People have been trying to find the key to a good night’s sleep for centuries. Sleep is essential for our health- people who don’t get enough sleep can experience mood swings, memory loss, and decreased immune function. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to sleep safely, so you have a better chance of maintaining physical and mental wellness.
Get into a regular sleep schedule
One of the most important things you can do to sleep safely is to get into a regular sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up simultaneously every day. It might be tough to do at first, but eventually, your body will get used to it, and you’ll find that you feel more rested and alert during the day.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
Caffeine and alcohol are two substances that can interfere with sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it can keep you awake by making you feel more alert. Alcohol is a depressant, so it can make you fall asleep initially, but it can disrupt your sleep later on in the night.
Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol in the hours leading up to bedtime, so you have a better chance of getting a good night’s sleep.
Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool
The bedroom should be dark, quiet,, and cool because those are the most conducive conditions to sleep. When it’s dark, your body produces melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep. When it’s quiet, you’re less likely to be disturbed by outside noise. And when it’s cool, your body temperature drops, and you’re more likely to fall asleep.
Reserve the bed for sleep
When you reserve the bed for sleep, you create an environment conducive to rest. This means that the bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool- and you should avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Don’t eat a big meal before bedtime
Evidence suggests that eating a large evening meal may interfere with healthy sleep patterns and even affect the quality of your sleep. When we eat, our body’s metabolism becomes more active and produces higher levels of the hormone cortisol, which makes it difficult for us to fall asleep at night. Foods that are high in fat, like meat and dairy products, slow down relaxation and put certain systems offline- including digestion.”
Don’t use electronic devices in bed
When you use electronic devices in bed, such as a laptop, tablet, or phone, you’re exposing yourself to light that can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin- a hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep. Additionally, the blue light emitted from electronic devices can suppress the release of the sleep-promoting hormone serotonin. This means that using electronic devices in bed can disrupt your sleep and make it more difficult for you to get the rest you need.
Establish a relaxing bedtime routine
One of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep is establishing a relaxing bedtime routine. This means taking some time to wind down before bedtime by doing things that relax you. Some people like to read, listen to music or take a bath before bed. Others find that relaxation exercises like yoga or meditation help them unwind. By taking some time to relax before bed, you’ll find that it’s easier to fall asleep, and you’ll get more restful sleep overall.
Stretch or do relaxation exercises before bedtime
Stretching before bed is a good idea because it can lower stress levels and make you feel better. You also have a higher chance of falling asleep faster in your bed if you do some light stretching on the floor beforehand.
Relaxation exercises are also beneficial, such as yoga and meditation… but even just taking some time for yourself to get still and quiet for ten minutes can make a major difference in overall relaxation levels! Researchers say people who practice improved sleep quality by 34% by meditating or doing yoga, especially those who live stressful lives. Meditation has been shown to promote more natural breathing patterns, which help us fall asleep and may improve our quality of sleep.
Lastly, talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble sleeping
If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s important to talk to your doctor. This is because there may be an underlying medical condition causing your sleep problems. Your doctor can help you identify and treat any medical conditions that may be interfering with your sleep. This is particularly important if you or a family member is experiencing night terrors. In such cases, you might need a medical alert system to notify family members or medical professionals in the event of an emergency. Additionally, your doctor can recommend strategies for improving your sleep hygiene and helping you get the rest you need.
An associate editor at sleepandcognition.org. Annie oversees health, wellness, self-care and the lifestyle news section. She enjoys yoga; she treats cooking like therapy and finds any reason to indulge her love for sweets.