There’s no denying that most individuals these days are sleeping less than what they actually need. Many are trading a good night’s sleep for more screen time, a night’s out, or overtime at work. Not having a good sleep doesn’t just rob your body of rest, but it can also take a toll on your overall health and wellbeing.
Poor sleep has been linked to weight gain, poor immune function, depression, and a greater risk of stroke and heart disease. Loss of sleep can also affect your ability to interact socially, focus and productivity, and athletic performance. Continue reading to find out what you can do when you’re having a hard time sleeping.
1. Manage your light exposure
It’s a popular fact that blue light exposure can trick your break that it’s still daytime. That means you’ll also have a hard time getting deep sleep. Electronic devices such as computers and smartphones are the worst sources of blue light. Some tricks to reduce your exposure to blue light during nighttime are to use blue light filters, screen covers, or glasses.
While you should reduce your blue light exposure, increased exposure to bright light or natural sunlight helps improve the quality of your sleep. Increasing bright light exposure is usually used to help those with insomnia or any severe sleep issue. If getting sunlight exposure isn’t practical for you, buy artificial bright light bulbs for your living space.
2. Consider the chiropractic method
Some people are lucky enough to get good sleep by taking sleep aids. But if it does not seem to work for you, consult a trusted chiropractor. In some cases, poor sleep quality is caused by body stresses and pain due to a misaligned spine. Poor sleeping posture is another culprit for neck and back pain. All this can affect the quality of your sleep and even not allow you to catch a few hours of rest.
A chiropractic care professional can help you relieve body pain and stress so you can get your rest. They use manipulation therapy to improve your blood flow and assess what specific pain relief treatment you need. Many chiropractors can also craft a routine for your recovery and nutritional counseling, if necessary. You can sleep and rest better if you don’t have an aching body to think of.
3. Try taking melatonin supplements
Melatonin supplements are generally recommended for people with sleep problems due to jet lag or shift work. They can help improve the quality of sleep and even promote morning alertness to people diagnosed with insomnia. Melatonin is a hormone that naturally occurs in our brain. Its main job is to regulate your sleep-wake cycles.
People who have trouble sleeping due to delayed sleep-phase disorder and affective disorders like depression also use melatonin supplements. It’s best to start with a low dose for you to determine your tolerance and slowly increase the dose, if necessary. However, we highly suggest that you also consult your doctor if taking melatonin supplements is ideal for you, especially if you’re taking other medications.
4. Follow your sleep-wake cycle
There’s no better natural method to get better sleep than keeping in sync with your circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. Following your body’s natural schedule can leave you more energized and refreshed. If you can, sleep and wake up at the same time every day to set your internal alarm clock. You should also avoid sleeping in even during your rest days as this can also disturb your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
If you need to take a nap, do it in the early afternoon and limit them to 15 to 20 minutes. A bad napping habit can worsen your sleep problems. Furthermore, if you are someone who gets sleep after dinner or hours before bedtime, do something that can slightly stimulate your body and mind. You can write in your journal or wash the dishes. Lastly, ensure you eat a healthy breakfast. This can help signal your body that it’s daytime and you need to move, and sync up your body clock too. Skipping your breakfast can disrupt your sleep cycle because of lower energy and delayed blood sugar rhythm.
A good night’s sleep is a pillar of health that you shouldn’t ignore. By following these simple steps, you can help yourself sleep faster and better and maintain optimal health and well-being. In case you still have a hard time getting good sleep or you suspect you have insomnia, it’s best to talk to your doctor for proper treatment and routine recommendations.