4 Things You Can Do to Transform Your Sleep

There are many benefits to a good night’s sleep. Not only does it leave you well rested for the next day so that you can go about your tasks and perform to the best of your ability, but it can aid you in maintaining a healthy weight, keep your heart healthy, boost your immune system, and much more. Uninterrupted sleep and a good rest can reduce stress levels and improve your attention and concentration levels.

Yet many of us take a good night’s sleep for granted and rarely get enough hours to relish the benefits. How can we improve our sleeping pattern? Luckily, there are ways to help us fall asleep and stay asleep so that we wake up healthier and happier.

1.     Invest in a Comfortable Mattress

A mattress is much more than a place to lie down after a long day. There are many mattresses out there, all of which have their own benefits and suit multiple different needs. It is essential that you find a mattress that suits your body so that you can get the best night’s sleep possible. For instance, have you heard of a hybrid mattress? A hybrid mattress is a mixture of foam and innerspring mattress materials. This combination presents a whole host of benefits such as durability, cooling, support and pressure-relieving cushioning. A hybrid mattress can help you sleep better while also supporting better wellbeing. Unsure on the best hybrid mattress for you? There are some good options available and listed in the linked article.

2.     Have a Routine

Having a routine can help prepare your body to go to sleep as well as make it easier for you to wake up each morning. We are creatures of habit and having a bedtime routine can help us sleep quicker and stop us from feeling so groggy when we wake up. It may be difficult to get into a routine at first, but it is important to stick to it as much as you can.

Aim to hit the recommended hours of sleep for your age and plan your bedtime routine around these numbers. It is advised that you get around nine hours of sleep each night, so decide when you need to wake up and count back from there. You should also include the time it will take you to wind down and get ready for bed. You should try to stick to these times even at the weekend.

3.     Ensure You Have Time to Relax

Time to wind down is essential if you wish to fall soundlessly asleep each night. How you go about relaxing, however, is up to you and your preferences. Although, it is recommended that you do not engage in any activities that will increase your heart rate.

Great ways to relax before bed include:

  • Drinking a hot drink
  • Being cozy underneath a blanket
  • Watching a relaxing TV show or film
  • Taking a warm bath with bubble bath
  • Listening to relaxing music

4.     Keep Your Bedroom Sleep-Friendly

Your bedroom needs to be sleep-friendly so that it aids you in falling asleep faster and helps you stay asleep. The best way to do this is to remove any distractions that could cause you to wake up during the night. For instance, are you sensitive to light? If so, then remove anything that may emit a soft glow such as a laptop charger or iPad that could light up.

Ideally, your bedroom should be quiet, dark, tidy and kept at a reasonable temperature. If you live in a city, town or on beside a streetlamp, invest in thick curtains.

A good night’s sleep can work wonders for your physical and mental health. By creating a sleep-friendly atmosphere, you can get to sleep quicker but also sleep for longer. You will then wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day.

What happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

We all know that a good night’s sleep is important. If you got too little sleep, you feel futile and weak the next day. But there are many more consequences of a short night’s sleep. And some of them are pretty terrifying! Hopefully, this article is a true eye-opener for you because this is what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep:

You’re more likely to cause an accident

If you’ve slept badly, you concentration tends to be lower than usual. Also, your reflexes are worse and you process information at a slower rate. So, a major setback on your driving skills. Not only in the car, you can also be a hazard on the road when you’re on a bike or even walking. (For example, last week I almost walked under a car after a short night’s sleep.) According to the Foundation for Scientific Research on Traffic Accidents, fatigue and tiredness play a role in 10 to 15% of road accidents. That’s quite a lot!

