Do you have trouble sleeping? You're not alone. Millions of people around the world struggle with insomnia, and it can have serious effects on our health. Fortunately, there are many strategies that can help us get a better night's rest. First, it's important to set aside no more than eight hours for sleep.
Pay attention to what you eat and drink before bedtime; don't go to bed hungry or full. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Including physical activity in your daily routine is also important. Avoid alcohol, which can interfere with sleep.
Dr. Gamaldo recommends hot milk, chamomile tea, and sour cherry juice for patients with sleep problems. On the contrary, getting a good night's sleep can help you eat less, exercise better, and be healthier (2, 8, 9).Exposure to bright light during the day can also improve sleep quality and duration. In one study, it reduced the time it takes to fall asleep by 83% (1).
A similar study in older adults found that two hours of exposure to bright light during the day increased the amount of sleep by two hours and sleep efficiency by 80% (20). Caffeine has numerous benefits and is consumed by 90% of the US population (26, 27, 28, 29, 30). However, it may stay elevated in the blood for 6-8 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 (31, 3).
In another study, half of the group fell asleep faster and experienced a 15% improvement in sleep quality (48, 4).Several supplements may also aid relaxation and sleep quality when combined with other strategies. Lavender and magnesium are two popular options. Numerous studies indicate that external noise, often from traffic, can cause sleep problems and long-term health problems (78, 79, 80). In a study on women's bedroom environment, about 50% of participants noted an improvement in sleep quality when noise and light decreased (8).
Other studies show that increasing body and bedroom temperature can decrease sleep quality and increase wakefulness (82, 83, 84, 85, 86). The bedding you use can also greatly affect the quality of your sleep and joint or back pain. It is recommended to update bedding at least every 5-8 years. A study looked at the benefits of a new mattress for 28 days and found that it reduced back pain by 57%, shoulder pain by 60%, stiffness in the back by 59%, and improved sleep quality by 60% (11).
Melatonin supplements may also help reduce symptoms of insomnia (118, 119, 120, 121). In people with severe insomnia, exercise offers more benefits than most medications. Exercise reduced sleep time by 55%, total night wakefulness by 30%, anxiety by 15%, while increasing total sleep time by 18% (12). A comprehensive review linked insufficient sleep to an increase in the risk of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults (12).
Other studies conclude that sleeping less than 7-8 hours a night increases the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes (130, 131).Regular exercise helps you sleep better, as long as you don't get too close to bedtime. A burst of energy after training can keep you awake. Try to finish any strenuous exercise 3-4 hours before going to sleep.Do you want to reduce your chances of needing night trips to the bathroom? Don't drink anything in the last 2 hours before bedtime. If you have to get up at night it can be difficult to get back to sleep quickly.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol 2-3 hours before bedtime. Lower light levels tell the brain to produce melatonin - the hormone that causes sleep - so dimming lights at home 2-3 hours before bedtime is recommended. Let go of any work or delicate discussions 2-3 hours before bedtime; it takes time to turn off the noise of the day. If you still have a lot of things on your mind write them down and let them spend the night.
Then about an hour before going to bed read something that calms you down; meditate; listen to quiet music; or take a warm bath. Morning workouts, which expose you to daylight will help your natural circadian rhythm. Bills are piling up and your to-do list is a mile long; daytime worries can surface at night activating 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 can also reduce anxiety during the day. To relax try deep breathing exercises: inhale slowly and deeply then exhale. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day; this helps set your body's internal clock and optimize sleep quality. Choose a time when you normally feel tired so that you don't go around in circles.
If you get enough sleep you should wake up naturally without an alarm clock. If you need help getting back to sleep quickly try some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.