People spend a lot of time telling you that you need more sleep, but nowhere enough time telling you how to accomplish that.
Modernity is filled with distractions, obligations, crazy high standards, side hustles, social media management and marketing for regular jobs, never-ending to-do lists, and unhealthy working standards.
It’s hard to find the time and hard to cultivate the habits that make for good sleep, especially because you can feel like choosing sleep involves ignoring something else.
The following will help you make the sleep that you’re already having count by presenting a few tips that can help you sleep better at night.
The Stimulant Factor
Let’s get the big issue out of the way quickly. Stimulants are a part of most people’s day. Sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and stronger substances stay in your system for far longer than you feel their impacts.
It might not seem like that coffee you had three hours ago is still working, but it is. This means that you need to be extra careful in the hours before bed.
Ideally, you would be moving towards a stimulant-free existence because these substances wreak havoc on your adrenal system and your circadian rhythm, which in turn damages your sleep.
Of course, it takes time to remove all stimulants, especially when you feel you need them to get through the day.
You don’t actually need them to get through the day; this is your addiction tricking you. It knows if it makes you feel tired, you’ll have another coffee or another sugary snack; it knows if it makes you stressed, you’ll have another cigarette.
A large percentage of your daily overwhelm, relationship issues, and anxiety can be linked to substances you’re addicted to. The body is clever, and withdrawal feels like lethargy, stress, impatience for your boss, friends, and family, and discomfort.
What You Sleep On
Another major factor in the quality of your sleep is your sleeping environment. This means finding a mattress that’s the right size for you (or larger if you have other people sleeping in your bed) and one that’s the right balance of firmness for your back and preferred sleeping positions.
Most people find they need hybrid mattresses to meet their needs because most people are not on either extreme of the spectrum.
Secondly, this includes your pillows, sheets, and blankets. In particular, it’s important to note that most people experience inflammation when they breathe in fragrances.
This means that when washing your pillows, sheets, and blankets, you should avoid scented or fragranced detergents, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.
All of these products coat materials in chemicals that reduce the quality of your breathing which can negatively impact sleep.
Be wary of products labelled “scent-free,” as this often means that more fragrance has been added to cover up the original scent.
Breathe Through Your Nose
Breathing through your nose results in 30% more oxygen coursing through your body. This improves your sleep and most other markers of health and comfort.
It might take a bit of conscious focus to shift your breathing from mouth to nose, but if you keep putting in the effort, you can alter your breathing habits which will carry over into your sleep.
If you cannot, for some reason, breathe through your nose, this is not something that can be ignored. Congestion is not something you need to deal with.
You might have an allergy; you might need to clean your space (clean the air by purchasing an air filter and having lots of plants). Seek out a breathing specialist if you can’t figure out why you’re congested.
This is incredibly serious; oxygen is a big part of whether you feel awake during the day. It impacts your focus, mood, creativity, energy levels, memory, and concentration.
Address The Artificial Light
Artificial light is most often emitted from electronic devices; it interrupts your body’s natural regulation of sleep hormones by tricking your body into thinking it’s not nighttime.
If you have something that emits light but must remain on in your bedroom, like an air filter or dehumidifier, put black tape over the light.
Unplug anything that emits light and doesn’t have to be on. Yes, you use your phone as an alarm clock—everyone does nowadays—put it in another room and turn the volume way up.
This might make it even easier to wake up because you’re going to have to walk before you can turn your alarm off.
The above tips should help you get better quality sleep. Each will work wonders alone, but all together, they can drastically alter the quality of your life.