It’s no secret that everyone wants to get a good night’s sleep. However, this can be difficult to achieve. The good news is that there are a few simple changes that you can make to your daily routine that can help you sleep better at night.
- Turn Off Your Electronics
You probably know from experience how tempting it can be to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite TV show or scroll through your Instagram feed. However, spending too much time on your electronic devices can disrupt your sleep, especially if you’re using them at night.
Studies have shown that the blue light emitted by electronics blocks the body’s melatonin production and interferes with its ability to fall asleep. Melatonin is responsible for promoting restful sleep, so you can see why preventing its production can keep you up all night. Red light therapy benefits the body by stimulating melatonin production and therefore allowing for better sleep. In addition, red light can also allow you to wake up feeling more alert. As little as 10 to 20 minutes of red light therapy is enough to improve your sleep quality.
- Limit Naps During the Day
A power nap can be extremely helpful in getting you through the remainder of your day. However, napping for a longer period of time or late at night can actually have the opposite effect. Sleeping during the day can upset your body’s internal clock, which can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
One study found that while taking a power nap for less than 30 minutes can improve brain function, longer naps can negatively affect sleep quality. It’s generally recommended that you nap for 10 to 20 minutes and no later than 4 p.m.
- Sleep Naked
This may sound strange, but sleeping naked is a great way to fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality. Because your body is programmed to lower its temperature at night to fall asleep, sleeping naked can expedite this process by lowering your temperature more quickly.
Many people wake up in the middle of the night because they’re overheating. Therefore, sleeping naked is a great way to stay cool and enjoy an uninterrupted night of sleep. In addition to these benefits, some others include:
- Reduction in anxiety and stress
- Improvement in skin health
- Preventing weight gain
- Lowering risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease
- Avoid Strenuous Exercise
Exercising regularly can help you sleep better at night, but performing it too late can disrupt your slumber. Research has shown that exercising at night can increase body temperature, adrenaline levels and heart rate, therefore making it harder for your body to fall asleep. If you still want to work out at night, try opting for lighter exercises and be sure to finish at least two hours before bedtime.
- Avoid Caffeine
You may be craving a cup of coffee later in the afternoon to boost your energy levels, but it’s best to steer clear of caffeine after a certain time. Caffeine, similar to blue light, blocks melatonin production, which can stop your body from winding down and preparing for sleep. In fact, one study discovered that consuming caffeine six hours before bed decreased sleep time by one hour. Therefore, it’s best to stop drinking caffeine at least six hours before you plan on going to bed.
If you need an energy boost later in the day, you can rely on vitamins and minerals to give you that extra push. Some of the best supplements for energy include:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
The good news is that you’re not doomed to toss and turn every night if you make a few simple changes to your nighttime routine. From avoiding strenuous exercise to turning off your TV and phone before bed, there are plenty of ways that you can get a better night’s sleep tonight.