Getting quality sleep is crucial to wellness, living a healthy life. And yet, many people are having difficulties trying to get good nights sleep. What can be done to improve your sleep quality and get well rested? Here are 6 tips on how to improve your sleep quality.
1. Dim the Lights Before Bedtime
When your brain senses light, your sympathetic nerve that controls wakefulness will become active. As a result, your biological clock can be thrown off balance. Then, falling asleep may become difficult.
For a good nights sleep, it is important to
- Dim the lights in the room
- reduce the amount of light that your eyes see
- maintain the cycle of your internal sleep clock
In particular, finish working on your PC or mobile devices at least an hour before your planned bedtime.
The blue light emitted from displays increases alertness, rather than making you feel sleepy. It delays the release of sleep inducing chemicals.
2. Choose The Right Pillow And Mattress For You
Not having the optimal pillow and bed mattress for you can prevent you from relaxing and getting quality sleep. This can take a toll on your body. As a result, you may not feel well rested.
If your pillow is too high or too low, your airway and blood vessels may be compressed. So, it is best to select an optimal pillow that allows you to maintain the same posture as when you’re in an upright position.
When it comes to selecting mattresses, you may want to take into account your body type as well as your sleeping patterns.
Memory foam mattresses suit well for those
- who toss about less frequently
- ”short sleepers” who get only 3 to 4 hours of sleep
- with lower backaches
High resilience foam mattresses, or hard mattresses, are said to be suitable for
- athletes and muscular-built people
- those who are sensitive to heat
- those with medium to heavy body weight
But it all boils down to choosing the most comfortable hardness for you.
3. Reduce Noise in the Bedroom
It is difficult to fall asleep, let alone relax, in a room that is noisy. Ambient sound of 40 decibels or higher can increase your alertness. This is obviously counterproductive.
Using sound-proof or blackout curtains can also help to reduce noises.
Wearing earplugs is also effective in shutting out noises.
4. Listen to Relaxation Music
Listening to relaxation or meditation music can be a good way to relax and calm your senses.
One thing you want to be aware of is to choose something that doesn’t come with lyrics.
Songs with lyrics stimulate the language area of the brain. This can heighten your alertness.
If you fall asleep while playing music, the sound can prevent you from sleeping soundly. So setting the timer to stop playing the music may be a good idea.
On the other hand, if you are waking up at night frequently because of anxiety or stress, you may want to play so something that runs for 7 to 8 hours. They are readily available on YouTube.
5. Take A Warm Bath
Drowsiness will creep in spontaneously by taking a bath about an hour before going to bed.
This is because the core temperature of your body will rise, and then drop suddenly, once you get out from the tub.
The body is innately equipped with what’s called the “core temperature rhythm”. It is designed to peak at around 9 o’clock at night and then descend afterwards.
By taking a bath around this time of the night and raise your body temperature, your body will try to bring it down to the original level. This causes a sudden drop in body temperature, making it easy for you to fall asleep.
A word of caution: it takes about an hour for the core temperature to drop, so it is counterproductive to take a bath immediately before going to bed.
6. Finish Dinner At Least 3 Hours Before Bedtime
A type of hormone called leptin secretes when your stomach is full. This hormone causes drowsiness. But try not to sleep at this timing.
This sleep-inducing leptin also promotes digestion in the stomach. So the body would not get enough rest, resulting in poor quality sleep.
It takes about three hours for the food to be digested, so eating dinner at least three hours before your bedtime is ideal.
You would also want to be careful of what you eat for dinner. Fatty food takes longer time to digest. When you have dinner later at night, something that is easy to digest like soup would be stomach-friendly.