Sleep is an essential ritual for the human body. It helps you recharge and energise for the day. It also impacts your health, both mental and physical. A good night’s sleep aids recovery and helps build strong immunity.
An average adult needs 7-9 hours of sound sleep every night to wake up well-rested the next day. Children need even longer hours to wake up well-rested. But, there’s more to good sleep than just the duration of it. A quality, uninterrupted, and timely sleep matters to help you perform at your full-potential every day.
Here are some scientifically proven hacks that ensure quality sleep every night.
1. Control caffeine intake before bedtime:
Begin your bedtime routine by limiting caffeine long before you go to sleep.
Caffeine is a stimulant, present in coffee, tea, and cocoa. It blocks adenosine receptors in the body. The increase in the amount of adenosine increases the chance for the body to feel sleepy.
The tolerance to caffeine differs from person to person. The consumption of caffeine late in the evening or night can keep you from falling asleep till late.
It is advised to limit the intake of caffeine at least 8 hours before going to bed.
2. Have a fixed time to go to bed
The human body likes to be in a routine. It functions in a 24-hour internal clock known as circadian rhythm. This internal clock mainly follows the cycle of the sun.
This is why, it is best to have a bedtime routine within a few hours after sunset. Go to sleep around the same time every night, seven days a week.
3. Go outside during the sunset:
The internal clock of the body is regulated by the light exposure. This is why the body likes to follow the cycle of the sun. Exposing yourself to the sun at low solar horizon, signals the body to prepare for sleep.
Hence, going for a 2-10 minutes evening walk during the sunset is the next habit you should build.
4. Eat two hours before sleeping:
It’s best advised to have the last meal of the day at least 2 hours before going to bed.
This is because, by the end of the day the metabolism of your body slows down. It comparatively takes longer to digest the food. And, when you sleep, this process slows down even more. This is why it's suggested to have a lighter dinner as well.
Eating late also disrupts your body’s circadian clock. You may find it difficult to fall asleep shortly after dinner, because eating drives wakefulness. Your body feels there’s a longer time to wait before sleeping.
5. Distance yourself from the digital devices:
Digital devices like laptops, mobile phones, or tablets emit blue light which reduces the level of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that makes you fall asleep.
If you have a habit of sleeping late at night, observe - are you using your laptop or mobile phone meanwhile?
If yes, it might be the reason you stay awake. Many people have a habit of checking their phone one last time before snoozing.
It is recommended that you stop using your mobile phone at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
Instead, try reading a book. Your body slowly relaxes itself to sleep, as reading doesn't require movement.
6. Avoid bright light closer to the bedtime:
Human body is sensitive to light. And, the sleep cycle largely depends on the exposure of light you have throughout the day.
Avoid overhead bright light between 11 pm - 4 am. Dim lights, or warm glow lights are good before going to bed. It signals the body that it's time to sleep soon.
When it's the time for you to go to bed, dim the lights and perform other miscellaneous tasks like skincare, declutter, etc. in warm dim lights.
7. Set a sleep ambience:
Your sleep space also has a role to play for the quality of sleep you have. Ensure that your bedroom is clutter-free.
If it is not, build a routine to take out 5-10 minutes to declutter. A decluttered space also helps with better sleep to people suffering from insomnia.
Sleep on a clean bedsheet and pillow. Dim the lights. You can also take out time to make a to-do list for the next day. It subconsciously helps the brain to prepare for the next day.
It can also help you wake up at a decided time.
8. Have a comfortable mattress:
Lastly, having a comfortable mattress is crucial. The right mattress and pillow help you maintain the right posture throughout your sleep.
Invest in a good mattress that suites your needs and leaves you rested in the morning. Ensure that the mattress doesn’t give you any aches or pain in your body when you wake up.
If you give a thought, these are small habits to build. But, they significantly impact the quality of your sleep.
If everything feels overwhelming for you at once, implement one habit at a time. They will definitely help you have a quality sleep, and you'll start falling earlier if you have the habit of going to bed late.