Sleep matters when it comes to your health. Anyone who has ever pulled an all-nighter knows that sleep deprivation can take a toll on your emotions, your motivation, your concentration, your hunger cues and so on.
Health experts say many are unaware of how much recovery the brain and body are doing during those eight hours a human is supposed to get each night. "Your muscles repair and grow stronger, your mind processes emotions by cataloging them into memories," said Christopher Winter M.D., a sleep doctor and author of the Sleep Solution, in an interview with InStyle.
"In fact, that's one of sleep's most profound powers. It has a tremendous impact on cognition and mood," he continued. Not only this, it's nearly impossible to tackle any other goal you may have without first getting your sleep in check. Here are five ways to get better sleep so you can better navigate everything the next day.
Rise with the sun (every now and then)
You don’t need to become an early bird every day of the year, but occasional bursts of exposure to this kind of natural light can “reboot” your system. Research shows the orange-red rays of the morning time increase our shutdown of melatonin, helping the body regulate its internal clock.
Upgrade your bedtime snack
A small study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine linked a diet low in fiber and high in saturated fat and sugar to poor sleep quality. A carb-rich meal at night may decrease the amount of the sleep hormone melatonin that your body secretes. Health experts recommend something as simple as two tablespoons of nuts with sliced apple or pear.
Have a clean, organised bedroom
Sleep is better in an organised environment rather than a messy one. The National Sleep Foundation recommends making your bed in the morning as it sets the tone of having a ritual and having something accomplished first thing. Other ways to eliminate physical (and therefore mental) clutter include keeping your phone charging outside of your room and putting away that stack of laundry lurking in the corner.
5 home remedies to help get rid of indigestion
Lull your brain to sleep
Sleep experts say creating a signature sleep environment is essential. Don’t overlook the power of scent. Since they trigger memories, you can use that to your benefit to create an association between a specific smell and sleep. Try a relaxing pillow mist or put a few drops of essential oil into a diffuser, since research suggests lavender can serve as a natural sleep aid. Even clean sheets can do the trick.
Change what you sleep in
Super warm fleece pajamas might be cozy, but they could be negatively impacting your sleep. Since sleep follows your core body temperature rhythm, they can prevent your body temperature from dropping low enough to drift off. Instead, opt for breathable, cotton pajamas. The key is comfort and staying cool.
Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.