How to fall and stay asleep

March 29, 2019

A full night’s rest is just as essential as a good diet and regular exercise. It could help keep problematic weight gain and other diseases at bay. It may also have positive influence on your hormonal balance, cognitive ability, and performance and energy levels. You need to consistently enjoy a full night’s rest to optimize your health and stand to benefit from sufficient rest. It can be challenging to fall and stay asleep for the recommended amount of time.

Here are a few tips to help you sleep better and longer during the night.

Managing your exposure to light

Bright sunlight could help you restore your sleep/wake cycle. The circadian rhythm, which helps your body maintain a healthy balance between sleepiness and alertness, is heavily dependent on light. It helps your body release the right enzymes and controls the rhythm of sleep.

Exposure to natural light could help you restore your circadian rhythm. It has proven so successful in clinical trials to help people fall asleep that it has been incorporated into insomnia treatment and management. A meager exposure of 2 hours could improve the quality of your sleep by up to 70%. If you have limited access to natural light, you could consider alternative lighting options such as bulbs or artificial light devices.

Limit exposure to blue light after dark

While managing exposure to light during the day will help boost your circadian rhythm, it could have adverse effects after dark. At night, this sleep/wake rhythm controls the body’s release of sleep and regeneration hormones such as melatonin. If you are exposed to light at night, you may have a harder time falling asleep. Electronic devices such as mobile phones and computer screens emit a large amount of blue light. You need to limit your exposure to this type of light for a full night’s rest.

You should install applications that block out blue light emissions on your devices and turn off any screens at least two hours before going to bed. You may also consider wearing lenses that block out blue light through designated filters. This will help you maintain a viable sleep/wake cycle for better rest.

Avoid caffeine beyond the evening

If you must drink your coffee after 4 p.m in the evening, you should immediately switch to decaf. Caffeine is difficult for your body to break down, staying active for between 6-8 hours. If you are sensitive to caffeine or generally have trouble falling asleep, this could limit your ability to get a full night’s rest even further. Even though caffeine has marked improvements in energy levels and concentration, it could be too difficult to overcome at night and will affect your rest.

Change your mattress

 Your poor sleep hygiene could be a result of an uncomfortable sleeping surface. Your mattress contributes to your sleep in a bigger way than you know. It could be the main cause of your ability to fall asleep, snoring frequency and may be a major influence on your level of comfort. If you notice that you are uncomfortable and unable to fall asleep when in your bed, it could be time to change your mattress. You could consider puffy mattress for a variety of comfortable options that will help you improve your sleep and reduce any likelihood of disrupted nights. Changing your mattress will increase the level of comfort in your bedroom and facilitate a better night’s rest.

Avoid napping during the day time

Power naps have been known to be beneficial in recharging the brain. They may also contribute to restlessness and a reduced level of comfort during the night for some people. Sleeping in the daytime will imbalance your sleep/wake clock, which will not release a sufficient amount of sleep based enzymes to get your body sleeping right at ideal times.

 Naps that last longer than 30 minutes will have a significant impact on some people’s ability to fall asleep later in the night. If you have noticed longer up times during the night, it could be time to consider a permanent night time routine to help you get to sleep. Luckily, people will react differently to naps and you could incorporate one into your day if you notice no change in the quality and consistency of your sleep. 

Maintain a consistent sleep schedule

You can improve the quality of your sleep in the long run and the potential for benefit on offer.   If you usually have trouble sleeping, you should avoid any alcoholic beverages and develop a closer relationship with your sleep environment. This will enable you to fall asleep and wake up at about the same time, which will restore your natural rhythm. 

Going for supplements

Melatonin is an enzyme that controls the body’s feeling of sleepiness.  As a supplement, it offers people suffering from chronic and persistent sleeplessness a chance to enjoy prolonged rest at night. Various studies find that melatonin can improve the quality of sleep by up to 20% without causing any withdrawal effects. For full benefit, you should start with a low dosage to assess your tolerance levels before going for a higher amount.

Melatonin may attract some concern because it will change your body’s chemical composition. It may not be an ideal long term sleep management tool. You could consider other natural alternatives instead. Ginkgo biloba and valerian root are natural options that could help you sleep better and longer. You may also consider foods rich in magnesium and glycil as these help to relax the body and facilitate ideal conditions for sleep. You could also consider aroma therapy through the use of passion flower and lavender. If none of these supplements work, you may need to look into relaxation techniques to help get your body in the right mentality for sleep.

Take a hot bath

For years, this has been the go-to way to relax your body before bed and help you enjoy a full night’s rest. You will be more likely to enjoy deep sleep if you take a hot shower an hour and a half before your bed time. If you have reservations about hitting the shower, you can soak your feet in warm water for a similar relaxing effect.

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