Your lifestyle habits can have a serious impact on the quality and quantity of the sleep you receive. Similarly, your sleep health can also impact how well you are able to perform in your everyday life.
Individuals with a sleep deprivation lifestyle have a hard time maintaining a diet, performing exercise, and focusing at work. We are therefore going to lay out a number of sleep habits that you need to follow to achieve the best physical and mental health.
#01 Diet matters
An important part of a good lifestyle is taking care of the food that you eat. Do not consume food that is rich in fat, oils or is too heavy before going to sleep. Eating too close to the bedtime can not only cause indigestion, acid reflux, and weight gain, but also make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Several sleep experts therefore suggest that the dinner should be taken about 3 hours before you retire to bed. Include food items in your diet that are rich in sleep-inducing nutrients such as melatonin, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6, amino acid tryptophan, etc., such as cherries, turkey, fatty fish, kiwis, nuts, and bananas. Similarly, stay away from food items that can lead to sleep deprivation such as cheese, dark chocolate, ice cream, etc.
#02 Follow a sleep schedule
People looking to make a change in their lifestyle should first of all strive towards following a sleep schedule strictly. Prioritize your sleep health over other lifestyle habits such as late-night movies, partying, staying late in the bed in the morning, etc. Try to fall asleep everyday around the same time and do the same while waking up, even on weekends and holidays. This ensures that you fulfill the required 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day and makes it easier to fall asleep and get up by yourself in the morning.
#03 Unwind before bedtime
Including a bedtime ritual in your everyday lifestyle can turn out to be a big boon as this not only helps your mind and body relax after a tiresome day but also prepares you for the restful sleep ahead. Involve in activities right before going to bed that make you feel calm such as meditation, book reading, soft music, warm shower, etc. Instead of jumping straight into the bed as dictated by your mind, take some time off to perform yoga designed specifically for bedtime to help you sleep better.
#04 Get the right light exposure
The light exposure you receive throughout the day decides how great your nighttime sleep will be. Exposure to sunlight in the day helps regulate your internal clock which controls the sleep-wake cycle of the body. Make sure that your home and workplace receive ample amount of natural sunlight in the day to ward off the feeling of daytime drowsiness and increase alertness. In the absence of such light source, you can also turn to artificial lighting system in the day but make sure that they are dimmed gradually once the sun starts to go down.
#05 Stay away from electronics
Electronic devices like smartphones, TV sets, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, etc., have increasingly become key parts of our everyday life. Most of us know that using such devices late in the night can disrupt our sleep schedule but did you know that the blue light that is emitted by such devices is harmful for our sleep and eyes in the long-term? The short wavelength of this blue light interferes with the production of the natural sleep hormone of our body called melatonin. One should therefore make sure that you stop using any such devices at least 90 minutes before your bedtime
#06 Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol is often mistaken by enthusiastic drinkers as a sleep-aid but as it happens, it is just the opposite. Though such drinks may infuse a feeling of drowsiness and may even help you fall asleep, they will eventually end up ruining your overall sleep by disrupting the later stages of the sleep which are associated with functions like cell recovery, memory consolidation and hormonal regulation. People should also stay away from caffeinated products in the latter half of the day as the stimulating effect caused by them in the day can also keep you awake in the night.
#07 Get yourself a good mattress
Probably the easiest lifestyle change that you can make to enjoy a good sleep quality is gifting yourself a new mattress. Old mattresses can start to sag in the middle, develop lumps and lose support around the edges. All this can create a feel of discomfort and rob your body of the support it needs and that is very harmful for your sleep.
The Tempur-Pedic mattress is one such mattress that provides the body the right amount of firmness and comfort. However, we are considerate enough to provide a list of alternatives to Tempur-Pedic mattresses as the original ones may prove too costly for some of our readers.
#08 Setup a favorable bedroom environment
A comfortable mattress and a strict sleep schedule are only half as good without a bedroom environment that promotes sleep. One should therefore make sure that their bedroom is the coolest, darkest, and the most noise-proof part of your room to prevent nighttime interruptions triggered by your senses. Invest in bedding material that is smooth and breathable such as that of silk, linen and cotton. Ensure that your bed is only used for the act of sleep by keeping all work-related activities away from it.
Exercising regularly is perhaps taken for granted as the number one key for a good lifestyle and sleep health. One should therefore spend at least a small amount of time everyday doing workout or performing light aerobic exercises to increase daytime alertness and body heat and decrease stress and fat. It is important therefore to perform all the exercise stuff in the earlier part of the day to prevent added stimulation before bedtime and increase sunlight exposure.
People around the world nowadays follow unhealthy lifestyle habits without even realizing the full extent of the harm posed by them. Sleep health and lifestyle are mutually dependent which is why the utmost care should be taken to not disrupt either of them. Concerned readers should therefore gather some amount of determination and firmness of purpose to follow the steps mentioned above strictly.Last modified: October 15, 2020