7 Natural Shortcuts To Deep Sleep At Night
By Jennifer McBride
Did you know that feeling exhausted throughout the day, trouble with focussing, and irritability are all signs of lack of sleep?
So, if you feel you are getting plenty of sleep but are still experiencing the above symptoms, then you have the same problem as those who don’t get any shut-eye at all.
A major cause of not getting deep sleep is because your brain remains highly active when it should be resting. If you sleep for eight hours but wake up feeling like a zombie, then it might be because you are not getting any quality sleep.
Whether it’s because of noisy streets, bright street lights, or simply a preoccupied mind and body, you are missing out on the benefits of sound sleep.
If you have trouble getting your much-needed eight hours of sleep, here are seven ways to make sure you get deep and restful sleep.
For those who find sleep hard to come by, try these tricks. For all you know you might get four to five hours of restful shut-eye as compared to tossing and turning the entire night.
1. Invest in mattress, pillows, and sheets that are of high quality
It may come as a surprise to you but the quality of your pillow, mattress and sheets has an effect on how well you sleep. It doesn’t matter if you have a soft mattress or a firm one, just ensure its comfortable for you and your body.
Whether it’s a standard mattress dimensions or a bigger one, shopping around for mattresses is expensive. So take your time and choose the right one which will ensure good quality of sleep.
Similarly, luxurious sheets are not needed. A comfortable paid which is soft and doesn’t irritate or scratch your skin is recommended.
2. Avoid heavy food, caffeine and alcohol before bed
Satisfy your wine and carb craving during dinner or earlier and not before bed. Here’s something we bet you didn’t know – for deep sleep, your hunger hormones need to be high and consuming carbs only lowers it which, in turn, affects your sleep. Two hours before bedtime is an excellent time to cut off such items. For those who cannot resist snacking or feel hungry, consume sleep-inducing foods like eggs, tuna, bananas, avocados, and almonds.
Alcohol affects your quality of sleep. Period. It may help you fall asleep but it won’t be good quality, and you will land up waking up multiple times in the night.
3. Exercise, exercise, exercise
According to the National Institutes of Health, you need to exercise for about 30 minutes in a day and five times a week. That’s the secret recipe to improve deep sleep and overall quality of sleep. Too much isn’t too good either! Who says you need to be a crossfit addict or a cross country runner to reap the benefits of exercise? Moderate exercise like walking your dog, yoga, light walking should do the trick. You need energy to exercise, and for the energy you need good sleep – it’s a cycle. The best time to exercise is in the morning or afternoon. Avoid exercising 3 hours before you sleep as you may not get the same quality of sleep.
4. Turn off your electronics
It goes without saying, screen time harms our sleep cycles. Although this may sound impractical to many, turning off your devices at least 2 hours before you sleep is recommended. For those who cannot, you can start by not using your device right before bed. Supposedly, the bright light from the phone can confuse the brain and think of 2 am as 2 pm and thereby affecting sleep. Even if you do sleep, it will not be deep and hence less restorative.
5. Keep the temperature just right
According to research, studies and sleep experts, the most conducive atmosphere to sleep in is a cool room and the optimal sleeping temperature for adults is 18 degrees Celsius. This temperature varies from person to person. Your body’s temperature naturally reduces when you are sleeping, and a hot room impedes with the natural cycle and making you restless. If you feel too cold or the air conditioner bothers you, then you just need to find your sweet spot. Maybe it is the fan rotating over you or a pair of comfy PJs or a cool room with a thick blanket. Find what makes you feel as snug as a bug in a rug and you are bound to sleep like a baby.
6. Keep your room dark and quiet
A quiet and dark room will help you sleep soundly. Turn off your electronics as well as consider getting darker curtains or wearing an eye-mask. Use can use earplugs if you have a noisy neighborhood.
If you are someone who falls asleep in a loud and bright environment its good but the lights and sounds will compromise your quality of sleep. You will not wake up feeling refreshed.
Consider turning off devices, lights and ensure your environment is peaceful for quality sleep and better rest.
7. Don't get into bed until you're truly tired
Go to bed only when you are exhausted. Don’t force yourself to sleep or lie in bed hoping to fall asleep. Instead of actually falling asleep, you will toss and turn in frustration. Just remember every second you spend out of bed, awake, increases your need for sleep. Indulge in relaxing activities like a hot bath, reading a book, meditating, etc. once you feel drowsy, you can hit the sack and enjoy deep sleep.
Start right now!
The comfier you are at night, the more likely you will sleep soundly. So, arrange your bed and your surrounding environment in a manner that makes you feel comfortable, peaceful and at ease.
No matter which one of these tricks you try, remember, the key is consistency. Keep at it for a sustained period of time before you actually see results. Also, based on your liking, your environment, etc. you can adjust these tips accordingly.
Once you figure out your patterns, understand your behaviors and influencers of sleep, you will be able to create and maintain conditions which result in a deep sleep.