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How to improve your sleep for good health guest post written by Magdalena
A well-rested body is equivalent to a healthy body. Sleep is as important for your body as working out or eating healthy meals. However, we all get caught with so much to do that 12 hours of work isn’t quite enough. Some days I have so much to do that I have to work at night to meet set deadlines and goals. This is in turn affects my sleep. It gets so bad that my sleep cycle is altered. I often tell myself that I will make up for the sleep on other days. However, scientifically, you can not catch up with days that you didn’t sleep.
This is not to say that staying up at night to work is bad. ( especially if you have good reasons). However, sleep is a part of our body requirement to stay healthy. If you find yourself struggling to sleep or, have a good night’s rest, here are 6 tips on how to improve your sleep for great health.
Why is sleep important?
Before I go into these tips to improve your health, I want to talk about the reasons you need to sleep. Why should I sleep? There are so many metabolic processes that take place in your body while you sleep to keep you healthy. Your body energy is restored after a good night’s rest. After a productive day of working, commuting, and brain work, sleep helps your body to re-energize. You must have noticed that after late-night work or poor sleep, you feel very tired and sometimes unproductive during the day. This is because your body is not well-rested the previous night. So, to allow your body to reset itself, ensure you sleep well at night.
Rid of waste
Another reason you need sleep is to allow your brain to get rid of waste or distress. Most of our day-to-day activity requires some form of brain work. Even meal planning for your family requires you to think and use your brain cells. So, you need to sleep to allow your brain to rid itself of the stress and toxic waste accumulated during the day. You can also read 5 healthy lifestyle tips every woman needs to know to stay healthy.
Sleep affects many aspects of our brain function. One such function is learning. It is quite difficult to assimilate or learn properly when you lack sleep. You must have noticed that back in college some of your peers dose off while lectures are on. This is probably because their brain needs sleep so it cannot stay up to learn. Also, there are days that I can’t learn as much because my brain cells are tired and need a reset.
Sleep affects the ability of your brain to focus and concentrate during the day. Lack of good sleep makes you lose focus easily and makes it hard to concentrate on a task. I hardly focus on my content creation or my daily goal when I need more sleep. So, to ensure that my brain is ready for the day, I sleep well. Another brain function that sleep affects is your ability to make decisions, memory (difficulty to remember things that took place a day before), and creativity. If your brain is tired from lack of sleep, you can’t have a productive day. So, you need sleep to help you function well and be productive.
Tips on how to improve your sleep
There are so many reasons you may find it hard to have a good night. One of which worry can be a major reason. Before you go to bed, ensure that you keep aside all worry and I achieved goals to allow you to sleep. You can’t change anything if you worry but worsen your health. Irrespective of all the factors that may make it hard to sleep.
These 6 tips on how to improve your sleep will help you sleep better and have a healthy body.
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Have a sleep routine:
Your body needs a good sleep cycle to function properly and stay healthy. So, to improve your sleep daily, adopt a sleep routine that works for you. Say for example you get off work daily by 6 pm, stay in traffic for at least an hour, eat and catch up with family time, till 8 pm, you can sleep at 9-10 pm every day. Also, ensure you wake up at the same time every day. This will help you create a good sleep routine to replenish your body.
Another thing to note is to make sure to have at least 7hours of sleep daily. That makes your sleep routine such that you have the minimum sleep hours that the body needs to work fine and stay healthy. So, for a healthy body to adopt a sleep pattern that works for you. This is to enable you to create a sleep cycle to keep you healthy and strong.
Use your bed solely for sleep:
It is common these days to want to take work home to help us get as much work done. However, you can do this task at home but not on your bed. Do your work in the sitting room or your home office and only retire to your bed when you want to sleep. Doing this will make you sleep as soon as your body hit your bed.
Although this is easier said than done. I too am guilty of doing some extra work on my bed before sleeping. Like scrolling through Instagram or other social media platforms before sleeping. However, you can do all these extra things before going to bed. To help you sleep and avoid the temptation to use your mobile phone in bed, keep it in the sitting room or a little far from you. So, you can have a good rest as soon retire to your bed.
Eat light meals before bed:
I know I hardly do this. Sometimes, I eat junk or snacks during the day so I try to make up for this by eating heavily at night. Don’t do this. Eating heavy meals before bedtime may keep up for long to allow it to digest. Also, stuffing yourself at night can cause discomfort too. Try as much to eat light meals before going to bed. Sleeping on an empty stomach is also not good. If you’re hungry, you will have difficulties sleeping. So, ensure you eat (light meals) before sleeping.
There are days that I get so exhausted that I love my appetite to eat before bedtime. I try to take a yoghurt drink at least before sleeping. Yoghurt is a must-have meal for me. I can eat yoghurt for breakfast (early morning rush) or at night. You can also try out my 4 easy yogurt bowl ideas for breakfast or dinner.
Reduce day daytime naps:
Another tip to help you sleep better at night is to reduce your daytime nap. Try as much as possible to reserve sleeps only for the night. I always struggle to sleep at night when I sleep too much during the day. This also disrupts my cycle or pattern. So, instead of sleeping when tired during the day, I take short naps. Naps are great for a boost during the day. However, ensure that your naps are short.
Most of us find it hard to work out every day. I also find it so hard to work out. Exercise is good for the body. It helps you keep fit as well as relaxes your nerves to allow you to sleep well. You don’t have to do rigorous exercise to boost your sleep. Look for simple exercises like stretching or jogging daily to help you sleep better at night. You can watch YouTube videos for simple exercises you can adopt for your daily workout.
Create a restful sleep environment:
To aid you have a good night’s sleep, create a relaxing sleep environment. Ensure that you limit your exposure to light before bed. That is limit your exposure to your mobile device screen light or TV light before sleep. Also, it helps to put off the light before bedtime. However, some of us cannot sleep in the dark. So, if you are in this category, use dim lights to put you in the mood of sleep. Bright light makes it hard to sleep as it can be quite distracting. Also, you can use your curtains to darken the room to enable you to create a sleep environment. Adopt relaxing activities to boost your sleep like listening to relaxing music or taking a shower before bed to allow you to sleep better at night.
About the Author
Magdalene is a content creator and blogger. She loves to share tips for mindful living, fashion style tips, and travel tips. You can follow her blog for more of her content. You can also follow her on her youtube channel Maggie’s memoir and Instagram: @enimhienomo