The average person spends about 26 years of their life sleeping, but if you’re tossing and turning throughout the night, the time you spend actually getting some z’s can drastically decrease.
Research shows that poor sleep can have negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. Sleep is also the body’s way of naturally healing itself, ensuring our overall health and well-being. So, with warm summer nights on the horizon, how can you ensure a more comfortable night’s sleep and stop feeling like a zombie when you wake up in the morning? By making just a few tweaks to your normal sleeping routine, you should be well on your way to a good night’s sleep and improved health and well-being. Here are 5 tips for getting a good night’s sleep every night:
1. Reduce blue light exposure at night
What’s the last thing you do before turning in for the night? Chances are you’re checking your socials, watching a few quick videos, and replying to messages you didn’t get to during the day. Smartphones, tablets, TVs, and computers all emit blue light that can inhibit your sleep.
The light affects your circadian rhythm (that’s the internal process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle), tricking the brain into thinking that it’s still daytime. This, in turn, reduces the release of hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and enter a deep sleep state.
The solution to this can be quite simple. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, reduce the time you spend on these devices before bedtime. Try switching your devices off two hours before going to sleep for an insomnia-free experience.
2. Stick to a sleep schedule
As a kid you probably had a set bedtime and a certain time you’d wake up in the morning. Well, it turns out, your parents might’ve been on to something. When we go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, this helps reset the body’s internal clock and optimises sleep quality.
So, choose a bedtime, make sure it leaves you with enough time to get at least eight hours of glorious sleep, and get up when your alarm goes off. Sticking to a sleep schedule will help your body find its own natural rhythm and settle into a regular sleep-wake cycle — ensuring you don’t toss and turn the whole night through.
3. Burn energy, not midnight oil
Exercising is amazing for mental and general well-being, but it can be the last thing you check off on your daily to-do list. With mornings typically consisting of rushing around trying to get everyone ready for work and school, it’s not always possible to get to the gym or go for a quick jog. The problem, however, is that exercising too close to bedtime can interfere with your sleep.
Vigorous exercising speeds up your metabolism, elevates body temperature, and stimulates hormones like cortisol — placing your body in ‘go’ mode. To avoid this, try finishing up your workouts at least three hours before bedtime. If this doesn’t work, move them out even earlier.
On the other hand, low-impact exercises like yoga are ideal for relaxing and can even promote a more peaceful sleep, making it the ideal exercise to do closer to bedtime.
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4. Material matters
Mattress toppers, fresh, clean sheets, and blackout curtains can all go a long way in improving your sleeping environment. Likewise, a good mattress and pillow will support your neck and ensure your spine stays aligned while you sleep.
If you just can’t get comfortable at night, you might want to consider the material that your sheets are made of. While some people can’t stay warm, others tend to get too hot. Microfibers are great if you’re struggling to keep warm at night, whereas cotton or linen is recommended if you’re trying to stay cool.
Keep in mind that extra-long fibres increase comfort and durability, and sateen finishes offer softness so you can snuggle in and fall asleep quickly. Think about what you like and then look for fabric that will meet your needs.
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5. Keep it cool and quiet
Unfortunately, sheets can only do so much, and keeping a constant temperature throughout the night is essential for improving sleep quality. The Sleep Foundation found that the best temperature for sleeping is 18.3 ˚C, as this helps the body maintain its natural core temperature.
Summer is notorious for hot, sticky, uncomfortable nights; the heat making sleep, at times, unbearable. Even worse, you can’t even leave the windows open because you’ll be attacked by mosquitoes! In these cases, an air conditioning system is perfect for regulating the temperature in any room, including your bedroom.
To ensure your sleep isn’t disturbed, search for an air conditioner that runs quieter, like the LG ArtCool which has a unique skew fan and Inverter Compressor to eliminate unnecessary noise and allow for smoother operation.
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