5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep Cycle
If you’re having trouble sticking to a regular sleep schedule, here are some helpful ways to stay on track.
Getting a good night’s sleep is really important to your health. If you have any type of health condition or you simply want to do everything that you can to stay healthy, it’s essential that you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. However, a lot of people struggle getting to sleep or staying asleep. If you’re having trouble sticking to a regular sleep schedule, here are some helpful ways to stay on track.
1. Address Breathing Problems
A growing number of people suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which people temporarily stop breathing when they sleep. Sometimes sleep apnea is equated with snoring, but it’s really a lot more serious than that. When you stop breathing periodically or your airways are obstructed, you won’t be able to achieve a state of deep sleep and you may continually wake up during the night. Also, you may find that you’re constantly sleeping with your mouth open which can cause throat irritation or drooling while sleeping. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, you should talk to your doctor about doing a sleep study. During a sleep study, a clinician can monitor your breathing while you sleep and make a recommendation about using an assistive device such as a CPAP machine.
2. Upgrade Your Mattress
Mattresses simply aren’t meant to last forever. Even the best mattresses will tend to lose support over time. If your mattress isn’t as comfortable as it used to be, it’s probably time to think about an upgrade. When you have a mattress that’s soft but also supportive, you’ll have an easier time relaxing when you get into bed and you’ll be less likely to toss and turn during the night to find a comfortable position.
3. Avoid Too Much Screen Time When You’re Getting Ready for Bead
Spending a lot of time on a phone or tablet is a fixture in a lot of people’s bedtime ritual. However, too much screen time can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder for you to fall asleep. The blue light from screens disrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythm that regulates your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you get to sleep. Try to avoid looking at your screen for at least a couple of hours before you try to get to sleep.
4. Limit Your Caffeine Intake in the Evening
When you drink a lot of caffeine, it’s easy to underestimate that effect that it can be having on your sleep cycle. Even if you’re not drinking coffee or caffeinated tea in the evening, your favorite soda may contain more caffeine than you think. Be sure to choose beverages that don’t contain a lot of caffeine. The healthiest option would be water or a naturally flavored seltzer.
5. Take Some Time and Stress Out of Your Morning Routine
Just knowing that you have to get up early can make falling asleep seem a little stressful. Some people lie awake worrying about how much time is left before they have to get out of bed, or they think about everything they need to do in the morning to get out the door. A little advance planning can make your mornings easier and help you to stay in bed longer. Before you go to bed, prepare your morning meal and any food that you need to bring with you when you head out. Pick out what you’re going to wear, and put everything that you need to bring in one place where it will be easier for you to find.
Some relatively simple and manageable changes can have a big impact on the quality of your sleep cycle. When you get restful sleep, you’ll feel healthier and have better energy. No matter how busy your workweek can get, you have to be sure to give yourself the rest that you need to recharge and feel your best.