13 Tips For Better Sleep (based On “why We Sleep” By Matthew Walker)
Our gadgets need to recharge anytime it drains or nearly out of battery life. The same is somewhat true with our biological processes. When we are tired from work, fatigued, and losing our ability to concentrate is our body’s response when we are nearly drained.
And sleep is the human body’s natural way to replenish energy and a period where it repairs cells, muscles, and tissues.
However, feeling tired and wanting to sleep is one thing, but getting to actually make yourself to sleep is another.
And this instance is something we all share, right?
For today’s topic, I will provide tips for better sleep that is based on Matthew Walkers’ book called “Why We Sleep.”
At the end of the blog, it should help you fall into slumber faster and get more rest out of it. And as a result, you should feel recharge the moment you wake up the next morning.
So without further delays, let’s get right into it…
13 Tips for Better Sleep
Some of the tips here you may already know, but I’m sure that at least one or two you will find beneficial:
1. Have Set Sleep and Wake Up Times
Sleeping and waking up at the same time every day (yes, this includes the weekdays!) sets up your circadian rhythm.
In addition, you would no longer need that noisy alarm clock once your body has adapted to your sleep-wake cycle.
2. Exercise is Great for Sleep
Recent studies have found that there is no direct correlation between exercise and bad sleeping habits as long as it is a mild to moderate workouts. It’s quite the contrary, actually.
Preferably one hour before going to bed is sufficient to help you improve your quality of sleep.
3. Avoid any Caffeine
There’s a good reason why your cup of Joe is only taken during mornings.
Caffeine stimulates your alertness and induces wakefulness. Therefore, it is not a good idea to consume coffee a few hours before going to bed.
4. Avoid any Alcohol Before Bed
Some individuals drink alcohol to make them fall asleep faster. And the reason why this is the case is that such a substance contains sedatives properties that aid drowsiness.
However, dependency on alcohol has various negative health consequences.
Also, drinking alcohol before going to bed is actually bad for sleep, which is in direct contrast to popular belief.
Yes, you fall asleep immediately after consuming a few drinks, but what it does is breaks your circadian rhythm. As your liver enzymes break down alcohol, you will experiences sleep disruptions during the night.
5. Avoid Overeating and Drinking before going to sleep
Mid-night snacks or taking your dinner late at night could have a huge impact on your sleep-wake cycle. It would make it harder for you to sleep at night because your digestive system will apparently be still at work.
In addition, any excess calories can be stored in your body, causing you to likely gain more weight.
6. Avoid Taking Drugs and Medicine in the Post-Afternoon
There are certain types of drugs and medications that can affect the quality of your sleep.
If you’re aiming to sleep earlier, take them not later in the afternoon if possible, or talk to your physician so that they can guide you on how to do so.
7. No Naps After 3 pm
Afternoon naps have been shown to boost cognitive capability in the afternoon.
However, you have to realize that anything in excess is not good.
The suggested afternoon nap is 10 to 30 minutes long and between 1 pm to 3 pm. Beyond the suggested timeline would ruin your nighttime sleep.
8. Unwind an Hour Before Going to Bed
Unwinding or relaxing your weary mind before going to bed is of extreme importance. And this is the case because such behavior signals your brain that you are about to rest for the night.
9. Take a Warm Bath/Shower Before Bed
Taking a warm bath one or two hours before going to bed can help you improve the quality of your sleep.
What it does is that your body drops temperature after the bath, which makes your body more relaxed and easier for you to fall asleep faster.
10. Make Sure Your Room is Pitch Black Keep Your Environment Cool
We may not be aware of it, but your environment and exposure to light affect our circadian rhythm. (1)
Our brain associates a brightly lighted room with wakefulness. Whereas a pitch dark and low-temperature room sends a signal to our nervous system that we are about to take our nighttime rest.
11. 30 to 60 minutes of light exposure in the mornings
In relation to the previous point, a study found that exposure to morning light for at least 30 to 60 minutes can have a positive impact not only on our mood for the day but also on the quality of our nighttime rest.
As evening comes, be sure to reduce light exposure, though, as explained in the previous section.
12. Don’t force yourself to sleep
A subtle but probably among the best tips for better sleep is just not to force yourself to sleep.
It may sound counterintuitive not to make or force yourself to fall asleep. But this is actually true because when you force yourself, it creates pressures and even anxiety that makes it difficult for you to sleep.
So what’s the solution?
When you can’t bring yourself to sleep, then you may want to do very mild and non-physical activities like listening to music or reading a book.
But be cautious not to expose yourself to blue lights coming from your gadgets.
Lastly, breathing meditation is also a commonly used exercise if you want to sleep faster.
It may sound too straightforward, but simply inhaling and exhaling allows the free flow of oxygen in your brain—thus, making you relaxed and lowers your body temperature.
I hope today’s tips for better sleep have provided you valuable insights on the subject matter.
As easy as it may sound, training yourself to sleep faster would be a challenge to most. But this may be the case—you will eventually cultivate a healthy sleep pattern as you consistently follow good habits, as relayed in this article.
So yes, I believe that’s just about it!
Thank you for the time!
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