With so much uncertainty and turmoil in the world today, it can be hard to settle your mind for a peaceful night of sleep.
A few simple changes to your routine can make a substantial difference for your sleep.
When you're not sleeping properly, it can affect you both physically and mentally. Lack of sleep can increase mood swings and reduce productivity. While we sleep, our bodies repair themselves from the day's activities and our brains strengthen our short term memories.
Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, with the quality of our sleep being just as important, if not more, than the duration. When in deep sleep our muscles relax and repair themselves. When we are in REM sleep, we dream and it improves our memory and helps improve our mood. While we can't control how much deep sleep or REM sleep we get, there are ways to help promote it.
Avoiding caffeine in the evenings is a major step to gaining a better, more restful sleep. It takes our bodies up to 10 hours to dispel caffeine, which means having a coffee or soft drink an hour before bed will likely contribute to a restless sleep.
Adding exercise is an excellent way to improve sleep. A brisk walk once a day can make a big improvement in your sleep quality and duration. However, if you plan to exercise before bed, give yourself an hour to wind down before attempting to sleep.
Blue light from most of our electronics stimulates the brain and makes it harder to fall asleep. It's best to avoid TV, smartphones, and e-readers right before bed. Reading a book, meditating, or having a hot bath or shower can help your body and mind relax and prepare for sleep.
Finally, assess your nighttime routine; try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. A regular bedtime can train your body to feel tired at the same time every day and help you fall asleep faster. Keeping your bedroom dark, cool, and comfortable will help to create a relaxing environment for sleep.
These are just a few tips to help you slip into a deeper sleep, faster.