Have trouble falling and/ or staying asleep?
You’re not alone. The American Sleep Apnea Association states that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic classes; however, these difficulties are possible to solve. Here are ways to alleviate sleep-related issues so that you can improve not only the quality of your sleep, but also your health.
Limit screen time before bed
As someone who has had difficulty falling asleep, I’ve found this to be extremely effective. Research has found a correlation between the blue light that your phone emits and suppressed levels of melatonin, a hormone responsible for your sleep-wake cycle. Dr. Charles Czeisler, from Harvard Medical School says that, “Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour – making it more difficult to fall asleep.” Try to put away your electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep to rest easily.
Practice Yoga and Meditation
Many sleep difficulties that people face can be due to stress. A study showed that yoga incorporates body movements that release stress and tension, which helps to improve sleep. Meditation has also been proven beneficial in relation to sleep as it can enhance melatonin levels and help develop a harmonious balance between the body and mind that is necessary for peaceful sleep.
Reduce caffeine intake
As someone who has cut down their coffee consumption to one cup a day, I definitely thought this could never be done. This wasn’t until I was having difficulty falling asleep that I knew I had to change something in my daily routine. Caffeine can take about 3-5 hours to eliminate just half of the its content and the rest of the amount can stay in your body for an even longer time. This is why it’s best to drink your coffee earlier on in your day so that it doesn’t can disrupt your sleep. After you’ve had your cup for the day, you may still find that you need more energy to complete your tasks. There are ways to get and stay energized without coffee so that you can fall and stay asleep easily without the caffeinated drink.
Go to sleep at the same time every night
Going to sleep at the same time every night has many benefits including helping you fall asleep faster. By maintaining a regular sleep schedule, you’ll reduce your sleep latency, the time it takes for you to fall asleep. A study found that shifting from irregular to regular sleep patterns cut down an average of 45 minutes of sleep latency to around nine.
Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment
An essential step for getting quality rest is having an environment that allows you to do so. Your bedroom can have a huge impact on how well you sleep. There are steps you can take to create a perfect bedroom for sleep such as clearing out cutter, keeping your room cool, and adding a relaxing scent. Additionally, many times we might just lay in our bed while watching a Youtube video or scrolling on our phone, but try to use your bed only for sleeping. By doing this, you develop a positive association between the two. By investing in making your bedroom a relaxing environment, you’ll get quality sleep that will help you recharge for the next day.
Sleep is crucial to good health so implement these changes into your life to feel and see their effects on your body!