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Many people today prefer to start the day with a cup of coffee or tea. These help stimulate the body and mind improving alertness hence better productivity and performance at work and school. Although these may be effective in kickstarting your day, caffeine can significantly impact your body, especially your sleep patterns. Unknown to many, it takes at least 6 hours for the human body to eliminate caffeine from the system. For this reason, sleep experts recommend restricting caffeine intake to morning hours and not less than 6 hours to bedtime. In other words, you shouldn’t take anything with caffeine past 3 p.m. Consider decaf if you have to take coffee or quit it altogether.
Although alcohol may seem to help stimulate sleep, it only throws the circadian rhythm out of balance, leading to snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Too much alcohol will also force you to make several trips to the bathroom, disrupting your sleep pattern. Quitting the bottle can thus help improve sleep.
3. Eating Too Late Into The Night
Having your supper late in the night can make it hard to get sleep if any. Late meals raise blood sugar levels, which again take longer to come down, causing trouble sleeping. Avoid having meals too late but schedule supper/dinner to 2 or 3 hours before bedtime.
4. Fluids 1-2 Hours to Bedtime
Nocturia, or excessive urination at night, is a condition commonly caused by taking fluids just before bedtime. Taking too many fluids only translates to more calls of nature, disrupting your sleep pattern. Although you might not know this, it is possible to sleep for 6 -8 hours without needing to go to the toilet. You only need to know when to eat or drink for this to be possible.
a. Bask In the Morning Sunshine
The morning sunshine, or natural light, is one of the best remedies for resetting the body’s internal clock, commonly known as the circadian system. Make a habit of opening the curtains and windows to let the natural light in first after waking up. The bright natural light will help trigger increased hormone production that promotes wakefulness (cortisol) while suppressing melatonin, the hormone responsible for boosting sleep. There are, however, several factors that may affect a healthy circadian rhythm, hence should be considered as well. These include:
- Night work shifts
- Some types of mediation
- Eating or drinking too late into the night
b. Maintain A Healthy Sleep Schedule
Although this might seem impossible at first, going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the set time can help improve your sleep patterns and quality. Sticking to the same sleep schedule will also help improve/restore a healthy circadian rhythm. Keep your bedroom clutter free with ample storage, these Arhaus furniture customers reviews will help you to find the perfect pieces for your room.
c. See A Doctor (To Ensure It Is Not a Medical Condition)
Some cases of sleeplessness or sleep apnea may be a symptom of an underlying health condition. See a medical doctor for a checkup if you have tried everything to sleep well (investing in a good mattress and an ideal sleep environment, etc.). The most common conditions known to cause sleep disorders include
- Sleep apnea
- Restless leg syndrome
d. Exercise (But Not After 3 p.m.)
Regular exercise and physical activity are greatly beneficial in improving sleep quality. While beneficial, exercising only in the morning and not past 3 in the evening is advisable. This is because rigorous activity triggers increased core temperature, alertness, and endorphins release, which may affect sleep.
e. Restrict Your Bedroom for Sleep and Sex
Working from home has its perks. Working from your bedroom shouldn’t be one of them. Work and other activities stimulate the brain, a reason you need to have a dedicated space for work and study. Sleep experts recommend using your bedroom, especially the bed, for sleep, rest, and sleep. Avoid using your bedroom to watch your favorite shows or to work.
f. Avoid Daytime Naps
As rejuvenating as that afternoon nap might be, it could be why you can’t sleep well at night. Long daytime naps disrupt a healthy circadian rhythm, hence should be avoided altogether. Try engaging in a different activity if feeling sleepy in the middle of the day to avoid the urge to nap.
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