4 SIMPLE WAYS TO GET A RESTFUL NIGHTS SLEEP

Key Pointers

  • Keep the natural sleep-cycle circadian rhythm maintained.
  • Proper control from exposure to light rays when sleeping.
  • Exercise, shower, and eating balanced diets at proper timings can improve sleep patterns.

Getting a good sleep of around 8 hours per day is extremely beneficial for adults because it improves productivity, dietary intake, energy, and emotional balance throughout the day. Most of us have experienced episodes of insomnia and struggled to find sleep even after going to bed for two hours or more. Sleep disturbance can affect physical as well as mental health.

Maintaining Circadian Rhythm

Regular sleep pattern helps to maintain the natural sleep-wake cycle. It also helps circadian rhythm, optimizing the quality of sleep. Avoiding staying awake till 3-4 am on weekends can play a huge role in avoiding any sleep schedule differences. However, an alternative is a daytime nap during weekends if it is difficult to override weekend habits. Trying not to sleep earlier than the regularly scheduled time is a difficult task. However, small household chores can also help you get a goodnight's sleep.


Light Exposure

The human brain produces a sleep hormone known as melatonin. The hormone is extremely sensitive to light. It secretes more in the dark and helps in providing sleep sensation. It reduces exposure to light, and altered production of melatonin hormone may also disturb the circadian rhythm. According to the research, sunlight during the day is also crucial for a healthy circadian rhythm as it increases energy levels during the daytime. A similar study on people with insomnia revealed that bright light exposure during the daytime improves the quality and duration of sleep by up to 80%.

There are many methods of obtaining sunlight in an effective way. Morning sunlight is extremely beneficial for both bones and the sleep cycle. Taking breakfast by a window or outside in the backyard can prove to be effective morning sunlight therapy. Avoid or reduce using a mobile phone, computer, tablet, or laptop at least one to two hours before sleep. The harmful blue rays emitted from these devices could be disruptive to sleep.

Exercise 

Another effective method of effective night sleep is doing exercise in normal awake hours. Doing exercise too late in a day may also harm the sleep cycle. According to scientific evidence, older people performing an exercise can fall asleep in the night much earlier and easier.


Bath before Bedtime

Taking shower or bath before sleep can also be an effective strategy. According to research, taking a warm bath almost 90 minutes before bedtime can improve sleep quality. If it is getting difficult to take a bath late, then placing your feet in hot water can also provide similar calmness and relaxation eventually helping you to fall asleep easily.

Conclusion

It is important to understand that only a healthy mind and a healthy body can improve your sleeping quality. Simple lifestyle modifications can have long-lasting effects on sleep. Taking care of light exposure, sleep patterns, and reducing the exposure to mobile phones and other bright lights before bedtime can be extremely beneficial in ensuring you have a great night's rest.


References

  • Fetveit A, Skjerve A, Bjorvatn B. Bright light treatment improves sleep in institutionalized elderly--an open trial. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2003 Jun;18(6):520-6. doi: 10.1002/gps.852. PMID: 12789673.
  • Tuunainen A, Kripke DF, Endo T. Light therapy for non-seasonal depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;2004(2):CD004050. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004050.pub2. PMID: 15106233; PMCID: PMC6669243.
  • Liao WC, Landis CA, Lentz MJ, Chiu MJ. Effect of foot bathing on the distal-proximal skin temperature gradient in elders. Int J Nurs Stud. 2005 Sep;42(7):717-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2004.11.011. Epub 2005 Jan 25. PMID: 16084919.