Getting a great night’s sleep seems to be one of the biggest ongoing mysteries of our time. It’s become almost ephemeral at this point, and many people will try all sorts of unusual methods to try and achieve an uninterrupted snooze. However, there’s good news – ensuring a great night’s sleep is actually really easy, all it takes is a bit of discipline.
First thing’s first – if your mattress is old, uncomfortable or not supporting your body then it’s time for a change. Speak to a specialist like Sleepy’s to make sure you get the right mattress for your body type, because picking the wrong one might mean getting even less sleep than you are already.
Limit your exposure to backlit screens after about 8pm as much as you can. Backlit screens emit a blue light that interferes with your body’s melatonin levels, a hormone that helps you become drowsy and drift off to sleep. If you must use your phone in bed, most iOS and Android devices come with a night-time mode that reduces the blue light that inhibits melatonin release.
A nip of scotch or a glass of wine before bed might help you drift off to sleep just fine, but alcohol dramatically reduces your REM sleep cycles, or those times when you’re sleeping deepest. What this results in is a light and probably fitful sleep that won’t leave you feeling rested and energetic the next day.
No Caffeine after 4pm
Many of us rely on caffeine to get us through an average work day, from that first cup of soy latte in the morning to the mini can of sugar-free cola that gives us a boost in the afternoon. It’s easy to continue that habit at home when you have a Coke with dinner or a coffee while you watch TV after the meal. Don’t – caffeine plays havoc with your sleep cycle. Try to avoid these drinks after 4pm and you’ll notice the difference right away.
Light is the stimulus that tells your brain it’s time to start waking up. If there is any light pollution in your bedroom, you’ll find that you tend to wake up throughout the night as your brain will think the sun is up and it’s time to wake. Eliminate as many light sources as you can from your bedroom, including standby LEDs on electronics, and invest in some heavy blinds if you value a sleep-in.
These are just a few sure-fire ways you can guarantee a great night’s sleep. What are your favorite tricks? Sound off in the comments below!