A good night’s sleep is very important for your health and well-being. It reinvigorates you, helps you feel good, and ensures that your body and brain function properly. However, some people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep all night.
Many people find that they fall asleep more easily when they set up a sleep schedule. Your body has its own regulatory system, the so-called circadian rhythm. This internal clock makes you feel alert during the day and sleepy at night. By getting up and going to bed at the same time every day, you can support your internal clock.
1. Practice yoga and meditation
Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can help to calm the mind, relax the body and improve sleep. Yoga, in particular, stimulates breathing patterns and body movements that release accumulated stress and tension.
Meditation, on the other hand, increases melatonin levels and stimulates sleep through the brain. Finally, mindfulness can help you stay focused on the present, worry less while falling asleep, and even function better during the day.
2. Pay attention to what and when you eat
The meal you eat before you go to bed can affect your sleep. Research has shown that carbohydrate-rich meals can be detrimental to a good night’s sleep. A carbohydrate-rich diet ensures that you fall asleep faster, but this sleep is not restful. Instead, opt for high-fat meals that promote deeper and more restful sleep. If you do opt for a meal with a lot of carbohydrates, it is best to eat it at least four hours before bedtime, so that there is enough time for the digestion process.
Exercise can improve the duration and quality of your sleep by stimulating the production of serotonin in the brain and reducing the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone. It is important that you train at a moderate intensity. By exercising excessively, you may end up worsening your sleep.
The time of day you train is also important: training early in the morning seems to be better than later in the day. Suitable activities include running, walking, cycling or tennis.
4. Get a comfortable mattress
A comfortable mattress and bedding can positively influence your sleep quality. A mattress with medium firmness would prevent sleep disturbances and muscle discomfort. A high-quality pillow can also affect your neck curve, temperature, and comfort.
Orthopedic pillows appear to be better for sleep quality than feather pillows or memory foam pillows. In addition, a weighted blanket would help to reduce stress and improve sleep. Finally, it is also important to wear comfortable clothing in bed from a fabric that helps you maintain a pleasant temperature throughout the night.
5. Try aromatherapy
Essential oils have a relaxing effect and can therefore help you to sleep. Popular fragrances with positive effects on sleep include lavender, damask, and peppermint. Also, oil mixtures made with lemon and orange would promote your sleep quality. Through a diffuser, you can spread the essential oils, so that your room is enveloped in relaxing scents.
6. Take supplements
Certain supplements can help you fall asleep faster. They stimulate the production of sleep-promoting hormones or calm brain activity.
- Magnesium helps activate the neurotransmitters responsible for sleep.
- 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid that promotes serotonin production. Serotonin has been linked to sleep regulation.
- Melatonin is a hormone that the body naturally produces, but it can also be taken as a supplement to improve your sleep.
- L-theanine is an amino acid with calming properties that can help you relax.
- GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a compound produced in the brain. It inhibits certain transmitters and can help relax the central nervous system.