightly can help you feel more alert and ready to take on new challenges. Whether you need to adjust your eating, exercise or sleeping habits, making these small changes can make a big difference in your overall well being.
Keep Your Room at an Optimum Temperature
Keeping your room at the right temperature can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends temperature for comfortable sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees. There are a number of ways that you can get your bedroom, and your bed, to an optimum temperature. Installing ceiling fans and lower the thermostat are the first lines of defense. The next option is making sure that your bedding compliments your optimum temperature.
Bamboo and cotton are two of the best materials for sheets and other bedding. They are breathable fabrics that can allow for the cooling effects needed to help ensure a good night's sleep. Nest Bedding provides sheets, comforters and other products that allow the body to breathe easier when sleeping such as moisture wicking capabilities.
Darken the Bedroom
Room darkening is one of the easiest but unfortunately one of the most overlooked areas when trying to improve sleep. With 35% of Americans admitting that they don't use any room darkening assistance, it is no wonder that we are a sleep-deprived nation. Room darkening shades can be one of the obvious choices to help with this. Other options can include eye masks.
Another aspect of this discussion is to make sure that your bedroom oasis is free from other forms of artificial light. As you walk around the room in the evening, make sure there are no glowing lights emanating from your clock, television or other TV devices, phones or tablets. These devices and their accompanying artificial light can jar sleepers out of their lighter stages of sleep or make falling asleep more difficult.
These are just a few suggestions for how to live healthier for a better night’s sleep. You may only need to do one of these items on the list to ensure a better nights sleep or you may need to do them all. Experiment a little with what works for you.Contact us for more information on how we can help make tonight's sleep the best night yet. We look forward to helping you find the right bed, bedding, and pajamas to help you sink into a good night of sleep.