6 Ways To Improve Quality Of Sleep
A good night of sleep is one of the most important factors in feeling well and maintaining proper health. In fact, it is just as important as proper nutrition and might even be more important than exercise. Studies show that without quality sleep there are immediate negative effects on brain function, hormones and athletic performance. Poor quality of sleep can also cause weight gain and increased risk of disease.
Here are 6 proven methods to improve quality of sleep.
Your body has its own natural rhythm. This rhythm tells your body when to start winding down and relaxing, and when to start waking up and moving. Historically, this rhythm was dictated by the rise and fall of the Sun - but now people have all types of schedules and spend less time outside in direct light. Therefore, it's more important than ever to keep a consistent schedule so your body knows when it is supposed to relax and fall into deep sleep. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day (yes, this includes weekends), this will help you fall into a consistent routine where you start to feel tired right when you're supposed to sleep, allowing your body to get a full night's rest.
Consistent Bedtime Routine
Similarly to keeping sleeping and waking times consistent, having a consistent routine of "sleep hygiene" is also important! Try to have a routine that involves winding down at the end of the night. Brush your teeth, change into comfortable clothes, and try to read or relax all at the same times every night. These actions trigger your brain to know its time to get ready for sleep.
Decrease Blue Light Exposure
Exposure to blue light decreases natural hormones like melatonin that help you fall asleep and disrupts your circadian rhythm. Blue light is present in electronic devices such as television and smartphones. While there are apps that can shut off the blue light on your phone and glasses that block it out, Lune Co suggests simply putting down the phone and reading a book 30 minutes to an hour before bed each night.
Stop Drinking Caffeine In The Afternoon
Whether or not you feel like it is affecting you, caffeine is proven to have negative effects on quality of sleep. Many people enjoy caffeine throughout the day to stay awake, but you will be MORE awake if you get a good night's rest. A great way to help get a good night's rest is to stop drinking caffeine any time that isn't the morning.
Exercise Earlier in the Day
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, stay healthy, improve body function, and exert yourself so that you're more tired at night. However, if you are exercising too late at night then you might actually be keeping yourself awake. Exercising increases the heart rate which will wake you up. Try to exercise earlier in the day and avoid activities that spike your heart rate before bed.
Ashwagandha is a proven method to decrease stress and improve quality of sleep. Take 1 capsule with dinner, you won't feel drowsy but you will feel more calm as you are trying to sleep. By improving sleep quality, ashwagandha and all 5 of these other methods can positively impact your quality of life.