30% of Americans suffer from different kinds of sleep disorders, many of which can be treated with a change in lifestyle. While majority of the general population relies on sleeping aids to ensure better sleep quality, chances are that the side effects of these may take their toll on them, which is why we recommend these 7 basic tips to improve your sleep cycle.
1. Limit Tea/Caffeine Intake
As much as you love coffee, it may be the biggest hindrance in inducing sleep. Tea lovers and coffee addicts often lie wide awake in sleep hours, which affects their health in general not to forget performance at work/college.
Therefore to prevent sleep from disrupting, coffee and tea should be avoided 4-6 hours prior to bedtime. The same rule should be followed for tobacco intake. This reduces one stimulant that keeps you up all night.
2. Exercise Regularly
Other than hundreds of other benefits exercise has upon your health, improving sleep quality has to be among the top ones. Exercising releases serotonin which is responsible for reducing stress and anxiety, making you feel much more relaxed.
Moreover, it provides comfort against night sweats and other hormonal issues that interfere with your sleep. However, one thing to look out for is your timing. Your exercise timing changes the way it affects your body.
Exercising right before bedtime can also disrupt your sleep cycle, therefore keep your cardio and running for mornings. Low intensity workouts like stretching, however, can be done before you go to bed.
3. Watch Your Diet
Among other things to avoid before bedtime, a heavy meal is on top of the list. If you are to sleep at 12, take your meal by 10pm max. Similarly, adjust your meal time to 2-3 hours prior to bedtime.
This is because eating right before sleeping causes indigestion, which keeps you restless all night.
It is also not advisable to go to sleep while you’re starving, as this may lead to a drop in sugar level which can even prove fatal. Taking a light meal, preferably fruits and vegetables are the perfect meal before bedtime.
4. Read Before Sleeping
If you often have trouble sleeping, try and make reading a bed time ritual.
Reading signals the body to wind down and prepare for sleep. Since reading reduces stress, it helps battle insomnia and helps your system to close down, ensuring a good night’s sleep.
5. Keep a Moderate Temperature
One of the factors that might be affecting your sleep is inappropriate temperature. Your body works in a certain way and for it to fall asleep, the hypothalamus decreases your body temperature as a sleep initiator.
The ideal temperature for falling asleep is 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, which may vary for different people. Your body temperature plays a profound role in determining the quality of your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
6. Create a Sleep Routine
Your body conditions itself according to the routine you set.
Therefore it is important that you create a routine that soothes your mind and helps you unwind. Whether its taking a shower, reading a book or even watching Tv, distance yourself from stressful activities that tire you out. Writing in your journal may also help you release the negative energy and sleep with peace of mind.
7. Try Adjusting to a New Time Zone in Advance
If you’re moving or traveling to a new time zone, it is advisable that you start adjusting to it a little in advance. This can be done by simply rewinding or forwarding your sleep hours according to the respective time zone.
If your travel destination is 8 hours ahead, you can try and sleep 2-3 hours later than usual. For a time zone behind your current one, you can try sleep a few hours later.