Most adults living in the 21st century will tell you that their lives are incredibly busy. Life seems to be a constant juggle between work, socialising, family time, exercise and sleep- and when things get out of balance, sleep is usually one of the first things we neglect.
The stresses of day-to-day life can raise our anxiety levels to the max, which can come in handy when we’re trying to hit a deadline at work, but have a detrimental effect on our bodies when we need to relax to go to sleep.
If you’re having problems falling or staying asleep, or notice that you often wake up during the night, then you may need to take a look at your current sleep habits. Here are 4 proven tips to help you sleep better:
1. Use Light Exposure To Your Advantage
Our bodies have a natural time-keeping clock known as the circadian rhythm, which is affected by how much natural light we take in, and what time of day we’re absorbing it. Our body clock works best when we’re exposed to lots of natural light during the day, while being limited to bright light in the evenings.
You should make sure you immerse yourself with enough bright light during the day to keep you energised. A study found that daytime bright light exposure improved sleep quality and duration in people with insomnia, as well as reducing the time it took to fall asleep by 83%.
On the other hand, you should stay away from bright or blue light in the evenings, since it can drastically affect the quality of your sleep. Electronics that emit blue light like TVs, phones or laptops can trick your body into thinking it’s still the daytime, so if you use them late in the evening then your body may give you an unwanted energy boost.
To counteract this, try not to use technology for at least two hours before bed, or consider trying out some blue light-blocking glasses, or setting your phone and laptop screens to dark mode.
2. Make Sure You Have The Right Bed
Hotels are notorious for providing you with the best night’s sleep, and this probably has a lot to do with the bed. You should make sure that your mattress, bedframe, pillows and duvet are still able to do their job effectively- and if not, you should consider getting some new bedding.
Apparently, a new mattress can improve sleep quality by up to 60%, so if you need a sign to go out and buy a new mattress, then here it is!
When looking for a new bed, there are all kinds of different mattresses and bed frames to consider. If you move around a lot when you’re asleep, then maybe you should consider getting a king-sized bed so that you’re not taking up all the space. Memory foam mattresses are also a popular choice for those who experience a lot of back pain.Take a look at Bed Kingdom for some bed inspiration. They offer a wide range of beds and mattresses, including a made to measure service on a wide selection of their beds- so there’s bound to be something to suit your needs.
3. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine has been proven to give you a boost of energy, which is much more useful during the day than it is at night. If cutting out coffee completely sounds like your worst nightmare, then don’t panic, as there are still some things you can do to improve your sleep quality while getting your caffeine fix.
The effects of caffeine can stay in your system for a long time after you’ve had your cup of coffee, so you should try to have your last cup of coffee at least 6 hours before you plan to go to sleep. This allows the effects of the caffeine to completely wear off, preventing you from a night of tossing and turning.
4. Pay Attention To Your Sleeping Habits
Our bodies do best when they’re following a routine, so if you’re in the habit of going to bed and getting up whenever you feel like it, then this could be causing you to have a poor quality sleep. By contrast, waking up and going to bed at the same time every day can do wonders for your sleep, and after a while you may not even need an alarm clock to get you up in the mornings.
Daytime napping can also confuse your body clock- especially if you’re napping for long periods of time. Once your sleep quality has improved, you probably won’t feel the need to nap anymore- but in the meantime, you should aim to nap for no longer than half an hour so that you still feel sleepy enough for bed later on.