However, achieving a peaceful sleep isn’t always as simple as laying down and closing your eyes. Dr. Rand shares some valuable tips to help improve the quality of your sleep.
One of the most effective ways to regulate your body’s internal clock is to establish a consistent sleep routine. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This consistency helps regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
In the modern world, we often find ourselves in stimulating activities like doom scrolling, watching TV, playing video games or reading suspenseful books. These activities can trigger the release of excitatory chemicals in the brain, making it difficult to wind down. It’s similar to drinking a cup of coffee right before bedtime. Aim to shut down your brain a few hours before bed by engaging in ways to wind down before bed like taking a warm bath or practicing relaxation techniques.
Melatonin is a remarkable natural sleep aid that can aid in achieving a restful night’s sleep. This hormone is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and plays a pivotal role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplements are widely available over the counter and can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a more consistent sleep pattern. Additionally, melatonin acts as an antioxidant, providing potential health benefits beyond just getting some sleep.
The temperature of your sleeping environment can significantly impact the quality of your sleep. Most experts recommend a bedroom temperature between 63 to 67 degrees for optimal sleep conditions. Cooling down your room can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Consider using fans or adjusting your thermostat to create a cooler sleeping environment to have a peaceful night.
While regular physical activity can promote better sleep overall, it’s essential to time your workouts appropriately. Exercising too close to bedtime can elevate your body temperature, making it more challenging to fall asleep. Try to complete vigorous workouts at least a few hours before bedtime to allow your body temperature to return to its baseline.
If you’ve tried various strategies and still struggle with sleep, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. Chronic sleep problems may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or restless leg syndrome. Dr. Rand suggests that if you're having sleep issues to consult your doctor immediately, as sleep is now considered just as important as diet and exercise.
"It's one of the top three things that is essential and without it, we're going backwards," McClain says.
Prioritizing sleep is crucial for physical and mental health. By maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, engaging in calming activities before bedtime, and considering natural sleep aids like melatonin, you can significantly improve your sleep quality. Remember to keep your sleeping environment cool and avoid laborious exercise too close to bedtime. If sleep troubles persist, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a healthcare provider. With these tips and a little perseverance, you can enjoy a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and revitalized.