You’re more hungry

You burn a lot of calories in your sleep. But, more happens with your metabolism at night than you may think. If you don’t sleep enough, the hormone ghlerine is created. This is a substance that generates appetite. If you slept too little, you’ll be less full during the day. (And then snacks tend to become very dangerous…)

Your skin becomes older

Look, your skin won’t look 10 years older overnight. But, if you get too little sleep for longer periods of time, the aging process of your skin speeds up. However, there are also some short-term effects on your skin. Lack of sleep can make your skin dry (because your skin gets hydrated at night) and acne can occur. They don’t call it a beauty sleep for nothing…

Your immune system becomes affected

During your sleep, important proteins are created. These are used for a lot of things, for example, the construction of antibodies. An insufficient night’s sleep causes less of these proteins to be produced, which means that you are more susceptible to diseases. Did you know that you are three times more likely of getting a cold when you sleep less than seven hours a night? Another reason to go to bed on time…

In the long run you are at risk of severe illnesses

Do you lack sleep way too often? Then you seriously have to take care of yourself. Sleep shortage can have serious consequences. It makes you less sensitive to insulin, which could cause diabetes. You can also get increased blood pressure and you have a greater chance of having a heart attack. This doesn’t sound all too good…

Wow, these are all quite serious consequences if you don’t sleep enough. I also read that if you need to catch up on sleep, it’s better that you go to bed earlier than sleeping in in the morning. Are you doing everything you can to get enough sleep?

Source (header): Weheartit

6 things you should avoid if you have trouble falling or staying asleep

Sleep is so important for our bodies. Not only does it has an impact on our appearance (not sleeping enough could make you gain weight or feel bloated!), it also has an impact on our health. That’s why it is very important to make sure we get enough zzz’s at night. But what if you can’t fall asleep at night even if you feel tired or can’t stay asleep for the whole night? From my own experience I can tell you this sucks! So I decided to do some research as to how to prevent this from happening.

Do you know that Coldplay song which says “when you are so tired but you can’t sleep. Could it be worse?” Well I have just one thing to say about it. No Coldplay, it could not be worse! Honestly there is nothing worse than feeling tired and still not be able to fall asleep. Or waking up in the middle of the night and just not being able to fall back asleep until 5 minutes before your alarm goes off ?. I know how much this sucks, but don’t worry there are some things you can do to make things better. Or better said, there are 6 things you should avoid before you go to bed if you have trouble falling or staying asleep at night.

6 things you should avoid before bed if you have trouble falling asleep:

1) Staring at a screen

Are you one of those persons who uses their smartphone, laptop, or watch TV in bed? These habits, as harmless as they might seem, could cost you a good night of sleep. The blue lights these devices emit, stimulate the brain, making it harder for it to understand that it’s time to sleep and send the sleepy signals to your body. If you want to  watch your favorite series before going to sleep, better do it on the couch my darling! As for smartphones, ban them from your bed as well if you want your chances of falling asleep to increase.

2) Eating greasy food or high-in-fat foods

Not only are greasy, heavy-fat foods bad for your health in countless ways, they also make you sleep worse at night. These type of foods make your stomach work overtime to digest all the food, which causes discomfort, which in turn makes falling asleep difficult.  So no more fries, chips, icecream or cookies before going to bed. Remember there are so many healthy options for you to choose instead of eating junk food.

3) Working late

If you have a big meeting in the morning or a project due soon, then it’s probably smart to schedule some time after dinner and work on it. Just make sure you put things away and ease your mind at least 1 hour before going to bed. This will give your brain a break and you will go to sleep with a calm feeling. If you don’t give your brain the time to relax, you will end up going to bed anxious and won’t be able to fall asleep.

4) Doing intense exercise

We all know that exercising regularly is the key to a healthy life and a good night of sleep. But hitting the gym or going for a run just before bedtime is not the best idea! Exercise gives you energy, increaser your heart rate and makes you hungry afterwards. The best is to be done with your workout 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed. By then, you’ve already eaten, showered, relaxed and are ready to go to sleep.

5) Getting emotional or upset

In order to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep, you need to feel relaxed when you go to bed. Fighting with your sister, bestie, or boyfriend, or watching a disturbing movie won’t really help on the road to relaxation. Keep that in mind next time you want to watch American Horror Story just before you go to bed. 😉

6) Drinking caffeine

Although this one is as obvious as they come, it is worth talking about it! The caffeine in coffee, tea and even chocolate work as a stimulant that can keep you up longer than you would expect. How much caffeine and how sensitive you are towards differs per person. But if you want to increase your chances of falling asleep and staying asleep longer, you should avoid drinking these type of drinks. Ideally your last coffee should be around 2 pm. After all, who feels sleepy after that time?

