We all want as much energy as we can get for our busy, active lifestyles. While caffeine is a beautiful thing, the best way to increase your energy is to get more, and better, sleep.
Sleep is how the body regains all of the energy it uses during the day. Sleep also has many other functions, including modulating your immune system, cognition, and psychological state. However, sleep is often put on the back burner, or simply not treated as the vital function that it is.
In this post, we will look at how you can improve your sleep, so that you can tackle each day in a rejuvenated state. Keep reading to find out our top tips for better sleep.
Take note of your light exposure
Melatonin is the hormone that is associated with the sleep-wake cycle. The natural release of melatonin at night has been disturbed by unnatural light in the modern world. When we sit in dark offices during the day, our brains cannot tell that it is the day. When we use bright artificial lights in the evening, our brains cannot tell that it is night. Thus, the release of melatonin is no longer a given.
By increasing bright light exposure during the day and reducing blue light exposure in the evening, you will let your brain know that it can release melatonin. If you like to watch movies on your laptop in the evenings, don’t fret. A pair of blue light blocking glasses will do the trick.
Be careful with your caffeine
Caffeine is an very important and appreciated stimulant, but you may be having too much. After six hours, half of the caffeine you ingest is still in your system, and it takes up to ten hours to leave your system. So, to help sleep, finish up your coffee drinking pleasures at lunchtime, and swap over to tea. Also, keep in mind that caffeine doesn’t only exist in coffee - those energy drinks are full of it too.
Work on your sleep schedule
This one may be tricky, as many of us have unpredictable lives and social schedules. However, our bodies work best when we go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Going to sleep just one hour later than usual can mess up your circadian rhythm, so it is really best to make your sleep and waking times as consistent as possible. So if your alarm goes off at 7 am, don’t fall back asleep until 8 am. We understand the temptation, but the consequences are no fun.
Use your bed for sleep
Our beds are comfortable, there’s no doubt about it. However, sitting and lying in bed while doing other tasks can have a negative impact on your sleep. Working or studying in bed will tell your brain that this is not a place for sleep, and you will struggle to relax as much in bed. In addition to this, working in bed is not ideal for productivity, so you’re really not helping yourself with this one.
Stop taking naps
A cozy nap in the middle of the day can make you feel better and more energetic in the moment, but it can make it far harder for you to fall asleep at night. Rather skip the nap, and look forward to better sleep at night. If you do need to get in a power nap, keep it to 20 minutes and under, and aim for the first half of the day.
Take a hot bath or shower
Taking a hot shower or bath is a very popular way to improve sleep health. The heat, as well as the cleaning off of the day, and relaxation without external stimulants can improve the overall quality of sleep, and may help you to fall asleep faster.
Create a pre-sleep routine
This is one of the best ways to improve sleep health, as it is also a lot of fun, and is perfect for “me time”. Your routine will be your own and will help prepare your body and mind for sleep. Whether you prefer to listen to relaxing music, do a little pre-bed yoga, meditate, read a book or do a great skin routine, a daily ritual is one of our favorite tips for better sleep.