Poor sleep can greatly affect your health, brain function, mood, and hormones. In fact, this can result in weight gain and an increased risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For good health, quality sleep is just as important as diet and exercise. Here are our top ten tips on how to sleep through the night for better well-being and quality of life.
1. Get a Comfortable Mattress
The best mattress is not only necessary for comfort but also for support helping keep the natural alignment of your spine and body posture in place. A quality mattress should keep your spine in a neutral position regardless of whether you are lying on your front, side, or back.
To ensure gentle support, be mindful of the heaviest parts of your body (which are the pressure points) when choosing a bed. Try out a few mattresses before making your purchase.
2. Choose Your Pillows Carefully
Pillows relieve and counterbalance pressure points, keeping the upper body in alignment during sleep. The pillow should adjust with your sleeping position and your body's unique shape and curves to provide support for your neck and upper back.
3. Opt for Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains not only stop sunlight from ruining your sleep but they also help keep heat out. A cool, dark bedroom is ideal for comfortable sleep. Blackout curtains are also useful in a nursery room for longer and better sleep for your baby.
4. White Noise Machines
External noise, often from traffic and busy city life can easily result in poor sleep. A white noise machine also referred to as a sound machine, can help create a relaxing environment to promote better quality sleep. White noise machines often produce natural ambient sounds such as gentle rain or crashing waves.
5. Optimize Your Bedroom
Although there are environmental factors outside your bedroom you don’t have control over, there are ways to enhance your interior bedroom environment for better sleep. To improve your bedroom atmosphere, minimize artificial lights, beeping, and ticking noises from devices like alarm clocks and digital screens. Wearing a sleep mask will also help block out unwanted light. Make sure your bedroom is clean, dust-free, and well ventilated.
6. Set Your Bedroom Temperature
It can be hard to get a good night’s sleep during hot summer months. Try out different temperatures to see which is the most comfortable for you. Most people sleep optimally at a temperature of around 70°F (20°C). You can control the temperature by ensuring sufficient ventilation, using a fan, air conditioning, and changing your bedding to thinner sheets.
7. Reduce Blue Light Exposure
Blue light is the light that electronic devices like computers and smartphones emit in large amounts. Blue light misleads your body into thinking that it is daytime. Avoid bright screens at least two hours before you go to bed. If you use electronic devices in the evening, consider installing an app that filters blue light at night or wear blue-blocking glasses specifically designed to minimize blue light from devices.
8. Relax and Clear Your Mind
Relaxation techniques before bed can improve sleep quality. Many people have a pre-bedtime routine that helps them unwind. This may include listening to music, reading, or meditating.
9. Take a Bath or Shower
Taking a warm, relaxing bath 60 to 90 minutes before bed is known to improve sleep quality. If a full bath is not an option for you, bathing your feet in warm water can also have the same relaxing effect and improve sleep.
10. Reduce Naps
If you take naps during the day this could be one of the reasons you don’t sleep well at night. Keep your naps to a maximum of 30 minutes once a day or cut them out completely to improve your quality of night-time sleep.
Make sleep a top priority as part of your health regime to reduce your risk of disease and keep your immune system functioning optimally.