I hope you, just as me, will avoid doing these 6 things before going to sleep from now on. Good luck!

Tips that will help you sleep like a pro

A good night of sleep is essential for a productive day. I personally have a lot of difficulties falling asleep. But fortunately there are many easy ways to fix this. Through adapting a simple steps in your night routine you can assure you get a good night of sleep. And let’s be honest, we all want that.

F.Y.I : Dr. Verma is a doctor from America who specializes in sleep medication and regularly shares the best tips and tricks for a good night of sleep. In short, Dr. Verma knows it all!

YOUR LAST COFFEE

Make sure that the coffee you drink at lunch is your last dose of caffeine for the day. When you remove all the coffees that you would normally drink later that day, then there is a bigger chance that you fall asleep easier.

2 HOURS BEFORE BEDTIME

  • Try not to hang too much in your bed during the day. “Use your bed only for sleep and sex”, says Verma. So read, chill and watch your series on the couch instead of your beloved bed
  • Set the volume of your music and television softer.
  • Choose softer yellow-ish light with lower wattage for the evening instead of using white lamps with high wattage.
  • Make the light of the screen of your TV/ iPad/ or phone less bright. Screen rays with white and blue light make you stay awake by transmitting signals through your eyes to the part of your brain which regulates your sleep/wake cycle.
  • Do not eat spicy food or food with lots of sugar in the night. This may also cause sleep problems. Spicy food can cause acid reflux while eating high sugar gives you an energy boost that you do not need before going to bed.

1 HOUR BEFORE BEDTIME

  •  Turn all your devices off.  Although you may think that the light of your phone can not hurt your sleeping cycle, unfortunately it can.
  • Stop answering (work) emails. Thinking of your giant to-do list for tomorrow or simply thinking about work certainly won’t help for a good sleep.
  • Set your thermostat a bit lower when you go to sleep. The ideal temperature is between 19 and 20 degrees.
  • No alcohol! You may believe that a glass of wine before bed may help, however this is not true.
  • Do everything where you don’t need to use a screen for. For example, read, chat with your housemates, draw, or listen to a quiet Playlist.

 30 MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME

  • SEX! Dr. Verma recommends to have sex before bedtime because afterwards you sleep much better. And you do not necessarily need a partner. If you know what I mean.
  • Go in bath. When you get off a hot bath, you always get a little cold. This results in a better night of sleep, according to Dr. Verma

WHEN YOU GET REALLY SLEEPY

  • Jump into bed! When you lie in bed before you’re really tired, you will be less likely to fall asleep.
  • Do not get into deep conversations. Even though it may seem like the perfect time when you are finally lying in bed with your partner after a long day: don’t do it. When you have this type of conversations your thoughts stay longer in your head and you will fall asleep less easily. Try to have this sort of conversations at dinner time instead or any other time except before bedtime.
  • Lie in your favorite position. And if you don’t know what that position exactly is, then ask your bed partner. He / she will know exactly in which position you prefer to sleep and in what position you snore the loudest 😀

Hopefully these tips will help you get a great night of sleep. I’m going to try them out myself anyway since I have a lot of sleeping difficulties. Let me know if you’ll try them as well and if they helped!

Source: Cosmopolitan

50 ways to get more sleep

Do you want to exercise better, eat healthier, have more willpower and more concentration, and be more productive? How about feeling less pain, strengthening your immune system, improving your relationships, making better decisions and losing weight? Get more sleep.

In an age where we do more, more, more in an attempt to be better, better, better, we’ve trained ourselves to think that the more we work the better we’ll be. However, any sleep deficit, impacts negatively on our performance. With smart, strong advocates such as Arianna Huffington and Gretchen Rubin, sleep is fast becoming the new health fix – it’s free and there’s no area of your life it can’t improve.

By now, most of us know that getting more sleep will improve our lives, but how? We tend to drink caffeine, stay up late on electronic devices, and then complain when we can’t sleep. Try these 50 things to sleep better. Who knows, it may change your life!

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