Wondering what you can do to get a good night’s sleep? Believe it or not, how you sleep at night depends a lot upon what you do in the day.
It might surprise you but a good night’s sleep starts the moment you wake up and is influenced by how you spend your daylight hours. It might sound strange, but once you understand the factors that influence sleep, you’ll be in a better position to change some of your daytime habits, so you can sleep better at night.
Set your alarm
As tempting as it may be, avoid hitting the snooze button and get up at the same time each day – even on weekends. Research has shown that waking up at the same time each day (and going to bed at the same time) helps set your body clock for sleep. Our body has a circadian rhythm which is basically a 24-hour internal body clock that controls cycles of sleep and wakefulness. Ensuring that you wake at the same time each morning makes it easier for your body to sleep well at night.
Get some sunshine
Being exposed to daylight is an important part of a good sleep routine. Exposure to light helps set your circadian rhythm and those natural sleep and wakeful cycles. Research has shown that people who spend between 3-5 hours outside each day have the best sleep. It’s also important to expose yourself to light early in the morning, so pull those curtains back and let the sun in.
Get moving for a good night’s sleep
Regular exercise is important for our overall health and wellbeing, but did you know that it can also promote a good night’s sleep? Exercise has been shown to help regulate sleep patterns, and improve the quality and duration of sleep. The only thing to be careful of is not to exercise too close to bedtime as the immediate effects of exercise can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
We all need to eat, but having set times to eat during the day will help you avoid the ‘3pm’ energy slump – where you’re tempted to eat unhealthy food, and will also reduce the likelihood of bingeing after dinner. Eating too much before bedtime or eating foods high in fat or salt can interfere with sleep. By eating regularly throughout the day, you’ll also be giving your body more signals to create a regular daily routine.
We’ve all known the perils of drinking too much fluid before bedtime — getting up to the bathroom during the night! To avoid this, try to drink most of your water during the day and cut back on your fluid intake in the few hours before going to bed. This way, you’ll keep your body hydrated and you’ll be able to stay tucked up in bed all night.
Watch alcohol and caffeine
We all know that caffeine can interfere with sleep so it’s best to avoid it in the hours before bed, but what about alcohol? Well, while it may make you feel drowsy, it impairs your overall sleep by interrupting your circadian rhythm, blocks your REM sleep (meaning you’re likely to wake up groggy and confused) and can increase the number of trips to the bathroom during the night.
Reduce TV and other screens
Watching TV and using other electronic devices can also spell doom for a good night’s sleep. Not only can they stimulate the brain, but the blue light emitted from them suppresses the production of melatonin – a hormone that plays an important role in our sleep wake-cycle. If you’re going to use them at night, it’s recommended you switch them off 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Develop a good routine
Speaking of bedtime, having a good bedtime routine plays an important role in getting a good night’s sleep. Doing relaxing things to unwind from the day and preparing your room for sleep go a long way to helping you get good-quality shut-eye.
Don’t forget the mattress
Of course, one of the most important factors in whether you sleep well is the mattress you sleep on. It should be comfortable and supportive and suitable for your requirements. At BedGuard, we have a range of high-quality, Australian-made waterproof mattresses to suit every member of the family. Come in-store or browse online today and take another step towards a good night’s sleep.