5 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Studies have shown that quality of sleep can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to lose and maintain weight over a long period of time.
As a teenager and young adult, I had a very hard time falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up in the morning. These days, I have significantly less trouble sleeping. Here are five tips and tricks that are research-based and have really helped me sleep better.
Keep your room as dark as possible.
- According to SleepFoundation.org , “artificial light after dark can send wake-up messages to the brain.” In high school and college, I found myself constantly waking up the glow of my phone from an incoming text or notification. As an adult, I’ve found that my sleep gets interrupted far less when my phone is facedown on my nightstand instead of in bed next to me.
- Other ways to keep the room dark include using blackout curtains, and making sure your lights and TV are turned off before you go to sleep.
- It is recommended that the ideal sleeping temperature ranges between 60–68 degrees Farenheit. While it’s not always possible for me to keep my room at that temperature, I’ve found that keeping cool while I sleep has helped a lot. (There is nothing worse than when I used to wake up sweaty and hot in the middle of the night and unable to fall back asleep).
- One major switch I’ve made has been swapping my duvet for a lightweight quilt. During the colder months, I’ll keep a throw blanket at the bottom of the bed that I can reach for if I need something warmer.
- Another switch has been wearing lightweight pajama shorts instead of heavy fleece pajama pants or sweatpants.
Stretch any sore muscles & massage your feet.
- Yes, you read that last part correctly and I know that it sounds rather strange. But giving myself a quick foot massage before bed is my go-to after a stressful day when I need a little extra help relaxing. Many chiropractors and massage therapists recommend a quick foot massage to help relax muscles and improve your blood circulation — which will in turn help you fall asleep.
- Not your thing? You might want to try a few of these stretches: spinal twist, child’s pose, knees to chest, seated hamstring stretch.
Listen to relaxing music.
- According to SleepFoundation.org , listening to music “decreases levels of cortisol” and “can also contribute to relaxation by soothing the autonomic nervous system.” I created a designated playlist for myself of soothing soft rock and R&B songs that I put on if i ever wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time going back to sleep. Usually I’m fast asleep by the 2nd or 3rd song.
- If lyrics can be distracting for you, you can try searching “432 Hz Music” on YouTube. I’ve found this music also gets me back to sleep quickly.
Waking up at the same time every day.
- The National Institute on Aging recommends waking up at the same time every day. I used to base my sleep schedule off of what I needed to do the next day. That meant I’d wake up at 5am one day, 8am the next day, and sleep until 10:30am on a Saturday. These days, I wake up between 5:30–6am every day. I’ve found that over time, this has allowed me to feel less groggy and tired in the morning.
Originally published at https://www.hustlenmuscles.com on November 10, 2020.