In the same fashion that charging your phone or your laptop is so important to you, do you consider the value of recharging your batteries so that you can be productive, through sleep? If you haven’t taken a moment to evaluate your sleep quality, we invite you to do so now – and if you find room for improvement, take a look at these 5 tips to maximize your sleep quality:
What you eat before bed can greatly affect how you sleep throughout the night. According to a study conducted by the University of Helsinki of 3000 young Japanese women, subjects who had the tendency to stay up until the later hours of the night (night owls) or suffered from insomnia consumed greater amounts of alcohol, fat, confections, and meat, and reported interruptions of sleep throughout the night. In contrast, subjects who were early risers and were more productive in the morning time (morning people) had a greater calcium, vitamin B-6, vegetables and seeds intake, and reported a more restful sleep.
Eat more fruits and vegetables (the latter both raw and cooked,) reduce your fatty foods intake (as they may cause sleeplessness, and lack of sleep may cause a craving for fatty foods – a cycle challenging to escape,) keep energy-dense food consumption at a minimum throughout the day, and eliminate it at night. It has been found that drinking a tart cherry juice blend before bedtime has beneficial effects on sleep, comparable to valerian and melatonin.
A study by the American Sleep Foundation found that regular exercise fosters better sleep quality. This study also found that despite the common belief that intense exercise before bedtime disrupts sleep, its benefits outweigh the mere average 14 minutes it delays falling asleep. Daily exercise is ideal, and it increases uninterrupted sleep duration. Staying active throughout the day also has a positive effect on sleep patterns.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed
Even though it is a common belief that a “nightcap” or last drink of the day is a relaxing practice, it actually affects your sleep quality negatively. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, ethanol consumption has been found to reduce REM sleep and cause waking spells during the night, reducing your ability to recharge as you’re supposed to. Refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages at least 6 hours before bedtime.
Refrain from using technology at bedtime
Studies have found that the use of light-emitting devices at bedtime has a detrimental effect on sleep: they prolong the time it takes to fall asleep, delay the circadian clock, suppress hormone melatonin levels (the sleep-promoting hormone that regulates your sleep cycles,) and reduce the amount of REM sleep. If you want to get the most restful sleep you must close your laptop, turn your television off, and put your cellphone away.
Create a sleeping routine
If you have children, you may have experienced that a bedtime routine can work wonders in a child’s night. Create the habit of easing yourself into the night: shut down all technology, let go of the hurdles of the day, and commit to going to bed at a certain time so that you’re able to get the amount of sleep you need. Take a few minutes to relax and enjoy the comfort of your bed. A helpful practice can be to reflect on the positive aspects of the day and your life as you lie down, and make a brief mental gratitude list.
We hope that these habits will help you improve your sleep quality, and that the wholesomeness that they will bring into your sleep may echo throughout your day.