A good night's sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Research shows that lack of sleep has direct negative effects on hormones, exercise performance and brain function.
It can also lead to weight gain and increase the risk of disease in both adults and children.
A good night's sleep, in turn, can help you eat less, exercise more, and be healthier.
In recent decades, both the quality and quantity of sleep have declined. In fact, many people don't sleep well on a regular basis.
Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important things to do to improve your health or lose weight.
Here are evidence-based tips for a better night's sleep.
Increased exposure to bright light during the day
Your body has a natural biological clock known as the circadian rhythm. It affects your mind, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it's time to sleep.
Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps maintain your circadian rhythm. This improves energy during the day and the quality and duration of sleep at night.
In people with insomnia, exposure to bright light during the day improves the quality and duration of sleep. It also reduced sleep time by 83%.
A similar study in older adults found that 2 hours of bright light exposure during the day increased the amount of sleep by 2 hours and sleep efficiency by 80%.
While most research involves people with severe sleep issues, daily light exposure will most likely help you even if you experience average sleep.
Try getting daily sunlight exposure or — if this is not practical — invest in an artificial bright light device or bulbs.
Daily sunlight or artificial bright light can improve sleep quality and duration, especially if you have severe sleep issues or insomnia.
Reduce exposure of blue light in the evening
Exposure to light during the day is beneficial, but exposure to light at night is counterproductive.
Again, this is due to the effect it has on your circadian rhythm, tricking your brain into thinking it's still daytime. This reduces hormones such as melatonin, which help you relax and sleep more deeply.
Blue light, which is emitted in large quantities from electronic devices such as smartphones and computers, is the worst in this respect.
There are some common methods you can use to reduce blue light at night. Also these:
- Wear glasses that block blue light.
- Install a blue light blocking app on your smartphone. These are available for both iPhone and Android models.
- Stop watching TV and turn off bright lights two hours before bed.
Blue light tricks your body into thinking it's the time of day. There are several ways to reduce blue light exposure in the evening.
Avoid caffeine late in the day
Caffeine has many benefits and is consumed by more than 40% of Indian population.
A single dose can improve concentration, energy and athletic performance. However, consuming caffeine later in the day can stimulate your nervous system and prevent your body from relaxing naturally in the evening.
In one study, taking caffeine up to six hours before bed significantly decreased sleep quality.
Caffeine can remain high in the blood for 6-8 hours. So drink a lot of coffee after 3-4 pm not recommended for those who are particularly sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping.
If you prefer to drink coffee in the late afternoon or early evening, choose decaffeinated coffee.
Caffeine can significantly worsen your sleep quality, especially if you drink a lot in the late afternoon or evening.
Reduce irregular or long naps during the day
While short naps are helpful, long or irregular naps throughout the day can negatively affect your sleep.
Sleeping during the day can disrupt your internal clock, which means you may have trouble sleeping at night.
In fact, in one study, participants were more sleepy after taking a nap during the day.
Another study noted that while napping for 30 minutes or less can enhance daytime brain function, longer naps can harm health and sleep quality.
However, some studies demonstrate that those who are used to taking regular daytime naps don’t experience poor sleep quality or disrupted sleep at night.
If you take regular daytime naps and sleep well, you shouldn’t worry. The effects of napping depend on the individual.
Long daytime naps may impair sleep quality. If you can't sleep well at night, stop taking naps or reduce naps.
Try to go to bed and get up at regular times.
The circadian rhythm of the body operates in a constant cycle in line with sunrise and sunset.
Maintaining consistent bedtime and wake times helps improve sleep quality in the long run.
One study found that participants with irregular sleep patterns who slept in late on the weekends reported poorer sleep. Other research shows that irregular sleep patterns can alter circadian rhythms and melatonin levels.
If you have trouble sleeping, make it a habit to get up and go to bed at the same time. After a few weeks, you may not even need an alarm clock.
Try to get into a regular sleep-wake cycle, especially on weekends. If possible, try to wake up naturally at a similar time each day. Advertising
Take a melatonin supplement
Melatonin is the primary sleep hormone that tells your brain when to rest and sleep.
Melatonin supplements are very popular sleep aids.
Melatonin, often used to treat insomnia, may be one of the easiest ways to help you fall asleep faster.
One study found that taking 2 mg of melatonin before bed improved sleep quality and energy the next day and helped people fall asleep faster. Another study found that half of this group fell asleep faster and had a 15% improvement in sleep quality.
Additionally, no withdrawal effects were reported in any of the above studies.
Melatonin is also helpful when traveling and adjusting to new time zones. It helps restore the body's circadian rhythms to normal.
Some countries require a prescription for melatonin. In other countries, melatonin is widely available in stores and online. Take 1-5 mg 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
To assess tolerance, start with a low dose, then gradually increase as needed. Melatonin can alter brain chemistry, so it's a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before use.
If you are considering using melatonin as a sleep aid for your child, you should talk to them about it, as the long-term use of this supplement in children has not been thoroughly researched.
Buy melatonin supplements online.
Melatonin supplements are an easy way to improve your sleep quality and fall asleep faster. Take 1-5 mg 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
Consider These Other Supplements
Several supplements can induce relaxation and aid sleep, including:
- Ginkgo biloba: A natural herb with many benefits that may help sleep, relieve tension and reduce stress, but evidence is limited. Take 250 mg 30-60 minutes before bedtime. • Glycine: Several studies have shown that taking 3 grams of the amino acid glycine can improve sleep quality.
