Sleep is a vastly underrated aspect of overall health and since the average person spends 25 years of their life sleeping, it's probably something worth paying attention to. Hustling is great but your body needs to rest, fact. A lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, stress and impact negatively on brain function. Read on for 7 tips you can incorporate to improve sleep quality.
Disconnect before bed
Avoiding blue light before bed is important. Excess blue light exposure can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin production, making it harder for you to catch those z’s. Try to turn off and disconnect from your devices 30 minutes before you plan to sleep.
Be mindful of caffeine
Shotting a double espresso at 6pm is probably not the best thing to do if you want a good night's sleep. Caffeine can be a major barrier to good sleep due to its long half life, meaning it can take several hours for it to be eliminated from your system. If you want to know how caffeine works, click here.
A sleepy environment is best
Try to use your bed for sleep (and stuff that happens in bed) only. If your bed is super comfy it may be tempting to hang out on your bed during the day. This can reduce the strength of the mental associations you have between sleep and your bed.
Alcohol disrupts sleep quality
Although it can induce drowsiness and make you fall asleep quicker, it can disrupt the body’s natural sleep cycle, reducing the amount of good quality sleep you can get.
Try not to eat too late
It’s harder for your body to fall asleep if your body is busy digesting the big dinner you ate at 10pm. If you’re hungry before bed a light snack is probably a better option rather than a Maccy’s.
Napping during the day can confuse your internal clock, making it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Try to limit these and get into the habit of sleeping at nighttime only.
Optimise your sleep schedule
This can be difficult to do, but try to stick to a schedule. Sleeping at the same time every evening and waking up at the same time consistently can reinforce your sleeping habits and over time, improve your sleep quality.
Sleep plays a crucial role in your health and shouldn’t be neglected. If you’re conscious of your health you should make sleep a key priority. Try to incorporate some of the 7 simple tips above.
Dr Zobir Alexander, MB ChB, BSc (Hons) - Senior Writer