A good night’s sleep is just as essential to our physical and mental well being as regular exercise and a healthy diet. However, despite its importance, many of us find ourselves deprived of quality sleep and end up receiving the immediate negative effects on our body, mind and emotional functions.
The effects of sleep deprivation can be long term. From memory and concentration issues, mood swings, weakened immunity, high blood pressure, weight gain, the risk of a heart attack and even low sex drive, the list of side effects due to the lack of sleep is never ending. So how do we work towards improving our sleep quality?
Well, in conjunction with World Sleep Day, we want to help you optimise your sleep time and reap the benefits of a well rested sleep. So here are healthy habits that you can practice at home to allow your body, mind and soul to have the sleep you deserve.
- Ditch The Device
Studies have shown that the blue light that emits from our gadgets can disrupt our sleep cycles. While it may seem like a harmless bedtime habit, even a few minutes of scrolling through your device can wreck havoc on your sleep. So leave your phones out of the bedroom, and if you use it for the alarm, then go old-school and replace it with a real alarm clock instead.
- Journal It
Research shows that writing down the stresses of your day, can help clear your mind. They also show that journaling has mind boosting abilities like helping you to achieve your goals, building self confidence, sparking creativity and healing. Therefore, experts recommend it as a way to help you fall off to sleep.
- Keep It Moving
While it is not advisable to work out right before bed, research shows that exercising in the evening can help you get a better night’s rest. Moderate to vigorous exercises can help increase sleep quality by reducing sleep onset and decreasing the amount of time you lie awake in bed during the night.
- Eat Right
Old wives’ tales made us believe that eating before bed is bad for us. However, the truth lies in what you eat that makes a difference. According to dieticians, the right bedtime snack can provide the fuel that your body needs to burn calories while you sleep. Just be sure to avoid snacks like chips, cookies, cereal or any desserts, but instead try nibbling on some kiwi or fruits that can boost your sleep quality.
While a nightcap might knock you out faster, research shows that alcohol disrupts your sleep. So instead of having a glass of wine for dinner, why not replace it with water and you’ll see that you’ll wake up hydrated and fresh from a good night’s sleep!
- Sleeping With Your Furry Friend
While some experts say that sleeping with your pets can disrupt your sleep, there is also evidence that say otherwise. Therefore, identify the kind of sleeper you are and adjust accordingly. If you find your pup keeping you awake, then it’s best to have a separate bed for your furry friend. But if you sleep soundly knowing that it’s there with you, then snuggle away! The key point is to remember to keep your bed your sleep haven.
- Oral Hygiene
Many may not consider this as a healthy habit before bed, but if you don’t take care of your oral hygiene, then plaque and bacteria will build up over time and that will jeopardise your oral health in the long run. So brush at least twice a day, and make sure you do before bed! After all, nothing beats clean white teeth when you smile!
Sleep scientist say that our body temperature is crucial in regulating our sleep. When you have a warm shower before bed, it helps you to relax as you crawl in to your sheets. And that helps to improve your sleep quality.
Besides its numerous health benefits, meditation actually calms the mind which leads to peaceful sleep. You can complement your meditation by reciting self assuring mantras before drifting off and watch its benefits unfold the very next day!
- Stick To A Regular Bed Time
While getting the required hours of sleep is important, the time you head to bed also makes a difference. So set a time to sleep and follow it as best as you can. After all, if you want to get the required 7-9 hours of sleep daily, you will have to go to bed at a time that will allow you to fulfil your sleeping needs!
So, there you go, 10 healthy habits that you can put in place to help you get the best quality sleep you deserve! While some of the steps above may seem simple, the secret lies in prioritising sleep! And when you wake up fresh and happy to reap all its benefits, you’ll thank yourself in the end!