Everyone knows that having a good night’s rest is important for your overall health, but do you know why? Not only can a good night’s sleep give you a mood boost, it can also strengthen your immunity, increase your rate of recovery and even contribute to keeping your weight under control. If you’re having problems getting some quality shut-eye, read on for some tips on how to enhance your sleep quality and wake up ready and refreshed for a new day!
1) No Phone Zone
You may feel that it’s useful to keep your mobile phone beside your bed. Maybe it’s your alarm clock, or maybe you check your pressing emails or quickly check in with your friends on your social media apps before you fall asleep. However, while it might keep you connected, it certainly does not help you sleep better.
In fact, sending out emails or using social media tends to stimulate and excite your mind, making it harder for you to relax and fall asleep.
Additionally, the late-night messages and notifications might interrupt your sleep both with the rings and vibrations and with the light your device emits.
According to Business Insider, a study from Reuters Health found that those who read from hardcopy materials before bedtime found it easier to sleep and displayed different electrical brain frequencies as they were falling asleep as compared to those who read using an electronic device.
So put that phone away!
2) Write It Down
Can’t sleep because you have too many things to keep track of? Instead of worrying about forgetting the things you have to do when you wake up, why not scribble it all down in a notebook? A journal will not only help you to remember your errands, it will also help you keep track of your daily achievements, ideas and goals.
According to Psychology Today, keeping a gratitude journal to keep track of the things you feel appreciative of is linked to better sleep quality and lower levels of anxiety.
3) Neat for Sleep
Remember when your mom used to pester you about cleaning your room and making your bed when you were a kid? She may have had a point. According to a study by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, messy environments affect your ability to stay focused and process information, rendering you distracted. Additionally, a messy room might create other stressors, such as thinking about when or how you can tidy up your room, which will not help to improve your much-needed beauty sleep.
4) Embrace the Darkness
Have you noticed how being in a dark place makes you feel sleepy? This is because light affects the levels of a hormone called melatonin, which is responsible for your sleep patterns. In the dark, your brain produces more melatonin, causing you to feel drowsy.
If your sleeping area has light coming in, whether from outside or inside your room, you should consider taking steps to block it out. You can try drawing the curtains, putting devices in a drawer or getting a sleeping eye patch for a deep, uninterrupted rest.
According to clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Breus, while light is essential during the day for regulating your sleep cycle, at night light alters your circadian rhythms, causing your body to release less melatonin and disrupting your sleep quality.
5) Strictly for Sleeping
Many of us have spent enough nights tossing and turning under the sheets to know that unless you are pretty worn out, it can be hard to fall asleep immediately.
According to ScienceNordic, working on your bed stimulates your brain, which can cause the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Once your brain associates your bed with work, it is possible that you may find it hard to fall asleep. By strictly using your bed for rest, your brain is more likely to naturally associate it with sleep and relaxation. It is therefore important to keep other activities such as working, playing games or chatting with your friends to a minimum.
Sleep is definitely an integral factor to keeping yourself healthy. At the same time, it is also important to engage in a healthy, active lifestyle and to make sure you are meeting the right nutritional needs. You might find it hard to squeeze in time for extra shut-eye because of your hectic schedule, but making small tweaks to your lifestyle might just be the key to helping you feel more energized!
These articles are inspired by Dr Jau-Fei Chen, the founder of E. Excel, tireless campaigner for Nutritional Immunology.