Many people have probably felt the effects of a poor night’s sleep. Not enough hours, inconsistent sleep schedules, or interruptions during sleep can all take a toll on your physical and mental performance during the day. While it may feel impossible to shake the routine night waking or busy late night or early morning schedules, there are ways you can increase your quality and quantity of sleep.
In fact, what you do during the day can affect your sleep quality just as much as what you do before bed or while you sleep.
DAYTIME SLEEP IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
Researchers have found that those who participate in regular physical activity feel more energized during the day and sleep better during the night. They’ve also found that exercise can help with more serious sleep issues like insomnia and sleep apnea. But it’s not just exercise that counts: The overall intensity of the activity also plays a role. Adding lower intensity activities like walking can help improve sleep, but the more vigorous the exercise, the better chance you have at experiencing sleep benefits.
What you eat can also determine how well you sleep, especially during the hours right before bedtime. Caffeine and high sugar foods have all been shown to have negative effects on sleep.
Conversely, some people can see benefits from consuming other foods like milk, fatty fish, tart cherry juice, and kiwifruit to promote sleep quality.
NIGHT TIME SLEEP IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
Since your body has a natural sleep and wake cycle, also referred to as your circadian rhythm, it is important to know that the more consistent you are with your sleep cycle, the easier it will be for your body to fall asleep and wake up at the same time. To help keep your natural sleep cycle going each day, get as much natural sunlight as possible throughout the day. That way when it gets dark, you will stimulate the sleep cycle and get tired rather than continue to feel energized late into the night.
Your sleep environment can also play a role in sleep quality. Removing background noise, keeping your room cool, and ensuring your bed is comfortable are great ways to ensure your bedroom environment is conducive for a good night’s sleep.
Everyone is different and sleep schedules will vary. That’s why it’s important to try different methods so you can develop a routine that is specific to your needs. If you find that you are still having difficulty sleeping, speak with your doctor on other strategies that could help improve sleep.