It is important to get quality sleep even if you are having a hard time with it. There are negative effects on being sleep-deprived in the long term.
Stages of Sleep
There are a couple of sleep cycles, and you alternate between NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement) and REM sleep (Rapid eye movement). In stage 2, the body temperature starts to drop and your start becoming disengaged from your surroundings. Stage 3 is where you enter deep sleep, where your muscles relax and your breathing slows down. This stage of sleep is important because it is where restorative sleep happens, which allows the body to grow and recover. It is also good for your immune system and other body functions.
The brain is most active during the last stage which is REM sleep, which is almost the same level as when you are awake. REM sleep is believed to be important for functions like learning and memory.
Sleeping Better and Improving Sleep Quality
Sleep is very important and that is why you need to get enough and quality sleep. Below are some tips that will go a long way in helping you get more restful sleep.
Making Lifestyle Changes
The best thing you can do to improve the quality of your sleep is to make changes to your lifestyle. Try to sleep at the same time every day, including the weekends. The body clock or circadian rhythm is going to get accustomed after a while to these timings. You will have an easier time falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning. When your body is used to the new time, you are going to wake up automatically – you will find yourself not needing an alarm clock to wake up. You should make these changes slowly; you can try to sleep earlier each day. You also need to void using your computer, mobile phone, or tablet at least an hour before bedtime. The screens of these devices emit blue light that can make it hard for you to fall asleep. You should also consider exercising if you are not already doing that.
Exercising in the morning or afternoon is going to be good for your sleep. It will raise your body temperature by a couple of degrees. When the internal thermostat drops later in the day to the normal range, it will trigger feelings of drowsiness and it is going to help you sleep better. Exercising outdoors is also a good idea because it exposes you to natural light, which will help the body establish a good sleep-wake cycle.
Try to get 150 minutes of exercise a week. Try to get 10,000 steps every day because it will improve your health.
Create a conducive sleeping environment
Having a comfortable environment is going to do wonders for your sleep. If you are in noisy surroundings, you can play nature sounds, white noise, or calming music in order to mask the noise. Eye masks, shades, earplugs and mattresses are some of the other things you can use to create the perfect environment for sleeping. Read these reviews mentioning Serta to find the best Serta mattress for you.
You should also have a bedtime ritual that you follow before going to bed. You can wind down by listening to soft music, dimming the bright lights, taking a warm bath, or reading a book. If you are still finding it hard to fall asleep, then play soothing music or noise-like nature sounds or white noise. Give them a try and see what your body responds to best.
Making changes to your diet is a good idea because it can help improve your sleep. You shouldn’t eat heavy meals before bedtime. It is also advised to cut down on caffeine because it is a stimulant that keeps you awake. Alcohol before bedtime can seem like a good way to sleep, but it is going to make it hard for you to get deep sleep. You will also be dehydrated and find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to drink water or go to the toilet.