When it comes to overall health, sleeping right should be a top priority. However, most of us get poor sleep practically every night, which leads to a plethora of negative effects on our hormone distribution. Research continuously shows that our mood, weight balance, energy levels, and other health factors rely heavily on enough quality sleep. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get up in the morning, these habits may result in a healthier life through better sleep each night.
1. Light Balance: Most of us know that sleep depends heavily on a circadian rhythm; you’ll be better able to fall asleep and stay asleep each night if your body is receiving consistent signals that tell it when to be alert and when to power down. Light plays a crucial role in maintaining this natural rhythm within us. For starters, get as much sunlight during the day as you can. Opt for lunch outside, a walk instead of a drive, or natural light from nearby windows rather than light bulbs if you’re staying in. It’s equally as important to shut out light at night, especially blue light from our TVs, phones, and other devices. Blue light is extremely effective at telling your brain not to produce melatonin, which is the hormone our body releases to inform us it’s time for sleep. Try powering down all these lights two hours before going to sleep.
2. Bedrooms Are for Relaxing: Besides pouring out harmful blue light, trying to sleep with our devices on can put our brains into overdrive. By concentrating on something such as a TV show, social media, or work, we are telling our brains that it is still time to be awake, making it more difficult for our brains to slip into deep sleep as it tries to figure out if it should be sending sleep signals or not. If you only use your bed for sleep, you’ll get into the habit of relaxing and falling asleep more easily when you lay down for the night.
3. Comfort is a Big Factor: Mattresses and pillows that support proper sleep posture may be big investments, but they have big benefits too. Back and neck pain often originate from our sleep posture and have a huge effect on our sleep night and performance during the day. Try to get into the habit of sleeping with a pillow between your legs and a pillow that keeps your head level with your spine if you’re a side sleeper. If possible, switch your mattress at least every eight years.
4. The Bedroom Environment: While you may not think you are a picky sleeper, certain environmental factors can be keeping you from getting the best rest. Seal your mattress with a cover to keep accumulated allergens in your mattress from irritating your eyes, nose, throat, and skin.
5. Temperature: Your body temperature also has an impact on quality of sleep. Keeping your bedroom cool, at about 70 degrees, will keep you more soundly asleep.