Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you sleep less during the week in hopes of catching up on the weekends?
Americans do not get enough sleep. Poor sleep habits affect our ability to perform well in work life and also our health. Lack of sleep can contribute to chronic diseases such as depression, hypertension, and other sleep-related disorders. Making changes to a few common mistakes will positively affect the quality of your sleep. Here are 5 changes that you should make to improve how well you sleep:
Habits that Impact Sleep
- Avoid using Electronics at Bedtime
Avoid using electronics or devices such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet at bedtime. The blue light from electronic devices prevents users from dozing off. External lights from electronic devices interfere with our circadian rhythm (also known as your body clock or sleep/wake cycle).
Watching television at bedtime also interferes with our ability to fall asleep peacefully. Experts recommend that you should avoid using electronics or digital devices for at least two hours before going to bed.
2. Stay away from Alcohol and Caffeinated Drinks
Consuming alcohol before bedtime may help you get off quickly but it impacts the quality of your sleep. Alcohol has sedative qualities that may help you fall asleep quickly, but in reality, it adversely affects your quality of sleep and may leave you with a hangover the next morning. Consuming caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee at bedtime adversely impacts sleep as well.
3. Release Stress and Do not Work Late
Working long hours, deadlines, stress, and long commutes leaves us fatigued at the end of the day, making it harder to relax and fall asleep.
According to a study done by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, “high work demands impact sleep, and disturbed sleep increases job strain in a reciprocal relationship.” Sound sleep is the key to releasing stress and work strain. As lead author and principal investigator of the study – Torbjörn Akerstedt said, “The effect of sleep problems on stress emphasizes the importance of good sleep for functioning in everyday life.”
4. Eating Heavy Meals Before Bed
Consuming heavy, spicy, or fatty meals close to bedtime can lead to indigestion and discomfort, making it harder to fall asleep. Opt for lighter meals and try to finish eating at least two to three hours before going to bed.
5. Inconsistent Sleep Schedule
Going to bed and waking up at irregular times disrupts your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. Aim to establish a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends, to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
Tip for Better Sleep:
Play White Noise or Sleep Sounds
To experience restful sleep, it is important to set and follow a proper bedtime routine. Stay away from your electronic devices for at least two hours before bedtime. Make your bedroom a place for sleeping by creating a warm and inviting room. Use a sound machine with your chosen sleep sounds to help you relax and block unwanted noises. The Sound Oasis S-100 White Noise Machine plays 10 different tones of white noise to help you drift off to sleep.
The Bluetooth Sleep Sound Therapy System BST-100 is a revolutionary sound machine that helps block noise, manage tinnitus, and improve sleep with its 10 superior quality built-in Sound Oasis sounds. The S-5000 Sound Oasis Deluxe Sleep Sound Therapy System offers 145 sound possibilities with patented sound mixing technology which lets you sleep naturally and peacefully.
Bathing your room with specially developed sleep sounds on your sound system will help you create an environment conducive to sleep.