8 Tips for a Better Quality Sleep
Leading neuroscientists urge the country to go back to bed! People who wake up too early or function on too little sleep can respond as poorly as drunks and are just as bad as smokers health-wise. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-8 hours a night. According to a survey done by the Sleep Council in 2011, almost half of us average under 6 hours of sleep every night.
Check out these tricks:
- Be mindful– many people begin to worry about the past or future increasing insomnia by cultivating a “learnt response”, where the brain repeats the pattern the same way every night. Instead, focus on the present moment. Practice letting go of your thoughts and use your senses. For example, notice the rise and fall of your breathing or the touch of the duvet on your toes.
- Create a peaceful haven– your bedroom should be uncluttered, cool, dark, and quiet. It should be a calm place strictly associated with relaxation and sleep.
- Eat snooze foods– several foods promote sleep by increasing the release of melatonin. Never go to bed hungry. Practice eating an early evening meal and then sleep-inducing snacks before bed. Great bedtime snacks are foods that contain tryptophan such as warm milk and turkey; foods that contain orexin such as honey; and foods with high levels of serotonin and magnesium like almonds, bananas, or oatcakes.
- Understand your circadian rhythm type– start noticing the times you feel and perform your best. Also notice the times you wake up without an alarm and times you begin to feel sleepy in the evening. Click HERE to take an assesment that helps find out your type. Once you are aware of your “chronotype”, you can set healthy goals that work with your natural rhythms.
- Time your workouts correctly– excercising releases chemicals and hormones that produce better quality sleep. However, vigorous excercise 3-4 hours prior going to bed can interfere with your sleep because working out increases the body’s temperature, adrenalin, heart rate, and brain activity overall.
- Know the 20-minute rule– if you are still tossing and turning after 20 minutes of attempting to sleep, stop and get out of bed. Leave the bedroom and start doing unstimulating activities such as reading a book or knitting. As soon as you feel sleepy, go back to bed and try again.
- Consider alternate therapies– there is evidence that sleep problems related to a certain lifestyle can be helped with homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, massages, etc. As long as a treatment is not harmful, it may be worth trying.
- Dig deeper– your doctor may need to consider specific sleep disorders that cannot be fixed without treatment. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are common serious sleep disorders. Narcolepsy and sleep walking are more rare. Keep in mind that there are different ways to treat sleep disorders. For instance, sleep apnea/snoring has an effective, non-invasive dental solution for sleeping better and living longer. Contact a dentist who treats sleep apnea/snoring with oral appliance therapy for guidance. Treatments for all of these dangerous, life threatening disorders can give you transformative benefits.