5 Things You Can Do To Get Better Quality Sleep

Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

Influenced by a book that I have recently enjoyed, “Why We Sleep, Unlocking The Power Of Sleep And Dreams” by Matthew Walker, I wanted to share a few tips to help improve everybody’s quality of sleep.

1. Regularity

Most of us set an alarm to get up in the morning, but when was the last time you set one to go to sleep? You’ll need to set an alarm for your bedtime!

Keep it regular, and your circadian rhythm (your body’s inner clock), will thank you.

2. Keep it dark

In addition, daylight is also key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Getting outside in natural sunlight or using very bright lights in the morning is highly recommended by sleep experts. But always make sure to turn down the lights before bedtime.

3. Keep it cool

Sleeping semi-naked or having a hot bath before bed, can help bring down your core body temperature and also seems to give you a little bit more deep NREM sleep, that sort of restorative sleep for the body.

When you get into a hot bath, you get vasodilation, and all of the blood rushes to the surface. And as soon as you get out of the bath, you begin to have this massive thermal dump of heat that just evacuates from the body, your core body temperature plummets and that is why you can sleep better.

Source: From the book of Matthew Walker — Why we sleep

4. Avoid Afternoon Caffeine

This sleep pressure effect can, however, be artificially muted by consuming caffeine. Caffeine works by successfully battling adenosine and blocks the sleepiness signal normally communicated to the brain by adenosine.

While this may seem like a great hack to keep us productive throughout the day, it is important to note, however, that the half-life of caffeine is about 5–7 hours. In other words, if you have a cup of coffee at 5 pm, you’d expect to still have half of the caffeine active and circulating in your brain by midnight.

As a result, sleep will not come easily and be smooth throughout the night as your brain continues to battle the opposing force of caffeine and for that reason, it is highly recommended to avoid caffeine later in the afternoon.

5. Avoid large meals, beverages and alcohol before bed

In addition, it is generally recommended to avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Having a nightcap or alcoholic beverage before sleep may help you relax, but heavy use robs you of REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of alcohol have worn off.

Okay, it’s getting late on my end, happy snoozing!

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