How to Sleep Better & Faster: 10 Practical Tips

10 tips to improve sleep quality and sleep better

Good sleep is crucial for mental and physical health. Unfortunately, not every one of us is getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity, diabetes,  and depression.

If you wish to learn how to sleep better, make sure you read through this article and try each of the 10 tips to improve sleep quality.

1. Follow your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle

Make sure a regular and natural sleep routine is one of the most important things for sleeping better. If your body needs to rest, don’t stay up until midnight.

This helps you set your body’s biological clock and improve the quality of your sleep. Getting enough sleep should allow you to wake up easily without an alarm. If you have trouble to wake up on time, its probably you don’t sleep enough and have to sleep earlier the following days.

Soon, you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized as the sleep quality improves over time. 

2. Avoid long daytime nap

Sleeping during the day can interfere with your internal clock, making it difficult for you to fall asleep at night[1].

Another research also suggests that shorter naps can boost daytime brain function, while longer naps can harm sleep quality [2].

Based on the results of these studies, we should avoid irregular long naps during day time as they can keep you awake at night and disrupt your sleep routine.

3.Use a suitable mattress and pillow

Getting up with neck, back, or body pain after sleeping is never nice. It is an awful feeling for those who have gone through it before.

Hence, it is important to have a good mattress if you want to sleep comfortably throughout the night. 

The best mattress should provide adequate spinal support in order to prevent body aches and pains. At the same time,  it should provide a cushion for your hips, shoulders, heels, knees, and other areas that need relief.

I have a thorough mattress buying guide specially written from the point of view of a Malaysian.

You should also get a comfortable pillow with suitable thickness and firmness for optimum sleeping experience.

4. Choose quality bedding

Your beddings sheets, blankets are a big part of making your bed feel cosy. Cotton-made bedding makes you feel comfortable to the touch and helps to maintain a comfortable temperature at night.

You can consider using a duvet or mattress topper if replacing a mattress is too costly. At a fraction of the cost of a new mattress, they can make your bed more comfortable.

You will be surprised at how much improvement these little changes will bring to your sleep.

5. Creating a sleep-inducing bedroom environment

Ideally, we should keep our bedroom with minimal light exposure, optimal temperature and quiet.

All unnecessary light should be turned off or you can wear a sleep mask The purpose of this is to prevent bright lights from disturbing your sleep.

In Malaysia, we are constantly fighting with hot weather throughout the year. Installing an energy-efficient air conditioner in the bedroom can be useful. It helps you to cool down the room to your desired temperature while keeping electricity cost manageable.

For most Malaysians, temperatures between 25 degrees celcius and 26 degrees celcius are ideal. We don’t want the room to be too cold either.

6. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine

Limit intake of caffeine and nicotine. Caffeine can cause  sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it!

Another stimulant that can disrupt your sleep is smoking, especially if you smoke  close to bedtime.

Some people claim alcohol helps them sleep better, but research shows otherwise.

Alcohol alters nighttime melatonin production, which plays a key role in your body’s circadian rhythm[3].

It is advisable to reduce and avoid the consumption of these foods that disrupt your sleeping pattern.

7. Have a light dinner

Dinner should be served earlier in the evening and only have appropriate portion. 

It is recommended to avoid consuming any heavy foods two hours before sleeping. You may have difficulty falling asleep if your stomach are still digesting your meal.

You should also avoid spicy and acidic foods, which can upset your stomach.

8. Take a relaxing bath or shower

There are many people who don’t realize taking a bath can help them sleep better. In both a physical and mental sense, it allows you to wind down from your day.

Studies have shown that taking bath can improve overall sleep quality, as well as help people (especially older adults), fall asleep more quickly [4].

According to one study, people experience longer deep sleep when they take a bath 90 minutes before going to bed [5]

Another option is to take a 10-minute hot foot bath before going to bed to help relax and soothe your body.

9. Exercise regularly during day time

It is scientifically proven that exercise improves your sleep and overall health. As you exercise, natural sleep hormones such as melatonin will increase, resulting in better sleep.

In people with severe insomnia, exercise offered more benefits than most drugs. Exercise reduced time to fall asleep as much as 55% [6]

However, an intensive workout is prohibited when it is near sleeping hours. This is due to exercise increase hormones like epinephrine and adrenaline, which can keep you awake.

10. Relax and clear your mind in the evening

An effective bedtime routine can greatly improve sleep. This is a set of activities you perform every night, 30-60 minutes before bed.

A few good bedtime routines include mediation, listening to music, basic stretching, reading a book, or writing a to-do list for the next day.

These activities can relax your mind and body, so you sleep better.


Reference:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21463024
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17053484
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8370699
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16084919
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10408315
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20572421
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Kai

Kai is a tech enthusiast staying in Kuala Lumpur. Techrakyat.com is where he reviews on the best gadgets, apps, life hacks, tips for save money and make money.
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