3 tips to sleep better
Many people are in a state of constant tiredness and fatigue. They have been in this state for so long they have forgotten what it was like to feel well rested. There’s a plethora of reasons why this could be happening to you, here’s 3 common reasons (and solutions) to why you feel so tired every day.
One of the big reasons many people are tired is because they do not stick to a sleep schedule. This means trying your best to go to sleep at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every day. Try to get between 6-8 hours of sleep. Some people need more, some people need less.
Yes, this includes weekends. Sleeping in on weekends is only needed if you have accrued a sleep debt (this is real thing) during the week, by staying up too late and then waking too early. Set your bed time, and set your waking time and stick to it the best you can.
Poor Sleep Hygiene:
No, you don’t smell. Sleep hygiene simply describes your habits and environment in the time leading up to bed time.
Your sleep environment is hugely important. Temperature, light, and sound play large roles in signalling our body to wind down and get off to sleep. Your bedroom should be cool in temperature, dark, and relatively quiet. Some find white noise to be helpful in nodding off. Try to get rid of or cover all sources of artificial light from your room including chargers, clocks etc. Set yourself up the perfect cave to nod off in and use it solely for this purpose. The bedroom is for sleeping…. and other nocturnal activities…but no screens!
Modern day technology is absolutely destroying sleep hygiene. The culprit is light, particularly blue light. Blue light is light emitted from devices such as televisions and mobile phones and supresses melatonin, a hormone that helps send you to sleep. It also supresses other physiological processes that help you sleep. And it ramps up ones that keep you awake. Modern day people watch television until they go to bed, and then the worst offenders go on their phone for a few hours while they are in bed. This is a sure-fire way to ruin your sleep quality. So, get rid of the screens and the bright lights in the hours leading into sleep.
Another big one is not relaxing in the time leading into sleep. If you are playing computer games, working on emails, or exercising intensely you are teaching your mind that it needs to be awake and functioning at a high level, just before you are asking it to wind completely down and be unconscious. Try taking a few hours before bed to wind down. Read a book, meditate (if that’s your thing), wash the dishes – do tasks that don’t stress you out. And then wind it down slowly, and then when you are ready to sleep – head to bed (without your phone).
If you need caffeine to get through your day, chances are you aren’t actually well rested. It is not healthy to require caffeine to get you through a day. A healthy person should be able to wake up, function through their day, and then be sleepy at the appropriate time (with no caffeine injections).
I’m not talking quitting coffee completely (I LOVE COFFEE), but certainly you shouldn’t be having coffee in the late afternoon or night time. It can take upwards of 6 hours for caffeine to stop affecting you after a cuppa. You can even become dependent on coffee if you drink too much, eliminating it will cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches.
The problem with coffee is not only that it will keep you awake at night, but that it can disguise how tired you are, and get you through the day, which might make you think you are sleeping well enough (when you really aren’t). Try to reduce your coffee intake to no more than 2 cups a day, and try to have those two cups before 12pm.
Try these three tips, if you don’t feel better within a few weeks I’ll be very surprised. However, if you do these, you are sleeping 6-8 hrs, and you are still very tired. It may be time to do some further investigating and make sure that you are sleeping well when you are asleep. You could have other conditions that are affecting your sleep quality like sleep apnoea!