Latest posts by Dr. Dan Jensen (see all)
- The New Science of Sleep - September 1, 2019
- The Future of Sleep Studies - September 1, 2019
- “Sleep Divorce”: Why Couples Might Get a Better Night’s Sleep in Separate Beds - September 1, 2019
We know how frustrating it can be if you’re struggling to sleep at night. You wake up feeling groggy and tired, and have a hard time being productive at work, or being understanding when interacting with your loved ones. You feel irritable, and know you’re not functioning at your best. Want to get a better sleep every night? Here are 7 tips for better sleep.
1 – Develop A Routine
To get a good night’s sleep every night, it’s important to develop a consistent routine. Keeping the same waking time and bedtime has been shown to help your natural circadian rhythm, or sleeping and waking cycle. Consistency will cue your body to produce melatonin before bed, and stop production during the day. A consistent routine will help your body prepare for sleep every night, and keep you alert during the day. Maintain this routine even on the weekends, and avoid the urge to stay up late or sleep in until noon. After a few weeks with this routine, you’ll start waking up at the same time every morning even without an alarm, and feel refreshed and ready to face the day.
2- Create a Restful Bedroom Environment
The environment you’re sleeping in will have a big effect on your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Paint the walls a peaceful neutral color, and choose natural, soft bedding. Don’t place a TV in your bedroom, and make sure your alarm clock doesn’t create a lot of bright light. Maintain a slightly cooler temperature in the bedroom, and keep external noise to a minimum. If you can hear a lot of traffic noise in your room, sleeping with white noise could help you have a great night’s sleep without distractions.
3 – Don’t Take Long Naps
If you’re feeling tired during the afternoon, it can be tempting to take a long nap. You feel like you’re behind on sleep, and could use the extra hours of rest, but napping can actually have a very negative impact on your ability to sleep at night, and you’ll even feel groggy when you wake up from your nap. Sleeping for long hours during the day can upset your circadian rhythm, and if you’ve had a long afternoon nap you’ll struggle to sleep at night. If you’re feeling very tired, take a short power nap for less than 30 minutes, but avoid long naps.
4 – Increase Blue Light Exposure During the Day
Want to sleep better at night? Controlling your blue light exposure can help. Blue light is one way your body regulates the circadian rhythm. Natural light is blue light, and it tells your circadian system that it’s daytime. This affects your body, hormones, and brain, keeping you alert and active. Increase your exposure to blue light during the day by sitting near a window, getting outside, and using blue light in your workspace.
5 – Decrease Blue Light Exposure During the Evening
During the evening, decrease your exposure to blue light. Being exposed to a lot of blue light during the evening will keep you awake and trick your body into thinking that it’s daytime! Install red light filters on your phone and computer, and make sure the lightbulbs in your living room produce soft light. Avoid watching TV just before bed, and turn off any bright lights a couple hours before you want to fall asleep.
6 – Avoid Eating Late at Night
You may be tempted to reach for a sugary bedtime snack, but studies show that eating late at night can affect your sleep. When you’re digesting food, your body produces less melatonin, and you’ll have a harder time falling asleep. Eat your dinner a few hours before sleeping, and if you need a snack before bed, avoid sugary or carb-heavy treats.
7 – Avoid Caffeine in the Evening
A good cup of coffee can help you stay motivated in the morning but in the evening, it can interfere with your natural sleep cycle. Caffeine will keep you from relaxing, and if you consume coffee even a few hours before sleeping, you could experience reduced quality of sleep.
Sound Sleep Medical
Getting a great night’s sleep is important for your physical, mental, and emotional health. If you’re not sleeping well, you’ll experience a lot of negative effects like reduced cognitive function, memory problems, weight gain, and an increased risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes. Visit us at Sound Sleep Medical to learn more about better sleep.