How you feel during your waking hours hinges greatly on how well you sleep. Similarly, the quality of your sleep disturbances can often be found in your daily routine. Your sleep schedule, bedtime habits, and day-to-day lifestyle choices can make an enormous difference to the quality of your nightly rest. The following tips will help you optimise your sleep so you can be productive, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule
With our busy schedules and can quite often become difficult to have a regular sleep schedule however, it is crucial when trying to reset the circadian rhythm and rebalance our sleep patterns.
Go to bed at the same time every night. This time should be when you would normally feel tired. This will prevent you from tossing and turning. Although it may be difficult, try not and break this habit on weekends.
If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally, without the aid of an alarm. If the only thing that will wake you is the blaring sound of an alarm, you may need to make your bedtime slightly earlier
- Naturally regulate your circadian rhythm
Many aspects of our modern day life can disrupt our natural production of melatonin and with it, our sleep wake cycle.
- Remove your sunglasses in the morning and allow light onto your face
- Let as much light into your home/workspace as possible. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day and try to move your desk closer to a window
- Spend more time outside during the day. Instead of spending work breaks inside, take them outside to enjoy the sunlight or go for a brisk walk to add some exercise into the mix
- Boost melatonin production at night
- Turn off all sources of blue light. Sources of blue light include mobile phones, laptops/computers and artificial light. These sources of light can inhibit our natural melatonin product as our body believes it is day time instead of night.
- Dim the lights. If lighting is required, ensure it is dimmed or, if dimming is not possible, change bright lights to a darker light bulb
- When it’s time to sleep, make sure room is dark. The darker the room, the better you will sleep. Use curtains or blinds to block light from windows
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine
Our bedrooms should be purely for sleep and romance. Avoid eating, heavy reading, watching television or working in the bedroom. By associating the bedroom with only sleep and romance, it will train your body to unwind once in bed.
Dimming the lights, using essential oils and listening to relaxing music can further provide a relaxing environment and reduces stimulation to the body
- Avoid stimulants
The most common stimulus utilised daily, is caffeine. Consuming caffeine during the day is a great way of pepping us up however, when consumed after 2pm, it can become quite detrimental to our sleep. The key is to have your last cup of coffee no later than 2pm and this will prevent you from being overstimulated at night
- Exercise regularly
Exercise is one of the most proven ways to improve all aspects of our sleep. It has been found to halve the amount of time it takes to fall asleep as well as improve sleep quality and duration. The key to exercises positive impact on sleep is to not undertake exercise too late in the day. Exercising at night can be excitatory and as such, can reduce sleep quality and duration.
Although alcohol is a depressant, you would think it would actually assist with improving sleep however, this is not the case. Alcohol can alter the production of melatonin of an evening and as a result, alter our circadian rhythm. The key is to avoid alcohol at least 2 hours before going to bed.
- Increase Tryptophan foods
Tryptophan is an amino acid and an essential building block to produce melatonin. Without adequate amounts of tryptophan, melatonin cannot be produced efficiently. Foods that contain high amount of tryptophan include, dairy, especially milk, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, turkey and beef.
Are you concerned about your sleep habits? Is lack of sleep affecting your life? Contact us now on 1300 883 405 or fill in our online form and we can book you in to speak to one of our naturopaths or doctors.