- Valerian Root: Several studies have shown that valerian can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality. Take 500 mg at bedtime.
- Magnesium: Responsible for more than 600 reactions in the body, magnesium can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
- L-Theanine: The amino acid L-Theanine can improve relaxation and sleep. Take 100-200 mg at bedtime.
- Lavender: A powerful herb with many health benefits. Lavender can have a calming and stabilizing effect to improve sleep. Take 80-160 mg with 25-46% linalool.
- Be sure to try these supplements only once. Although it is not a panacea for sleep problems, it can be beneficial in combination with other natural sleep strategies.
Some supplements, including lavender and magnesium, help with rest and sleep quality when combined with other strategies.
Don't drink alcohol
Drinking a few glasses a night can negatively affect sleep and hormones.
Alcohol is known to cause or worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring, and sleep disturbances.
It also changes the nocturnal production of melatonin, which plays an important role in the body's daily rhythm. Another study found that drinking alcohol at night reduces the natural increase in human growth hormone (HGH), which plays a role in circadian rhythm and many other important functions.
Avoid alcohol before bed as it can reduce melatonin production at night and disrupt sleep patterns.
Improve your bedroom environment
Many people think that bedroom environment and arrangement are key to getting a good night's sleep.
These factors include temperature, sound, outside light, and arrangement of furniture.
Several studies show that outside noise, often from traffic, can lead to poor sleep and long-term health problems. In a study of women's bedrooms, about 50% of participants saw improved sleep quality when noise and light were reduced.
To optimize the bedroom experience, minimize outside noise, lights, and artificial lighting from devices such as alarm clocks. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, comfortable, clean and pleasant.
Optimize your bedroom environment by eliminating outside light and noise for better sleep.
Room temperature setting
Your body and bedroom temperature can also have a major impact on the quality of your sleep.
It can be very difficult to get a good night's sleep when it's too hot like you've experienced in summer or in hot places.
One study found that bedroom temperature had a greater impact on sleep quality than outside noise.
Studies have shown that bedroom temperature has a greater effect on sleep quality than external noise.
Other studies have shown that increasing body temperature and bedroom temperature can lower sleep quality and increase arousal.
About 70°F (20°C) seems like a good temperature for most people, but it depends on your preferences and habits.
Test different temperatures to see which one is more comfortable. The best temperature for most people is 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). 11.
Do not eat late at night
Eating late at night can negatively affect the quality of sleep and the natural release of growth hormone and melatonin.
However, the quality and type of your late night snack can also play a role.
In one study, a high-carbohydrate meal eaten 4 hours before bedtime helped people fall asleep faster.
Interestingly, one study found that a low-carb diet also improved sleep, suggesting that carbs aren't always necessary, especially if you're used to a low-carb diet.
Overeating before bed can lead to poor sleep and hormonal disturbances.
Rest at Night and Clear Your Mind
Many people have a bedtime routine that helps them calm down.
Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another popular method used to treat insomnia. In one study, relaxing massage improved sleep quality in sick people.
Strategies include listening to soothing music, reading a book, taking a warm bath, meditating, taking deep breaths, and imagining.
Experiment with different methods to find what works best for you.
Relaxation techniques before bedtime, such as a warm bath or meditation, can help you fall asleep.
Take a relaxing bath or shower
A relaxing bath or shower is another popular way to get a better night's sleep.
Studies show they can help improve the overall quality of sleep and help people — especially the elderly — fall asleep faster.
In one study, a warm bath 90 minutes before bed improved sleep quality and helped people sleep more deeply.
On the other hand, if you don't want to bathe all night, bathing your feet in warm water can help you relax and improve your sleep.
A warm bath, shower, or foot bath before bed can help you relax and improve sleep quality.
Relieve sleep disorders
An underlying health condition could be at the root of your sleep problems.
A common problem is sleep apnea, which causes irregular and interrupted breathing. People with this disorder often stop breathing during sleep.
This condition may be more common than you think. One survey claimed that 24% of men and 9% of women have sleep apnea.
Other common medically diagnosed problems include sleep movement disorders and sleep/wake disorders that occur in circadian rhythms and are common among shift workers.
If you always have trouble sleeping, it may be wise to consult with your healthcare provider.
Many common conditions, including sleep apnea, can cause poor sleep. If lack of sleep is a constant problem in your life, see your doctor.
Bring a comfortable bed, mattress and pillows
Some people wonder why they always sleep better in hotels.
Besides a comfortable environment, the quality of your bed can also affect your sleep.
One study looked at the benefits of a new mattress for 28 days and found it reduced back pain by 57%, shoulder pain by 60%, and back pain by 59%. It also improved sleep quality by 60%. Other studies suggest that new beds can improve sleep. Bad bedding can also make back pain worse.
The best mattress and bedding is extremely subjective. When renewing your bed, make your choice based on your personal preferences.
It is recommended to renew the bed at least every 5-8 years. If your mattress or bedding hasn't been replaced in years, it can be expensive but can be repaired very quickly.
Beds, mattresses, and pillows can have a huge impact on the quality of your sleep and joint or back pain. Buy premium bedding, including mattresses, every 5-8 years.
Sleep plays an important role in your health.
One large review linked insufficient sleep with an increased risk of obesity in children by 89% and by 55% in adults. Other studies have shown that sleeping less than 7-8 hours each night puts you at increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
If you are interested in optimal health and wellness, we recommend that you make sleep a priority and incorporate some of the tips mentioned above.