In order to stay in shape, restful sleep quality is as important as regular exercise and nutrition-rich food.
Poor sleep quality may lead to hormonal imbalance, reduction in athletic performance, restricted cognitive functioning, muscle loss, weight gain, poor immunity, etc.
Today, we have science-based evidence on the negative effects of poor sleep. If you are serious about physical and mental health then you should not be taking sleep for granted.
Ahead in this article, we are going to talk about various methods to help you improve sleep quality and quantity.
It may sound counterintuitive but getting some light therapy might help you sleep better and can drastically improve the quality of life.
Light therapy is all about getting exposed to a brighter source of light than our conventional indoor lights.
Science Behind Light Therapy and Sleep? The human body has its own sleep-wake cycle, which is also called “circadian rhythm”. Your circadian rhythm decides when you feel exhausted, when you feel alert, when you’re hungry, and several other bodily processes.
By exposing yourself to the brighter source of light, you stimulate the natural circadian rhythm cycle of the body.
How to get light therapy? 30-40 minutes of daily exposure to direct sunlight should be enough to optimize your sleep cycle. You can also get yourself a “Light Box” that can help in activating the circadian rhythm cycle while staying indoor.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to optimize your sleep and physical health.
Exercise benefits your sleep in many different ways, it improves blood flow, relieves stress, and maintains a healthy hormonal balance.
Regular exercise also decreases the risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by avoiding excess weight gain.
A 2010 study was conducted to observe the effects of intense physical exercise on patients with chronic primary insomnia. Exercise reduced time to fall asleep by 55%, total night wakefulness by 30%, and anxiety by 15% while increasing total sleep time by 18%.
However, exercising late in the evening might have negative implications on sleep quality.
You might require to reduce your caffeine intake if you are experiencing difficulty in falling asleep.
One should not be taking caffeinated products like coffee, energy drinks, and pre-workouts 6-8 hours prior to sleep.
Most people find it difficult to sleep because they can’t let go of the thoughts running through their minds. Guided meditation is a simple process to relax your body and mind to transition it into the state of deep sleep.
Guided sleep meditations are designed to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to help your body prepare for sleep by lowering heart rate and slowing down your breathing.
You can choose different mobile apps or youtube videos to help you with guided meditation. I personally like Headspace for daily meditation.
Our bodies are actually stiffer than you think. Long working hours and lack of movement have been making it hard for our bodies to rest peacefully.
Stretching relieves muscle stiffness and also improves the blood flow throughout the body.
As soon as you wake up and before you sleep, daily stretching is an absolute requirement.
Checkout: 7 MIN STRETCHING EXERCISES BEFORE BED
Some sleep supplements can drastically improve the quality of your sleep.
Epsom salt is nothing but magnesium sulfate flakes that are added to the warm water. Most people are deficient in magnesium which leads to a number of ailments, regular soaking in Epsom walk water has been known to treat a number of issues.
Epsom bath has been known to treat sore feet, sore muscles, sprains, stiff joints, stress, sunburn, lower blood pressure, fights depression, etc.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in our body, it is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body. Magnesium is also proven to improve sleep quality because of a number of reasons.
Going to bed at a set time will help you sleep faster and improve the sleep quality too.
Circadian rhythm regulates the sleep cycle and other crucial functions, scheduling your sleep helps in establishing proper alignment with the sunrise and sunset.
A wrong sleeping environment might be hindering the quality of your sleep. Optimizing the bedroom environment can help:
Invest in good bed, mattress, and pillow
This is contrary to what many people believe. Alcohol does make you fall asleep but it drastically reduces the quality of your sleep which leads to dizziness and hangover.
We hope all the above tips will help you sleep better and wake up with greater energy. If you have any further questions then please feel free to ask.