August 20, 2022 5 min read

HOW TO SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT

You may be surprised to hear that most individuals do not sleep as much as they believe. Adults require approximately seven hours of sleep per night to feel relaxed and function well the following day.

According to Mindell et al. (2009), the National Sleep Foundation reports that the average person sleeps between six and a half and seven hours per night. Although many people report feeling sleep deprived, that is more than enough sleep to function well. Consider all the variables that can disrupt a good night's sleep, from work stress and family obligations to unanticipated obstacles, such as illness. Unsurprisingly, quality sleep is occasionally elusive. While someone may not manage the causes that disrupt sleep, you can develop sleep-promoting habits.

Factors that Help Sleep Better

Maintain a Consistent Sleep Routine

A healthy adult should sleep for at least seven hours per night. The majority of people do not require more than eight hours in bed to accomplish this aim. Get up and go to sleep at the same hour each day. Try to keep the variance between weeknight and weekend sleep schedules to no more than one hour. Consistency helps the body's sleep-wake cycle to function optimally. If you do not fall asleep within around 20 minutes, exit the bedroom and engage in the soothing activity. Read a book, listen to calming music or podcast and retire to bed when exhausted.

Daytime Exercise

Individuals who exercise consistently sleep better at night and are less tired during the day. Silanikove (2000) clarified that regular exercise also alleviates the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and lengthens the time spent in the restorative stages of sleep. Exercise increases the metabolic rate, raises the body temperature, and stimulates the release of hormones such as cortisol. This is not an issue if you exercise in the morning or afternoon, but too close to bedtime can cause sleep disturbances. Complete moderate- to vigorous-intensity workouts at least three hours before nightfall. If you're still having trouble sleeping, start workouts earlier. Relaxing, low-impact exercises such as yoga or mild stretching can promote sleep in the evening.

Pay Close Attention to the Foods and Beverages you consume

Avoid sleeping hungry or stuffed and eating substantial meals within a couple of hours. That discomfort may be keeping you awake. Nicotine, coffee, and alcohol all warrant caution. Nicotine and caffeine's energizing effects take hours to wear off and wreak sleep quality havoc. Additionally, Issa & Sullivan (1982) mentioned that while alcohol may induce sleep, it might interfere with sleep later in the night.

Establish a Tranquil Setting

Create a sleeping environment that is conducive to rest. This often entails keeping it chilly, dark, and silent. Exposure to light may make falling asleep more difficult. Avoid using light-emitting screens for an extended period soon before night. Consider utilizing room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan, or other gadgets to create a comfortable setting for you. Taking a bath or engaging in other relaxing activities before bedtime may also aid in good sleep.

Relax and Clear your Mind

Do you frequently struggle to fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night? Residual tension, worry, and anger from the day can make sleeping difficult. Bickford (2005) commented that taking steps to minimize overall stress levels and learning how to break the worrying habit will help you sleep better at night. Your everyday routines may also be a source of difficulty clearing your mind at night. As the day wears on, it becomes increasingly difficult to wind down and relax at night. Like many of us, you continually pausefor the day's responsibilities to check your phone, email, or social media. When it comes to sleeping, the brain is so habituated to seeking new stimuli that it becomes difficult to unwind. In one research, Shinde & Anjum (2014) noticed that a soothing massage enhanced sleep quality in unwell persons.

Exclude the Possibility of a Sleep Disorder

An underlying medical condition could cause sleep troubles. Sleep apnea, which causes uneven and interrupted breathing, is a frequent problem. People with this disease repeatedly stop breathing while sleeping. This illness may be more prevalent than one might realize. According to Flemons et al. (2004), 24% of males and 9% of women suffer from sleep apnea. Other medically identified concerns include sleep movement disorders and circadian rhythm sleep/wake disorders.

The Circadian Rhythm

It affects the brain, body, and hormones, assisting you in remaining alert and in communicating with the body when it is time to sleep. Natural sunlight or strong light helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm during the day. This increases both daytime energy and the quality and duration of nighttime sleep. Adaytime bright light exposure increases the quality and length of sleep in those who have insomnia. Additionally, it decreased the time required to fall asleep by 83%. Some users indicated that two hours of bright light exposure throughout the day boosted sleep duration and slept efficiency by 80% in older persons. While most studies have been conducted on those who have significant sleep problems, everyday light exposure will almost certainly benefit you even if your sleep is typical. Try to acquire daily exposure to sunlight or invest in artificial bright light equipment or bulbs if that is impossible.

Consider Taking a Melatonin Supplement

Melatonin is a critical sleep hormone that signals the brain to relax and unwind. Supplements containing melatonin are a very popular sleep aid. Melatonin is frequently used to treat insomnia and may be one of the simplest ways to fall asleep faster. Consuming 2 mg of melatonin before bed enhanced people's sleep quality and vitality the following day and their ability to fall asleep quickly. Half of the sample fell asleep faster and saw a 15% improvement in sleep quality. Additionally, neither of the trials above revealed any withdrawal symptoms.

Melatonin is particularly beneficial when traveling and transitioning to a new time zone since it aids in the restoration of the body's circadian rhythm. Melatonin is not available without a prescription in various countries. Melatonin is commonly available in different countries, either in stores or online. Take around 1–5 mg 30–60 minutes before sleeping. Begin with a modest dose to determine your tolerance, and then gradually raise it as needed. Although melatonin has the potential to affect brain chemistry, it is recommended that you see a healthcare Expert before use.

Conclusion

A good night's sleep is essential to overall health. According to a thorough analysis of studies, sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity in children by 91% and in adults by 55%. Others have discovered an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes with sleeping fewer than 7–8 hours per night. Make sleep a priority and use some of the recommendations above to ensure that you're getting the best possible sleep quality.

References

Bickford, M. (2005). Stress In The Workplace: A General Overview Of The Causes, The Effects, And The Solutions. Canadian Mental Health Association Newfoundland AndLabrador Division, 44.

Flemons, W. W., Douglas, N. J., Kuna, S. T., Rodenstein, D. O., &Wheatley, J. (2004). Access To Diagnosis And Treatment Of Patients With Suspected Sleep Apnea. American Journal Of Respiratory And Critical Care Medicine, 169(6), 668-672.

Issa, F. G., &Sullivan, C. E. (1982). Alcohol, Snoring, And Sleep Apnea. Journal OfNeurology, Neurosurgery &Psychiatry, 45(4), 353-359.

Mindell, J. A., Meltzer, L. J., Carskadon, M. A., &Chervin, R. D. (2009). Developmental Aspects Of Sleep Hygiene: Findings From The 2004 National Sleep Foundation Sleep In America Poll. Sleep Medicine, 10(7), 771-779.

Shinde, M. B., &Anjum, S. (2014). Effectiveness Of Slow Back Massage On Quality Of Sleep AmongICU Patent’s. IJSR, 3(3), 292-298.

Silanikove, N. (2000). Effects Of Heat Stress On The Welfare Of Extensively Managed Domestic Ruminants. Livestock Production Science, 67(1-2), 1-18.