How to sleep better or habits for good sleep has become an increasingly important topic as more and more people struggle with sleeplessness and insomnia. Furthermore, there is growing recognition of sleep’s role in recovery and disease, and the need to have good sleep hygiene. This video introduces a few of the basic concepts for how you can sleep better at night.
Sleep Hygiene 00:23
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule 00:55
Calming Activities before Bedtime 02:03
Restful Sleep Environment 0:03
Light and Darkness/ Melatonin 03:50
Sleep Supplements 05:15
Eating and Drinking Habits 07:12
Snacks to Promote Sleep 08:20
Psychiatric or Medical Conditions 8:45
Keep a Sleep Diary 09:13
– Negative impacts of poor sleep include problems with hormones, brain function, bodily performance, and propensity to disease and infection.
– Sleep Hygiene refers to the healthy habits to fall asleep and stay asleep.
– A consistent sleep schedule allows your body to know when to sleep and makes it easier to fall asleep.
– If you can’t sleep within 20 mins, get out of bed. Reading, memorising something difficult, or doing something repetitive will help you sleep.
– Limit naps to 30 minutes (preferably early afternoon), and avoid if you already have trouble sleeping.
– Calming activities or relaxation rituals before bedtime, done on a consistent basis, can signal to your brain it is time to sleep.
– A restful sleeping environment is critical for sleep. Make your room dark, quiet, and cool, and only use your bed for sleep and sex.
– Limit bright lights and use the blue light filter on display devices 1-2 hours before bedtime.
– Expose yourself to bright sunlight during the day to ensure your circadian rhythm is healthy, and your melatonin production is optimised during the nighttime.
– Other sleep supplements in addition to melatonin that may help in sleep include gingko biloba, lavender, glycine, magnesium, L-theanine, and valerian root.
– Worry and nervousness is the basis of sleeplessness in many adults. This may be due to tension, negative thought patterns of past events, excessive worry about future events, overwhelming feeling of responsibilities, or being over-stimulated.
– Focus on breathing, muscle relaxation, gratefulness, or emptying your thoughts before bed can help you overcome general anxiety.
– Exercise is a proven way to sleep better. Exercise raises the temperature during the day, to promote melatonin release as the temperature drops during the night.
– Exercise should optimally be done in the morning or afternoon, 150 minutes per week to promote good quality sleep.
– Avoid excessive fluid intake, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, heavy meals, sugary foods, refined carbohydrates or spicy foods close to bedtime.
– Snacks that promote sleep include almonds, walnuts, turkey, kiwi, bananas, cherry, milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese. These contain sleep-inducing substances such as melatonin or serotonin.
– Insomnia or sleeplessness can also be due to medical problems (sleep apnea, back pain, hormone problems) or psychiatric conditions (depression). Seek professional help from a medical doctor specialised in sleep medicine or a physiotherapist for muscle-related pain.
National Sleep Foundation https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/what-causes-insomnia
Mayo Clinic: Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379
Sleep Education: http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits
9 Best Foods to Eat Before Bed https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-foods-to-help-you-sleep
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker