‘Sleep well’ or ‘sleep like a baby!’… that’s how we often wish bid good night to our near and dear ones. But have you ever thought about the deeper meaning of these wishes? Well, it’s all about desiring a deep, restful, and sound sleep. Quality sleep is extremely essential for a healthy body and mind. A peaceful sleep of seven to eight hours ensures strong immunity, a healthy heart, steady blood sugar levels, weight control, a sharp brain, and a happy mood.
On the other hand, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, psychiatric disorders, acute or chronic pains, susceptibility to viral infections, and even cancer due to increased inflammation in the body. So it goes without saying that skimping on sleep leads to much more than just a grumpy morning.
However, sleeplessness at night has become a very common problem. So, let’s acquaint you with some home remedies for how to sleep better at night naturally. Presenting, research-backed solutions for lack of sleep:
1. Cut down on caffeine
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that keeps your mind alert. So, consuming a cup of coffee in the later half of the day would definitely keep you awake late at night as it stimulates the nervous system and disrupts sleep. Hence, it is advisable not to consume caffeine six to eight hours before sleeping as it can create sleeping problems at night.
2. Be mindful of bright lights at night
Circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle or the body’s clock, is absolutely important for healthy sleep. This rhythm is affected by light and darkness, and is controlled by a small area in the middle of the brain.
Exposure to natural or bright light during the day keeps you energetic and ensures a good night’s sleep. In contrast to this, exposure to blue light at night, which is emitted by your smartphone and other devices, keeps your brain alert at night and doesn’t allow it to rest. It disturbs the circadian rhythm because the brain confuses night with the daytime. This reduces melatonin production, the hormone responsible for inducing sleep and relaxation.
The solution? When using your smartphone at night, switch to night mode to block blue light. Turn off your TV and bright light two hours before you go to sleep, and keep your smartphone away at least an hour before.
3. Energise your bedroom environment
Wondering how to sleep well at night? Well, then you can start by optimizing your bedroom environment. Minimise the artificial lights, change the structure of your furniture, make it more pleasant and be sure it is a clean and calm place without much of noise distractions.
The comfortable room temperature makes you even sleep better.
4. Use comfortable mattresses and pillows
The next step in how to improve sleep quality is to invest in the quality of your bed, mattresses and pillows. Poor quality mattresses can definitely increase the lower back pains and neck pains which can further lead to disturbed sleep.
5. Be consistent with your sleep and wake cycles
Irregular sleep patterns like going to bed late and waking up late over the weekend and shorter time spent in bed during the week can affect your circadian rhythm and causes you to struggle with falling asleep. It’s better to sleep and wake up at the same time during the entire week. If you follow this pattern for a while, you might not even need your alarm clock.
Long naps during the day also affect sleep quality at night, again by confusing the internal body clock. Apart from that, they hinder with your cognitive performance as well. So it’s advisable to take power naps only for 30 minutes for rejuvenating yourself, so that you don’t deal with sleeping problems at night.
6. Eat the right foods
Your food habits can affect your lifestyle in terms of health, energy, and also your sleeping patterns. Certain foods that help in improving sleep quality include almonds, walnuts, and kiwi as they are rich in magnesium and melatonin. Magnesium calms and relaxes the mind, while melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone. Drinking chamomile tea before bed has been a remedy for insomnia since ages, thanks to the presence of flavonoids.
Apart from the type of food, the time at which you eat is also very crucial. Eating late at night might cause bloating and discomfort. Extra spicy food may also cause heartburn which can adversely affect your sleep cycle.
7. Avoid alcohol
Consumption of alcohol is a big NO if you are working hard on how to get good sleep as it increases snoring and sleep apnea (breathing disorder while sleeping).
8. Relax and rejuvenate
A relaxed mind falls asleep easily. Try reading a book, listening to soft music, do visualisation, indulging in a massage, or may be taking a relaxing bath or shower before sleeping. Taking a hot shower just before 90 minutes can be a sure-shot solution to how to improve sleep.
9. Exercise regularly
Exercising daily can help in reducing insomnia. In many cases, it has been proven more effective than sleep-inducing drugs. Though exercise helps you get good sleep, working out too late or close to sleep time might hamper sleep as it increases the levels of adrenaline hormone that has a stimulatory effect.
10. Limit liquid intake at night
Hydrating your body is vital for good health. However, it is always advisable to reduce the amount of fluids one to two hours before bedtime. Intake of more fluids in the late evening can cause frequent urination at night and disturbed sleep.
Follow all these remedies and you won’t have to think again about how to get sleep at night.