6 Recommendations From Sleep Experts To Help You Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The quality and quantity of your sleep greatly impact your daily life. A good night’s sleep can enhance your mood, productivity, and overall well-being, while a lack of sleep can lead to a high risk of accidents, decreased productivity, increased stress, and serious health complications.

Fortunately, sleep experts and researchers are constantly working to develop evidence-based guidelines for optimizing the quality of your sleep. Here are 6 evidence-based recommendations to help you get a good night’s sleep:

Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Your body runs on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm. This internal clock regulates the release of hormones and chemicals that control when you feel awake or sleepy. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule is essential to help regulate your circadian rhythm and ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. This means going to bed and waking up at approximately the same time every day, even on weekends. 

If you tend to sleep in late on the weekends, your circadian rhythm won’t be able to sync with your sleep schedule, and you may experience difficulty falling asleep or waking up during the week.

Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment

Your bedroom should be quiet, dark, and cool to create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. 

You can achieve this by:

● Keeping your bedroom at a cool temperature (around 65°F is ideal for sleep)

● Getting blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block out light

● Investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows

● Using earplugs or a white noise machine to block out noise

A sleep-conducive environment can improve sleep quality by reducing the stimulation of your senses and promoting relaxation. Additionally, reducing light exposure in the bedroom can help regulate the release of melatonin, which is important for regulating the sleep-wake cycle.

Limit Exposure to Bright Lights and Screens Before Bedtime

The light that is emitted by TVs, computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices can disrupt your circadian rhythm and interfere with sleep

To reduce the impact of screens on your sleep, experts generally recommend limiting your exposure to screens for at least an hour before bedtime. 

Your circadian rhythm is regulated by melatonin, a hormone that tells your body to prepare for sleep. Your body knows when and how much melatonin to produce based on light exposure. 

That’s why you should dim your lights and turn off your electronic devices in the evening. Otherwise, the lights will trick your body into thinking it is still daytime, and you’ll have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.

Create A Relaxing Night Routine

A relaxing night routine can help you wind down and prepare your mind and body for sleep. This can include activities such as reading, stretching, meditating, or taking a warm bath.

Having a set routine signals to your brain that it is time to sleep and can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply. Additionally, engaging in relaxing activities before bed can reduce stress and anxiety, which are common causes of sleep problems.

Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol Consumption 

Caffeine and alcohol are common causes of sleep disturbances. Caffeine is a stimulant that can take several hours to wear off and can interfere with your ability to fall asleep. 

And while alcohol may initially help you fall asleep faster, it will prevent you from getting quality sleep later in the night. 

To improve your sleep, it is recommended that you limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

Get Regular Exercise 

Daily physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and improve the overall quality of your sleep. 

Exercise can also help regulate your circadian rhythm and reduce stress levels, both of which are important for good sleep. It is typically recommended to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as walking, jogging, or cycling. 

Just make sure to finish your exercise routine at least a few hours before bedtime, as heart-pumping exercises in the evening can be overstimulating when you are preparing for sleep.