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Nine Ways To Improve Your Sleep Quality

Improve Sleep Quality Improve Sleep Quality

Is your sleep pattern rubbish? Do you want to improve your sleep quality?

One of the main things you have to do to improve your sleep quality is take ownership. By following these nine steps you can prepare yourself to promote a restful nights sleep. If and when sleep eludes you, not only are you tired the next day, but you become more short tempered, more forgetful and less able to concentrate on your work as the day progresses. In effect, your lack of sleep not only affects your sleep quality, it affects the people around you and indeed the company that you work for and the last thing you need is your manager keeping a keener eye than usual on you. When you are still lying there wide awake at 02:30 hrs turning this way, turning that way, and trying to switch off the racing thoughts in your head, you are inadvertently digging a hole to keep yourself awake longer, but a decent nights sleep is more under your control than you may think. If you think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night's sleep — from pressure at work and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges related to work, relationship issues or illnesses, it's no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes hard to find. Following healthy sleep habits can make the difference between restlessness and restful slumber. Let’s look at some of the ways that you can help yourself, it’s back to the old saying, “There is no help like self help” and in this case it really is true, so start making some changes right now.

Improving Sleep Quality

Avoid Alcohol, Nicotine and Caffeine

You will never find the answer in the bottom of a bottle so even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night. As any coffee lover will know caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. Whether it be coffee, tea, chocolate or fizzy drinks avoid all of them for four to six hours before bedtime. Similarly, smokers should refrain from using tobacco products for up to two hours prior to sleep time.

Make Some Changes In Your Bedroom to Help Induce Sleep

Your room should be dark, quiet and cool. Hang thick or black out curtains at the window, do not have the television, music or laptop on and avoid social media on your mobile, the bedroom is not the place for those activities. Keep the temperature comfortably cool—between 60 and 75°F—and the room well ventilated. Your mattress and pillow can contribute to a better sleep, too. Since the features of good bedding are subjective, choose what feels most comfortable to you, whether it be a pocket spring mattress or a memory foam mattress. If you share your bed, make sure there's enough room for two people. If you have children or pets, them sleeping the night in your bed is not the right way forward – they have their own beds and they must get used to sleeping in them, don’t allow bad habits to commence, nip them in the bud right away – take ownership.

Establish a Calming Pre-Sleep Routine

Ease the transition from wake time to sleep time with a period of relaxing activities an hour or so before bed. Take a bath to make you feel warm and cosy then either read a book, a little light reading before bed is a good way to prepare yourself for sleep, or perhaps practice some relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities—doing work or having deep conversations regarding emotional issues, again, social media is not going to help you in this ritual.

Go to Bed to Sleep When You’re Truly Tired

If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes of being in bed, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep. Struggling to fall sleep just leads to a stressful and anxious feeling sweeping over you, so take action and help yourself.

Refrain From Looking at the Clock Continually

Glancing at the clock in your bedroom, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night, can actually increase your anxiety levels. Turn the clock face away from you. If you wake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep within approximately 20 minutes, get up, perhaps have a very small 200 calorie snack if you need to or undertake a restful activity such as reading or listening to music. Keep the lights dim, bright light can stimulate your internal clock. When your eyes become tired and you are ready to sleep, return to bed.

Keep Your Internal Clock Set with a Regular Sleep Pattern

Having a regular sleep pattern will help ensure better sleep quality. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s "internal clock" so that it expects sleep at a certain time on an ongoing basis. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine at the weekend; waking up at the same time each day is the very best way to set your clock, and even if you did not sleep well the night before.

Do You Like a Daytime Nap

Some people have a snooze as a regular part of their day. Other people avoid having a snooze in the day because it makes them feel lethargic and grumpy for the remainder of the day. Those who find falling asleep or staying asleep through the night a problem, an afternoon snooze may be the problem. This is because late-day naps decrease sleep drive. If you must snooze, it’s better to keep it short and before 5 p.m.

Don’t Eat Late

A significant dinner in the evening always makes you want to flop into the closest armchair and relax. If you like spicy or stodgy food, this could be a recipe for insomnia. Eat dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime and avoid foods that cause you indigestion. If you get hungry at night, snack on foods that won't disturb your sleep, perhaps dairy foods and carbohydrates that do not exceed 200 calories. Keep your fluid intake to a minimum so that you won’t need to use the bathroom during the night.

Exercise is a Must

No matter who you are, you must take some form of exercise every day. Exercise helps promote restful sleep if it takes place several hours before you go to bed. Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly—as long as it's done at the right time. It stimulates your body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol.