When looking for a house to purchase, you imagine your day-to-day life fitting in to each home you view. You see yourself cooking in the kitchen, relaxing in the living room, and having a family dinner in the dining room. But, do you think about how well you’ll sleep in the bedroom? Practicing healthy sleeping habits will help make all the time you spend in (and out of) your home much more enjoyable.
Researches advise that adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Quality sleep helps you build your immune system, balance your hormones, strengthen your memory and concentration and regulates your emotions. Here are few ways you can help yourself get some better shuteye.
- Work out daily. A regular exercise routine is helpful for many reasons. It helps with your overall health including managing your blood pressure, maintaining your weight, and improving your mood. Additionally, your quality of sleep can greatly improve when you implement a daily exercise schedule. In fact, one study reports that sleep quality can improve up to 65% when 150 minutes of moderate-to-active exercise is practiced. Another study showed it helps reduce the time to fall asleep by 55% and increased total sleep time by 18%. Whether aerobic exercise by itself or aerobic exercise along with weight/resistance training, it’s a great habit to help with sleep… just don’t do it too close to your bedtime. It’ll be more difficult to fall asleep too soon after you get your blood pumping and energy levels up.
- Watch your intake. While it might seem an alcoholic beverage could help your sleep, that’s not necessarily the case. It actually can disrupt your sleep patterns, increase snoring, and bring about symptoms of sleep apnea. It also decreases the production of melatonin, a chemical produced by the pineal gland to help promote sleep. If drinks before bed can make your sleep suffer, the same can be said for caffeine. It’s no secret consuming a cup of coffee or anything containing caffeine right before bed isn’t the best idea for sleeping. It’s been shown best to avoid caffeine up to 6 hours before you plan to sleep. It’s important to keep track of what you drink and eat before bed so that you don’t do anything to prevent yourself from enjoying the night fully.
- Gauge the room. We all have different preferences regarding the environment in which we like to sleep. To get the best quality of sleep for yourself, consider all the factors, especially the room temperature. Higher temperatures have shown to increase wakefulness through the night and hurt the overall quality of sleep. On average, 70°F seems to be the optimal room temperature. If your sleeping environment is challenged by sources of light (like the extremely bright street light outside my bedroom window), consider using an eye mask or room-darkening shades. Does noise seep through? Earplugs or a fan can help filter the noise. Small tools and settings can increase the quality of your sleep dramatically.
- Create a routine. If you’re an impromptu person, that’s great on vacation, but the body tends to like and respond well to routines, especially when it comes to sleep. Establishing a regular schedule to go to go to bed and to wake up will train your body to easily rest at the right times. While it’s tempting to indulge in staying up late or sleeping in on the weekend, it’s best not to vary the schedule by more than an hour. A couple of hours before your trip to dreamland, starting lowering the lights and turning off your laptop and television. Also, you probably get enough screen time during the day. It may come naturally to lie in bed and scroll through Instagram before trying to fall asleep, but it’s been proven that screen time can have the eyes send signals to the brain that it’s still daytime. Instead of spending time on your smart phone, consider a good, old fashion book. If you must use your phone, use an app like Calm that provides guidance, coaching and tools on how to best relax and sleep.
It’s amazing the difference a good night’s sleep can make. Applying some of these habits can help facilitate nights of better sleep for you, making your days much more enjoyable.