How to Sleep Longer and Better: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn how to get better & longer sleep with this comprehensive guide! Understand how caffeine affects your body & how melatonin helps you fall asleep faster.

How to Sleep Longer and Better: A Comprehensive Guide

Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. Poor sleep has been linked to a range of health issues, including hormonal imbalances, poor exercise performance, and cognitive impairment. It affects the brain, body, and hormones, helping us stay awake and telling our bodies when it's time to sleep. Therefore, it's important to understand how to get better sleep and how to sleep longer.Caffeine is a stimulant that can stay in the blood for up to 8 hours.

Therefore, drinking large quantities of coffee after 3-4 pm is not recommended, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping. While quick naps can be beneficial, long or irregular naps during the day can negatively affect your sleep.Being consistent with your sleep and wake times can help improve your sleep quality over the long term. One study found that participants who had irregular sleep patterns and went to bed late on weekends reported that they slept poorly. Irregular sleep patterns can alter your circadian rhythm and melatonin levels, which tell the brain when it's time to relax and go to sleep.

Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that helps you fall asleep faster.In one study, half of the group fell asleep faster and had a 15% improvement in sleep quality after taking melatonin supplements. It also alters the nocturnal production of melatonin, which plays a key role in the body's circadian rhythm. Other studies show that increased body and bedroom temperature may decrease sleep quality and increase wakefulness.Eating a high-carb meal 4 hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster. Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes irregular and interrupted breathing while you sleep.

It may be more common than you think; one review stated that 24% of men and 9% of women have sleep apnea.The best mattress and bedding are extremely subjective; if you are upgrading your bedding, base your choice on your personal preferences. However, some studies show no negative effects, so it clearly depends on the person.Warming your body by showering or bathing an hour or two before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Our bodies work in a way in which initially a higher body temperature (especially in the arms and feet) allows the sleep cycle to be activated, and 2 hours after the sleep phase, the core body temperature drops. This process of temperature regulation is important for staying asleep.We all have trouble sleeping from time to time, but when insomnia persists day after day, it can become a real problem.

Beyond making us feel tired and moody, lack of sleep can have serious effects on our health, increasing our propensity for obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.Taking a brisk daily walk will not only trim you but will also keep you awake less often at night. Exercise increases the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin. A study published in the journal Sleep found that postmenopausal women who exercised for about three and a half hours a week had an easier time falling asleep than women who exercised less often.Just watch the time of your workouts; exercising too close to bedtime can be exhilarating. Morning workouts that expose you to daylight will help regulate your natural circadian rhythm.

Daytime worries can surface at night; they activate fight or flight hormones that act against sleep.Give yourself time to relax before bedtime; learning some form of relaxation response can promote good sleep and reduce anxiety during the day. To relax, try deep breathing exercises; inhale slowly and deeply, then exhale.Doctors may also say that sleeping too much consistently that causes distress in daily life is an excessive amount of sleep (EQS). This sleep disorder is characterized by difficulty waking up, excessive sleepiness, and inability to feel rested after sleeping at night or taking a nap during the day.If sleeping longer consistently leaves you tired or even falling asleep during the day, it may be a sign of an underlying health problem. Chamomile is a medicinal plant; drinking chamomile tea before going to bed improves the quality of sleep.Exercise reduced sleep time by 55%, total night wakefulness by 30%, and anxiety by 15%, while increasing total sleep time by 18%.

Although “sleep recovery” seemed to restore volunteers' performance during the first few hours after waking up, as the study period progressed, their reaction time slowed down and they developed more trouble concentrating.Bertisch recommends asking your doctor if your medication might be the culprit and if there is a different time of day to take it or another medication that does not interfere with your sleep. But often having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is the result of lifestyle choices that come together in a snowball fashion night after night.While conditions such as back pain, sciatica, neck pain, and other sources of pain may prevent you from falling asleep, not getting enough sleep can also cause or exacerbate these problems. When you get home exhausted after a tiring day, you're more likely to stay on the couch instead of going to bed early.

Sue Ashauer
Sue Ashauer

General food junkie. Extreme zombie buff. Extreme coffee trailblazer. Hipster-friendly travel guru. Devoted food trailblazer. Tv buff.

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