Did you know that a good night’s sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet? Poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones and brain function, and it might also cause weight gain.
If you regularly get poor sleep, you might think: “Hey, so this is why I can’t get rid of that sneaky Christmas extra weight!” but even though we feel you, we’ve got some ideas so that you can’t use this excuse anymore. Sorry. By following our tips, you’ll sleep better for sure, and who knows, maybe that weight issue will also be resolved.
#1 Optimize your bedroom environment
Temperature, noise (traffic), external lights and the arrangements of your furniture all influence your chance to have a good night’s sleep, some sources claim. According to studies, 50% of participants noticed improved sleep quality after they diminished noise and light in the room where they were sleeping. With that being said, try to minimize external noise, natural and artificial lights (from devices like a modem or an alarm clock, and so on). Your bedroom is your sanctuary; make sure it is a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place. Temperature wise, remember that when it is too warm, it is hard to get a good night’s sleep. The ideal temperature for most people is 20°C.
#2 Do not eat too late
Needless to say that drinking coffee a few hours before bedtime will definitely have an impact on your sleep quality, but guess what, you can expect the same if you have dinner late in the evening. Fun fact: the quality and type of your late-night snack might influence how you sleep, a high-carb meal eaten only four hours before bed, for instance, might help you fall asleep faster. What about drinking alcohol? You guessed well, it is also known to cause disrupted sleep patterns. Furthermore, it might increase snoring once you are in dreamland. Eat almonds, which are a great source of the sleep-regulating melatonin, or have a banana (it contains tryptophan and magnesium, both of which help you sleep like a baby), and drink a cup of camomile tea that contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to those receptors in your brain that can promote sleepiness.
#3 Clear your mind
Relaxation techniques and a nice massage before bed are both considered as magical weapons when it comes to improving sleep quality. Switch off your brain by listening to relaxing music (try ASRM) in the bathtub, read a book, or meditate. If you opt for a body and soul pampering hot bath, do it 90 minutes before your scheduled bedtime. Use essential oils like lavender, vanilla, jasmine, sandalwood, or citrus since not only do they have several benefits (strengthen the immune system, sooth feelings of anxiety, and so on), but can also be a powerful way to help you sleep better. Add them to your bathwater or use a diffuser!
#4 Make sure you have a good bed, mattress and pillow
Given how much of our lives we spend in bed, getting a good mattress and pillow is the least we can do. Sleeping on an uncomfortable bed might be more wallet-friendly in the short run, but eventually, we will pay the price, because poor-quality bedding can lead to increased joint and lower-back pain. Tip: buy a high-quality mattress (it might be costly, but it really makes a difference) and replace your bedding every 5-8 years! Also, consider that a pillow flattened from too much use could put strain in your neck, so you better change them at every second year if not earlier. Material wise the newest trend is microfiber: it is soft and fluffy, plus it does not trap perspiration or moisture. Disadvantage: it is pretty expensive compared to cotton and feather.