Sleep is important for your health, vitality and well-being every day. A good night's sleep can improve your concentration at work and helps you to start the day in a good mood, but it’s not just the amount of sleep you get, it's the quality too1.
If you hear your alarm go off in the morning and you wake up feeling tired like you only just went to bed, here are a few simple changes you can make to help you feel well-rested and awaken at your best every day.
Despite what we read and see in popular culture, alcohol can cause sleep problems rather than induce a deep slumber.
When you drink alcohol, your body metabolises it into sugar, raising glucose levels which can keep you awake and fragment your sleep3. Alcohol is also a diuretic and can cause dehydration, which may wake you up because you are thirsty or need to use the bathroom (or both).
With all of these effects combined, it’s best to lay off the alcoholic drinks if you want to improve your sleep.
Regular and sufficient exercise is not only good for your health, but your sleeping patterns as well.
It’s recommended to exercise daily for a minimum of 30 minutes4. Maintaining a healthy exercise routine can strengthen circadian rhythms, promote daytime alertness and help bring on better sleep at night, because you’re burning more energy throughout the day5.
Schedule some time in daily and get into a routine of keeping active to help improve your quality of sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime!
Too much light and higher temperatures can have an impact on sleep.
Light from computers, TVs and, more commonly, smart devices can negatively affect your circadian rhythms6. Even the glare from lamps and overhead lights can throw them off. It’s best to avoid light and bright screens before bed, so turn them all off. If you’re struggling, use an eye mask and install heavy curtains to keep your room dark.
Room temperature can also help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and get more restorative sleep, too7. Try and keep your room around 16 to 18 degrees Celsius because this range is the most complementary to the cooler temperatures your body experiences during the middle of the night.
It should come as no surprise that getting into bed with a restless mind is not really going to help you get a good sleep!
Instead, relax your thoughts by winding down slowly and clearing your head before bed. This will help calm your mind and help you be more at peace – which is ideal for sleeping!
Source: https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences Healthy Sleep. 2008. Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. accessed 09 Aug 2019
Source : Drake C et al. Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(11):1195–200.
Source : Alcohol Alert. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Source : Walking for good health. Victoria State Government.
Source : Dijk D-J, Archer SN (2009) Light, Sleep, and Circadian Rhythms: Together Again. PLoS Biol 7(6): e1000145.
Source : https://sleep.org/temperature-for-sleep/ accessed 17 June 2019
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