1. Minimize screen time
For many people, scrolling through social media or indulging in their favorite shows before falling asleep has become a deeply entrenched habit. However, what you may not realize is that this negatively affects your quality of sleep. This is because you expose your eyes to wavelengths of blue light that disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm and increase your alertness instead of inducing sleepiness.
Considering that almost all our modern personal devices, most notably, smartphones, computers, tablets, and others emit these sleep-disrupting wavelengths, avoiding exposure is difficult unless you make a conscious effort to stay away from them.
But luckily, there are ways you can keep the effects of blue light to a minimum without having to entirely give up on your electronic devices. These include switching off all electronic devices an hour or so before bed, using a pair of blue-blocking glasses, and installing apps that reduce the intensity of blue-light coming from your phone and computer.
2. Try sleep-supporting supplements
Melatonin and magnesium are two of the best natural sleep aids available on the market.
Melatonin is a sleep-regulating hormone naturally released in the brain by the pineal gland. This hormone helps to prepare your body for sleep. Research shows that a 2-mg dose of melatonin can improve the quality of your sleep significantly, especially when experiencing jet lag. But on the downside, it can make you wake up feeling groggy in the morning and it might not be the most ideal option for every night use.
Magnesium is considered an essential mineral needed by the body in high amounts. Along with its many uses in the body, it has been found to have relaxing and calming qualities which help support sleep. According to one study, taking magnesium supplements positively influences both sleep quality and sleep duration.
You should note that there are various forms of magnesium and the one you get matters. You need to ensure that you get the right one. We recommend that you get magnesium glycinate, which has more bioavailability as well as fewer side effects than other forms.
3. Assess your inner monologue
When it comes to achieving better quality sleep, your internal thoughts and attitudes are equally as important as your physical habits. Victoria Albina, N.P., MPH, nervous system specialist and holistic nurse practitioner, recommends that you examine your views on sleep. If you believe that sleep is something elusive, then that view will become more pronounced in your nervous system, mind, and body. This physiologically leads to more anxiety, ramping up your sympathetic nervous system and making it more difficult to fall asleep.
To create a new positive narrative around sleep, Albina advises that during the day (at a time when you aren’t trying to fall asleep), try to note down your thoughts about sleep and how they make you feel. You then need to take a moment to determine whether that’s what you want to keep feeling. If not, seek within yourself and find out what exactly you want to feel when trying to fall asleep and choose different thoughts.
4. Avoid naps during the day
While taking naps during the day has its own unique set of benefits, it can disrupt your regular sleep cycle and make it more difficult to sleep at night.
According to various studies, taking naps during the day can lower performance on certain mental tasks and increase grogginess throughout the day.
We all have different requirements when it comes to naps and sleep. However, if you notice that you are getting poor nighttime sleep, you should consider skipping daytime naps to see whether that helps to improve your quality of sleep at night. Likewise, it may be worth switching up your mattress, read these customer reports about Helix mattresses.
5. Avoid caffeine intake later in the day
As you may or may not know, the caffeine in coffee and other popular beverages is a stimulant, which acts to improve your alertness levels. While this can be helpful in the morning, it is not what you want when you are preparing to go to sleep.
Given that caffeine can remain in your system for up to 6-10 hours, it will help to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages at least six hours before going to sleep. For example, if your preferred time to go to bed is at 10 p.m., you should cut yourself no later than 4 p.m.