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How to Sleep Better Using Natural Tips and Tricks

Learning how to sleep better means acknowledging that bad or interrupted sleep is a very common problem. There can be many reasons for this: bad diet, snoring, depression, lack of exercise etc. Luckily there is an abundance of great advice available on how to fall asleep.



Ideally you should wake up rested in the morning, without the need for an alarm clock, and feel refreshed and full of energy all day. If you have issues sleeping, either because you cannot fall asleep or because you wake up during the night, or if you do not feel rested when you wake up, some of the following advice might help you find out how to sleep better. Basically, you need to improve on what is called your sleep hygiene.

Make sure that you get plenty of fresh air outside. Preferably you should soak up a bit of sunshine every day. Even if the sun is not shining and it is cold and wet outside, you should still get out there. Natural daylight regulates our biological clock and results in the release of the hormone melatonin, which plays a big part in building a well balanced sleeping pattern. 

Even on a cloudy day sunlight can reach 3000 lumens, where some of the strongest indoor light only reaches 400 lumens. Sunlight also increases production of serotonin that can aide in limiting tiredness and depression, and prepare the body to produce melatonin.  

how to sleep betterMake sure that you exercise every day. Numerous studies show that regular exercise for at least 30 minutes a day not only helps get to REM sleep earlier, but also increases the quality of the various additional stages of sleep

Exercise right before you sleep (not including sex, luckily!) can, however, make it harder to fall sleep. Instead you should try to get your daily exercise in the morning or least as early in the day as possible. Avoid exercising after 7pm!

Try to plan a daily shift between physical activities and less active, relaxing activities up to 3 hours before you go to bed. Read a good book, listen to relaxing music or take a quiet walk. 

Also try to avoid strong light right before bedtime. This will delay your melatonin production, which will pick back up later in the night, and make you feel groggy in the morning.

 

Make sure that you go to bed at decent time. Before electricity was invented people went to bed just after sunset. Animals do the same. Nuff said. You will sleep better if you go to bed before 10:30 pm, trust us on this one.

 

how to sleep betterHave a warm bath or shower before you go to bed. The point of this is that it makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. Also a bath raises your body temperature, which falls back down during sleep. 

Some scientists believe that when the body temperature is raised before bed and then falls when you go to bed, it will be easier to fall asleep and as a bonus, you will also sleep better.

Always avoid food with high sugar content or carbohydrates before bed. 

Chocolate, cake, candy, coke, potato chips etc. act as stimulants that make your blood sugar rise, and will thereby disturb you sleep. Later in the night, when your blood sugar suddenly falls to again, you may wake up and not be able to go back to sleep.

Avoid products containing caffeine. Caffeine is not efficiently transposed in the body, and the effect can therefore be felt for a long time after ingestion. Even a cup of afternoon coffee (or even tea) or just a cup of cocoa can mess with people's sleep efficiency. As a general rule, don't drink anything caffeinated after 2pm. Even if you think that a cup of coffee before bedtime does not disturb you, studies paint a very different picture. Caffeine stimulates the sympathetic part of the brain (the “fight or flight” part) in the autonomic nervous system as well as the adrenal and thyroid glands, which are some of the most important glands in the body's endocrine system, making it difficult for you to fall asleep.

how to sleep betterYou should also be aware that even a single glass of alcohol before bed has its price. You may think that alcohol helps you go to sleep by relaxing you and this is true, but the effect is normally very short term, and many people experience waking up again and not being able to go back to sleep. 

Furthermore alcohol prevents you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body achieves maximum regeneration. Alcohol also relaxes your body to a point where snoring will be much more common! Be very careful with drinking and sleeping!

Take control of your (or your partners) snoring, and of your healthy sleep habits. Snoring is a common problem and can be incredibly disturbing for the snorer and other people in the bedroom. There are many remedies available, some more effective than others. Try to avoid chemical ones, especially prescription or over the counter sleeping aids. Instead you should focus on the many natural remedies that are proven to decrease, or completely cure, snoring. Another option is to review some anti snoring devices that can also help you and your partner to achieve a full night’s sleep.

Lastly, you should really consider using a sleep diary. It will bring your problems to light if you are a troubled sleeper. You can use a regular logbook or a handy smartphone app;

Lastly, the importance of a high quality bed cannot be underestimated. This is why many companies - such as Sleep Innovations - produce beds that improve the quality of your sleep considerably, so be sure to check out their line.

Useful Links:

Have you ever considered that you might be using a sleeping position that's not good for you? Sleeping positions can have a drastic impact on the quality of your sleep. The website How Sleep Works has a nice overview of some of the most common sleeping positions that help to reduce snoring.


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