Five Research-Based Tips for Better Sleep

It is perfectly normal to have a bad night’s sleep; but, the burning question is how we can improve the quantity and quality of our sleep. If you are tired of tossing and turning around in your bed trying to sleep, but to no avail, then you are here at the right place.

Here are some essential tips for better sleep:

1. Design a Schedule:

If you want to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, make it a habit to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. Regularity is the key as it will fix your sleep by improving quality and quantity no matter which day of the week it is, even if you had a bad night of disruptive sleep before.

Make sure you check the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up to calculate the hours sleep you get. If it is difficult for you to fall asleep right away, stop the use of all electronic devices at least one hour before your scheduled sleep time. 

The human brain functions best under the conditions of regularity, including the control of one’s sleep-and-wake schedule. The underlying mechanism is that we have an internal clock deep within our brain that anticipates regularity. The tip is to include a go-to-bed alarm instead of having a mere wake-up alarm.

2. Keep the Room Cool & Dark

The human brain and body are wired in a way that they need to cool off by at least two degrees Fahrenheit to fall asleep and stay asleep. This is self-explanatory about why humans find it easier to sleep in cold rather than hot surroundings.

That said, it is recommended to keep the room temperature cool; preferably, at eighteen degrees Celsius. While it might sound cold right now, the truth is that it better be cold than too warm. Besides, turn off the lights and envelop yourself in darkness if you aim for a good night’s sleep.

You might have heard about the hormone of melatonin before, which helps our mind and body regulate healthy sleep timings. It has been analyzed that this hormone is triggered by darkness, which is why you should turn off your tech gadgets or put them away at least one hour before sleep.

3. Choose the Right Bed Linens

Believe it or not but the quality of your bed linens plays a crucial role in having a good night’s sleep. Natural fibers like Puffy bamboo sheets are ideal for absorbing or draining sweat and they make a massive difference in inducing a comfy and restful sleep.

Besides, make sure you wash and change the bed sheets regularly; ideally, once a week. Furthermore, choose a good pillowcase; preferably a silk pillowcase that is also good for your hair and skin as it prevents wrinkles and breakouts.

4. Move it Out!

If you have a tough time falling asleep and spend one hour after the other, awake in bed, we recommend getting up and walking it out. As a rule of the thumb, if you have been lying awake in your bed for half an hour and haven’t managed to fall asleep, or, you have woken up and haven’t been able to get back to sleep, it is recommended to get out of bed, and get moving.

If you don’t want to walk, do something different with the objective of tricking your brain into becoming associated with something else. Our brain is trained to associate feelings with objects; for instance, coffee is associated with wakefulness, and the bed is associated with sleepiness.

When you feel that you cannot get back to sleep or have been trying to fall asleep for more than half an hour, it is time to get up and start doing something else. Only return to bed when you feel tired and ready to fall asleep. This way, your brain will re-learn the association of the feeling of tiredness with your bed.

5. Mistakes to Avoid for Better Sleep

Many of the things used by people to help them sleep inadvertently are actually harming their sleep.  Examples are weed and alcohol. It is common for many people to have a shot of nightcap in the evening, believing that it will help them fall asleep.

This, however, is not true! Alcohol belongs to a certain category of drugs known as sedatives, and sedation is not sleeping. So, what actually happens when someone takes a nightcap in the evening is that they are simply knocking out their cortex and going into a sedation-like state instead of natural sleep.

There are also a few other problems associated with alcohol and weed. Firstly, alcohol messes up your sleep pattern causing  more awakenings throughout the night, which is why you don’t feel restored after waking up the next morning.

Another thing about alcohol consumption is that people don’t really remember waking up through the night to realize how much disruption alcohol has been causing. Besides, alcohol is quite good at shutting off REM sleep which is crucial for different functions that comprise one’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

Many people use marijuana to relax and curb their anxiety which might prevent them from falling asleep. Unfortunately, things don’t stand well for marijuana either. Like alcohol, marijuana also affects the biological mechanism differently, eventually blocking REM sleep. So, the advice right now is to not rely on alcohol and marijuana in the hopes of getting a goodnight’s sleep.

Final Thoughts…

To improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, you should regulate your caffeine intake. Avoid consuming caffeine after 3 PM and prepare your mind and body to close down so that you can have a restful sleep at night. 

Turning off your gadgets and putting them aside at least half an hour before sleep time is a good idea. Find out what works for your mind and body, and once you have found it, stick to that routine. It is important to mention here that if you are suffering from insomnia or some other sleep disorder, you ought to talk to your doctor and look for an appropriate solution.