An Easy Guide to Better Sleep
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Sleep is essential for our mental health, general well-being and performance. If we lose balance when it comes to sleep, all other areas of our wellbeing are affected. That is why when you are feeling stressed, depressed, anxious or burned out, your sleep is one of the first things that you might want to take a closer look at.
Check out the following list to see if there is any room for positive adjustments in your daily routine
Maintaining regular times for waking up and going to bed is the best thing you can do for your sleep hygiene. Sleep consistency, with a maximum of 30 min fluctuation, can go a long way when it comes to sleep quality.
You should plan 8 hours of bedtime for a minimum of 7 hours of sleep in order to create the most relaxed transition possible and to be able to take possible waking times into account.
Create your own personal relaxation area inside your bedroom. Electronic devices such as TVs are better left outside the bedroom as they can negatively impact your sleep.
You should avoid doing anything other than sleeping inside your bed. This is how you can train your body to go into sleep mode faster when you're lying in bed.
Working in bed, for example, has been shown to impair sleep because your brain may associate the bed with mental activity and possibly even stress.
Tipp: If you are unable to sleep, get up and do some quiet activity until a natural tiredness returns. This can help restore the association between your bed and sleep.
You can support your body’s "circadian rhythm" to get better sleep. All you have to do for that is dim the lights inside the apartment - especially in the bedroom - towards the evening. Your bedroom should be dark, almost cave-like. You can use blackout blinds or a sleep mask during the night. If possible, you should avoid blue light emitted by LED screens beginning two to three hours before bed.
Tipp: Almost all electronic devices nowadays have a “night mode” setting, which enables the blue filter function of the devices to be activated during the evening.
A room temperature of 18-20 degrees helps our body to regulate itself down for a restful sleep.
Food & Drink
For restful sleep, try not to eat anything anymore starting about two hours before bedtime.
Try avoiding caffeine starting 10 hours before bedtime.
Noise reduction is an important aspect of creating a sleep-friendly space. If you can't get rid of the noise, try using a fan or a white noise machine to block it out. Another option for blocking out abrasive sounds while sleeping is to use earplugs or headphones.
Exercise improves every aspect of health. Apart from its beneficial effects on the mood, it decreases stress and promotes deep restorative sleep. You can start small. Even just a simple walk everyday can have a significant positive effect on your sleep.
If you are into high intensity training, try to be finished approximately three hours prior to your bedtime to give your body the time it needs to calm down afterwards.
State of mind
Avoid horror movies, thrillers and the like before going to bed. (In fact if you feel that you react quite strongly to these forms of entertainment, you might want to consider steering away from them entirely.) Your brain processes watching a movie or playing a video game in a way that is quite similar to the way it wold process actually experiencing the content. If you want your princess sleep, putting your brain in the middle of a medieval battle field right before closing your eyes might prove to be counterproductive. Just watch yourself closely to determine whether your quality of sleep changes according to the type of content you saw before going to bed.
You should try to integrate regular rituals into your sleep hygiene before going to sleep. Over time your body will learn to interprete these as a signal to calm down and transition to sleep. To really foster that effect, try to maintain the same sequence of actions every day.
If your sleep problems persist after you've tried the above, it might be a good idea to consider professional help.
Mental- as well as physical health and sleep impact one another mutually. Learning to cope with psychological stress in a professional setting for instance can greatly contribute to your restful sleep and might prove to be an impactful starting point for your recovery.