Obtaining quality sleep is essential for living a healthy life. A proper amount of sleep – which is 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night for most people – helps your body and brain rebuild and recover. Without enough sleep, you might feel groggy, grumpy, and hungry. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health issues and increase the risk for certain diseases.
So, what can you do if you want to ensure that you get enough sleep? Well, we’ve written a guide to help you sleep throughout the night and get your best sleep ever.
Create a Bedtime Ritual
If you have trouble staying asleep, it might be because you haven’t taken enough time to properly wind down from the stresses and excitement of the day. To combat this, consider creating a special bedtime ritual like taking a bath or writing in a journal. Any quiet activity that helps you relax can be part of your bedtime routine.
Seek Out Your Doctor to Diagnose Sleep Issues
If you’re having chronic sleep issues for a serious sleep issue, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor. For example, maybe you wake up at night from grinding your teeth. If that’s the case, a doctor might advise you to wear a night guard for teeth. Or, perhaps you have another sleep disorder like sleep apnea or Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).
Use a Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket is a great way to help you both go to sleep and stay asleep. Plus, if you have anxiety issues, stress problems, or Restless Leg Syndrome, a weighted blanket may help alleviate any symptoms keeping you awake at night.
Be Mindful of Electronics
We all love our phones – but that doesn’t mean that you should spend every night scrolling mindlessly through your social media in an effort to get sleepy. Blue-light emitting devices like your smartphone or laptop can interrupt your circadian rhythm and disrupt your body’s release of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy.
As a result, you can experience disrupted sleep.
Avoid Drinking Caffeine Late in the Day
Caffeine is a stimulant and as you might guess, it can keep you up at night. It takes around 6 hours for your body to fully process caffeine, so keep that in mind before you pour yourself a cup after a dinner out or even in the early afternoon hours.
Instead, try to drink non-caffeinated or low caffeine teas and coffee. And if it’s close to your bedtime, you might want to even sip on an herbal, sleep-inducing tea that has ingredients like chamomile, lavender, and rose.
Exercise During the Day
One of the best ways to ensure you get a great night of sleep is to tire yourself out during the day with a workout in the sunlight. Sunlight is a key part of the equation because it helps to strengthen your body’s circadian rhythm by keeping you awake and alert. By the time night comes around, you should naturally feel a little sleepy because of your workout.
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
If you have periods of wakefulness at night, it can leave you feel groggy in the morning. As a result, you might be inclined to sleep in more to “make up” for your interrupted sleep. However, this can further ingrain an inconsistent sleeping pattern. It’s best to wake up at the same time each morning no matter what.
If you’re groggy during the day, it’s very tempting to nap to make yourself feel better. A nap can not only make you feel worse due to “sleep inertia” – the feeling of sleepiness post-nap – but it can also mess up your sleep later that night.
If you’re going to nap, keep it very short – around twenty minutes at most. If you sleep any longer, you risk ruining your sleep pattern.
Takeaways: Sleeping Through the Night
Getting enough sleep is important but quality of sleep is just as critical. If you find yourself regularly waking up at night, try to remedy your insomnia during the day by taking steps to take care of your body and mind.
Remember to exercise, avoid stimulants, and keep napping to a minimum. With these tips, you can experience night after night of blissful sleep.