Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your brain function, hormones and exercise performance. A poor sleep schedule and routine can cause weight gain, fatigue and can increase disease risk in both children and adults. However, in contrast, good sleep can promote a healthier lifestyle.
Over the past few years, both sleep quantity and quality has drastically declined in the modern world, with more and more of us getting very poor sleep on a nightly basis. Working to improve your sleeping habits and schedule can help you if you want to optimise your health, as getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do if you want to look after your health.
Try To Sleep And Wake At Consistent Times
Your body has its own circadian rhythm which is on a set loop, in line with the sunrise and sunset. Your circadian rhythm is, essentially, a 24-hour internal clock which runs in the background for the majority of your body’s functions and motions and helps your brain and cycle between alertness and sleepiness at regular intervals.
Having consistent sleeping and waking times can help you when it comes to long-term sleep quality and setting up a regular sleeping pattern. If you struggle with getting to sleep or waking up, try to get yourself into the habit of waking up and going to bed at a similar time each day. Try to get your body into a regular sleep/wake cycle – particularly on the weekends – so that you can get to sleep and wake up naturally at a similar time every day.
If you need a little extra help when it comes to getting to sleep, you should, ideally, avoid sleeping tablets and medicines. There are plenty of natural sleep aids which you can take instead which are less likely to cause significant lasting effects and a “groggy” feeling.
Melatonin is a hormone which your body produces naturally and signals to your brain when it is time to go to sleep and melatonin supplements have become a popular natural sleeping aid, particularly in situations where your melatonin cycle may be disrupted, such as shift work and jet lag.
Magnesium tablets are also becoming increasingly more popular for those who struggle to sleep, as magnesium is important for brain function and heart health. Studies have shown that magnesium’s relaxing effects may be due to its ability to regulate the release and production of melatonin, so increasing your magnesium levels may help you to regulate your quantity and quality of sleep. It is also believed that high strength fish oil can improve sleep quality and quantity, particularly in adults. Research has shown that omega 3 fatty acids can boost your sleep quality and help you fall asleep much quicker.
Optimise Your Bedroom Environment
Your bedroom will play a huge role when it comes to your sleeping schedule and ability to get to sleep. Factors such as noise, light, furniture arrangements and temperature will all have an impact on your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. Optimising your bedroom environment will help you to create the perfect sleeping environment, so look to minimise external noise, remove artificial lighting (such as alarm clocks, phones and devices) and ensure that your room is clean and free of clutter.