Get Better Sleep in 7 Simple Steps

Get Better Sleep in 7 Simple Steps

Lei's Quick Tips

Sleep is one of the cornerstones of our health so getting good sleep is vital. Here are 7 steps you can take to get a better night's sleep.

Sleep is one of the cornerstones of our health. Getting enough good quality sleep is vital to not only having enough energy to get through the day, but also to maintain our physical and mental health. Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can make you age faster, be more susceptible to illness, and be more likely to suffer from conditions like high blood pressure and anxiety. Here are 7 steps you can take to improve your sleep.

1. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Having a consistent sleep schedule, especially a consistent wake up time, is important in training your body's natural rhythm. When you are able to keep to a consistent schedule, you'll find it easier to wake up in the morning overtime and easier to maintain.

2. Avoid Bright Lights Before Bed

Studies have shown that exposure to lights can reduce the production of melatonin, a natural hormone needed for proper sleep that makes us feel drowsy and tired. Without sufficient melatonin it is hard to feel tired or even fall asleep. Therefore, try and avoid bright lights right before bedtime. Try turning off lights or get lights that dim if possible.

3. Keep Your Bedroom Cool

If you find yourself too warm or tossing and turning in the night you might try maintaining a cooler temperature in your bedroom. Studies have shown that for best sleep you should keep your bedroom at around 60°F to 68°F. You might also try using a lighter blanket if temperature control is not possible.

4. Avoid Screen Time 1 Hour Before Bed

Related to number 2, exposure to the light from our phone, computer, or television screens is enough to reduce to the production of melatonin which can make it harder for us to feel tired and fall asleep. This is made worse in 2 additional ways. One, our electronic screens emit a particular wavelength of blue light that makes the effect even worse. And two, the mental stimulation of the activities on our phone, computer, or television also makes it harder to feel tired and distracts us from the need for sleep.

5. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Like we've said before, drinking too much caffeine or having it too late in the day can make it much harder to fall asleep because caffeine is a strong stimulant that can keep you awake. Alcohol on the other hand is a depressant that can make you feel more drowsy and tired, however it can greatly reduce the quality of your sleep by interrupting your REM cycles. Essentially, you are "sleeping" but not getting its full benefits.

6. Avoid Long or Irregular Naps

Long naps or naps too late in the day can disrupt your normal day/night cycle making it much harder to fall asleep at a normal time. In general, unless you specifically schedule a routine nap into your day, napping during the day may disrupt your sleep cycle.

7. Try These Acupoints

There are 2 simple acupoints on your head that you can massage at home. The first, you can find by tracing a line from the tips of your ears straight up to the top of your head. The second, is a pair of points right on your temples. With both, gently but firmly massage with the pad of your finger in a circular motion. Gently massage these points several minutes at a time.