Do you find it difficult to fall asleep at night? If so, you’re not alone—millions of people worldwide struggle with getting a good night’s sleep.
According to The National Sleep Foundation, adults should get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Are you getting that much sleep? If not, the good news is that there are several things you can do to improve your sleep patterns.
This blog article will discuss six habits that will help you get better sleep at night!
6 Habits For Better Sleep
Your path to better sleep for the night begins when you wake up in the morning. Meaning, what you do during the day directly impacts how well you sleep that night. Here are some habits to incorporate into your day to ensure a better night’s rest.
Get some fresh air
Fresh air can do wonders for your health! Getting outside can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase levels of Vitamin D, but it can also help you sleep better! Research shows that getting natural light during the day helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle (or circadian rhythm). So, try to spend time outside every day, especially in the sun.
Add more lean protein to your diet
Protein is broken down into the amino acids needed to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin, which help regulate sleep.
Low protein diets have been associated with poor sleep quality and difficulty falling asleep. In contrast, high protein intake has been associated with difficulty staying asleep throughout the night. However, studies have found that a diet made up of 16-19% in protein has been linked with the ability to increase better quality sleep. Sources of lean protein can include fish, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Stop taking naps
Naps can interfere with nighttime sleep, depending on how long your nap is. A typical sleep schedule consists of 4 different stages:
- NREM Stage 1: slow brain waves, light sleep (1-7 minutes)
- NREM Stage 2: muscle relaxation begins (10-25 minutes)
- NREM Stage 3: growth, muscle repair (20-30 minutes)
- REM Sleep Stage 4: dreaming, high brain activity (30-40 minutes)
If you have to nap, try sticking to 30 minutes or less to get some rest that results in a quick boost of energy but doesn’t move into REM sleep. REM sleep is a deeper sleep with high brain activity that, if woken from, can make you feel exhausted. Additionally, if you nap for too long, you might have difficulty falling asleep at night.
Stop drinking caffeine too late
Caffeine is a stimulant. Coffee or teas with caffeine in them can stay in your system for up to eight hours. If you consume caffeine too close to your bedtime, you may feel too wired to sleep, or your sleep cycle may be interrupted. To avoid difficulty sleeping, stop drinking caffeinated beverages by early afternoon.
Establish a sleep routine
Waking up at the same time each day helps regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. An intentional, consistent sleep schedule is one of the most important things you can do for good sleep throughout the night. Try some of the following tips to establish a healthy routine that results in better sleep:
- Determine a bedtime: give yourself 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Create a restful environment: a room that is cool, dark, and quiet.
- No blue light: blue light can make it difficult for your brain to shut off and fall asleep.
- Do a relaxing activity: read a book or try a guided meditation to relax into a slumber.
Natural sleep supplements
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