Do you have trouble sleeping? Before asking a doctor to prescribe you medication for insomnia, consider whether your lifestyle could be adjusted in a way that might promote a better night’s rest. There is a lot that goes into an excellent night’s rest, whether it’s what you ate for dinner or the mattress you’re sleeping on – which The Sleep Judge can help with.
The University of Pennsylvania has found clear evidence of a correlation between sleep quality and food intake. Specifically, it was found that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to consume higher amounts of calories. The study also found that people with a balanced diet tend to be more regular sleepers than people who like eating one particular type of food more than others.
Interestingly, it didn’t seem to matter whether that one favorite food category was fast-food calorie bombs or vegetables and legumes. It’s simply the variety of the diet that seems to prepare the brain for an easier night’s rest.
However, if there was one definite substance that should be locked up every evening, it’s caffeine. Caffeine is known for its stimulant effect, and that can shake up your sleep schedule if you use it too often to stay up late at night.
Alcohol has been shown to make it easier to go to sleep, but generates a sleep of lower quality than going without. Plus, you’re more likely to wake up in the wee hours of the morning, which can throw the entire night out of balance.
Choosing a Sleep-Healthy Lifestyle
If you’re not getting a good night’s rest consistently, you might be able to make some slight changes to the way you approach sleep. For instance:
- Do you take naps during the day? If you do, you might be offsetting your brain’s ability to turn itself off at night – it might only be willing to go for about four hours during the night because it expects another couple hours in the middle of the afternoon.
- Do you sit in bed when you’re not tired? Even if you’re trying to adopt a healthy sleep schedule, going to bed when you’re not tired is counterproductive. Not only will you be unable to sleep, but you’re also training your brain to associate bedtime with that state of mind – you’re best off going to bed as soon as you feel like sleeping, and avoiding it the rest of the time.
- Do you have any bedtime rituals? Whether it’s brushing your teeth and taking a shower or making a to-do list for the next day like American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, having a bedtime ritual and sticking to it can help effectively prepare you for sleep.
Simply by following these few suggestions, you will be able to improve your mood and benefit from a better night’s sleep without having to drastically change your life or get medication prescribed.