Many people struggle with sleep, whether it is falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling tired throughout the day.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to improve your sleep patterns to get back on track and wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. Here are 5 tips!
1: Go to bed and get up at the same time everyday
Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. If you keep a regular schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, you will feel significantly more refreshed and energized than you would if you slept the same duration but at different times. Even altering your sleep schedule by an hour or two can disrupt your circadian cycle enough to make an impact. This unfortunately means that you should avoid sleeping in – even on weekends! Making your weekend and weekday sleep schedules different will give you jetlag-like symptoms.
2: Minimize your exposure to light and electronics at bedtime
You may have heard of melatonin pills that help you sleep. Melatonin is actually a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate your sleep patterns and is controlled by light exposure. When it is dark, your brain naturally secretes more melatonin to make you sleepy. With our technology today, we often find ourselves watching television late into the night, working or studying with our laptops, or scrolling Instagram on our phones while in bed. Electronic devices emit blue light, which is especially disruptive to your sleep cycle and melatonin production. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try to avoid any screen time within one to two hours of your desired bedtime.
Consequently, many people find it hard to turn off their brain and fall asleep at night, leaving them lying awake worrying about tomorrow. Listening to soft music or focusing on your breath can take you out of your head to help you become more present. Meditation is also a way to find peacefulness and quiet the mind.
3: Exercise regularly during the day
In general, people who regularly exercise end up sleeping better at night and feel more energized during the day. Regular exercise can improve symptoms of sleep apnea and insomnia, while also increase the time you spend in deep, restorative stages of sleep. If you are not a gym-goer, do not to worry, you can still experience benefits to your sleep patterns from light exercise such as walking for just 10 minutes a day. However, it can take time (up to several months of regular exercise) before you start noticing a difference. Also, be sure that you are exercising during the day, rather than close to your bed time, as exercise elevates body temperature, speeds up your metabolism, and stimulates hormones including cortisol, which can interfere with your ability to sleep.
4: Clean up your diet
Your diet can have a huge impact on your sleep cycle. During the day, try to limit your caffeine intake, as caffeine can stay in your system up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it! This means your mid-morning coffees might be the reason you are having problems sleeping.
Eating lots of sugary foods and refined carbs can trigger wakefulness at night at may even pull you out of deep, restorative sleep. Try to eat more whole, unprocessed, and sugar-free foods instead. Eating too close to bedtime can also impact your ability to sleep by causing indigestion and making sleeping more difficult. If you eat spicy or acidic foods, you may also notice stomach issues and heartburn.
5: Stop worrying too much about your sleep
Often people, who wake up during the night, overestimate the awake time and overreact with radical consequences such as going to bed every day earlier in order to spend enough time in bed, or cool down their bedrooms to freezing temperatures. Then because of this, they wake up again and get in a groundhog day or catch 22 situation with their worries. Do not worry too much, let you body settle in. In many cases our bodies can restore sleep by themselves, sometimes with a nap during the day. Care for your body and care for your sleep but not too much. In case you are truly worried, let a specialist look at your sleep and in many cases they can calm you down.
Hopefully these 5 quick tips have inspired you and showed you just how important your everyday choices are to your sleep quality. Let us know if you give any of these tips a go! Or do you have any other tips? We would love to hear about them.
Sleepiz AG (Ltd.) is a Zürich based startup with a mission to provide patient-centric disease management through seamless integration of contactless monitoring into people’s homes. Sleepiz leverages the power of sleep insights with a device that is simply placed on the bedside table. The device operates in a non-contact fashion and measures movements originating from heart contractions and breathing patterns, as well as body motions with medical grade accuracy.
While currently focusing on respiratory illnesses, Sleepiz aims to improve people’s lives by creating the future of healthcare. By making use of wireless millimeter wave technology, sensor fusion and artificial intelligence, in the future Sleepiz will not only be able to diagnose sleep disorders but also perform long-term monitoring. Thereby, the progression of chronic diseases will be monitored to allow faster intervention and better treatment.