What can you do to establish good sleep habits soon?
Expert advice for a good night's sleep.
1. Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends
This helps you to set your circadian rhythms so you can fall asleep naturally at the same time and wake up at the same time every day. What are the circadian rhythms? They are the biological processes in which your biological clock knows when you need to be awake and when you need to sleep.
2. Avoid using your smartphone in the evening
Intense light around us can signal to our brain that we have to stay awake and the constant ping of being tagged in a new post or getting a message from a friend makes you shoot your brain. It's a good idea to turn off the phone or turn it on in night mode to avoid blue light, as well as keep it away from you to reduce temptation.
3. Drink caffeine at the start of the day, not in the late afternoon
Did you know that the caffeine half-life is about 5-6 hours? This is the amount of time it takes your body to process and eliminate half of the caffeine. So, if you have a cup of coffee at 3pm, you'll still have half the amount of caffeine in your system at 9pm. The amount of time is different depending on weight, age and general health. If you are pregnant, the time can be up to 15 hours.
4. Attentive to daytime naps, count in total sleep time
The naps can make you feel dizzy because they require a wake up from a deeper sleep. It is also important not to take a nap after 2pm as this can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. If necessary, keep them less than 20 minutes and before 14:00.
5. Make sure your room has the right temperature
Making sure the room temperature is correct will help you sleep better at night. If your room is cool rather than warm, it will be much easier to sleep. Thermostat settings below or above those recommended can cause restlessness and affect sleep quality.
6. Keep your body and brain active
Cognitive and physical activity can promote sleep quality. Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills, as well as promoting sleep quality. Physical activity increases time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative sleep phase.
7. Watch out for anxiety and depression
Stress, anxiety and depression can cause sleep problems or make existing problems worse. Did you know that one of the most common symptoms of depression is insomnia or the inability to fall asleep? It is important not to confuse a bad sleep cycle with something else.
8. Avoid exercise and hot baths too close to bedtime
Late night exercise affects temperature, heart rate and sleep cycle. Hormones that help keep your body moving during a hard workout (adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol) will probably keep you awake and even if it helps you get exercise, it won't help you fall asleep. The same can be said for temperatures that are too hot in the bath or in the shower.
9. Avoid sleeping pills, do not help long-term sleep
A sleeping pill can be effective in ending your short-term sleep problems, but it is important to make sure you understand everything you need to know about sleeping pills. In the long term, they do not really help you sleep and can cause harmful health effects. Avoid sedatives when you can.
10. Talk to your doctor if you are snoring or gasping for air during sleep, or you are too sleepy during the day
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the upper passages of the airways close, interrupting breathing and depriving you of oxygen until you wake up and start breathing again. If you do not have a partner to take snoring, the only signs of sleep apnea that you might notice are morning headaches or extreme sleepiness during the day. Talk to your doctor if you are worried about your sleeping habits.
Sleep plays a key role in general health and well-being, makes sleep a top priority and incorporates some of the suggestions above to get an optimal night's sleep.