Six ways to improve your sleep
The modern population is famous for its problems with sleep. Across the Western world, people struggle more and more to turn off the noise in their heads and settle down for the night. Even those who wouldn’t class themselves as an insomniac might have trouble getting to sleep, or interrupted sleep when they finally drift off. Here are some simple tips for getting to sleep easily, and once you’re asleep, for waking up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.
Don’t look at screens
Research shows that abstaining from screen time 45 minutes before going to bed has a strong positive effect on one’s ability to fall asleep quickly. This is because the blue light that emanates from most smartphone and laptop screens stimulates brain activity just when it should be slowing down. If it’s impossible for you to get to sleep without looking at your phone or laptop, make sure it’s turned onto “night mode”, where the screen has a yellow tone.
Read a book before bed
While staring at a screen might not be the best way to get good sleep – especially if you are into playing online games – reading a book has the opposite effect. Instead of stimulating the brain via the eyes, reading tires the eyes out, allowing you to drift off peacefully. Make sure the book isn’t too exciting, though, or it will keep you up all night!
Don’t use your bed for anything except sleeping
Another piece of wisdom regarding good sleep is to make sure you don’t spend time in your bed during the day. It can be tempting to use the bed as a hub of all our activities, from working to eating to watching TV, but if you make sure that your other activities are kept separate from your bed, your sleep will be improved.
Listen to ambient noise/ASMR
Many people swear by ambient noise tracks as a way to help them relax and drift off. Thanks to the mid-2010s boom in ASMR channels on YouTube, there is a seemingly endless range of sounds available, from crunching gravel to thunderstorms to… people chewing. The sounds form a backdrop like white noise against which some people find it easier to fall asleep.
Use a sleep tracker app
There is a great range of apps out there now for tracking sleep. This can help to identify the problems you have with sleep – whether you tend to wake up often in the night, or if it just takes you a long time to fall asleep or wake up – and the app can adjust your alarms to make sure that you wake up at a point in your sleep cycle when you’re most likely to wake up.
Have a shower before bed
One simple way to increase your chances of falling asleep is to raise your body temperature before going to bed. The drop in body temperature that will result speeds up the process of going to sleep. Plus, a warm shower will make you feel comfortable and drowsy.
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