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How to improve sleep quality?

How to improve sleep quality?

Sleep is an incredibly important part of life. Only by focusing on quality sleep will we be able to create and improve other aspects of life: health, energy and good mood. However, the modern pace of life, the noise of information and devices, and poor habits can have a huge negative impact on the ability to fall asleep, stay asleep and have a good night of sleep.

In this article, we will look at six essential habits for better sleep. By applying all of them, you can create healthy and high-quality sleep hygiene that will help you to feel better and stronger.
Sleep consistency Urte Dervynas
The human body is very fond of rhythm. To function optimally, the body needs to operate according to our biological cycles. Sleep is perhaps the most important part of your daily rhythm, so it's crucial to determine the exact time you go to bed and when you get up based on your lifestyle.

The best practice is to adapt your routine to the sleep mode that was established over thousands of years of human evolution: prioritise sleep time between 10 pm and 2 am. These are the hours when the most restful and restorative effects of sleep are experienced. All the hours before and after this time are just extra, even if you get the much-praised 8 "necessary" hours of sleep by going to sleep later.

Very important: go to bed and get up at the same time not only on weekdays but also on weekends. If we stay up late on the weekend, not only do we lose all the progress we've made in our sleep routine, but we also put our bodies into a state of jet lag that will take a couple more nights to recover from.

Consistency will not happen by itself, it will require your additional attention. Try to write down all the hours of the day on a piece of paper, then mark which hours you must devote to quality sleep. Then mark the hours for food, physical activity, and being in the fresh air. Try to live according to this rhythm for two weeks. At the end of the day note what worked, what didn't work, why and what you will try to do differently tomorrow to succeed better.

Such a reflection of your sleep routine will not only allow you to plan better, analyse, and motivate yourself but will also allow you to monitor your progress towards a better sleep routine.

Good sleep requires specific conditions: silence, darkness and a certain temperature. Therefore, take care of the maximum sound insulation of doors and windows, so that unnecessary sounds wouldn't wake you up at night.

Choose dark and non-transparent curtains to prevent street lighting from entering the bedroom - sleep scientists claim that even a dim light source that reaches the human skin during sleep disrupts the synthesis of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Ventilate the bedroom every time before going to sleep - let there be enough fresh air. If you like, you can scent the room or bed with relaxing essential oils, such as lavender, rose, chamomile, or frankincense. The temperature of the bedroom for the deepest sleep should not be lower than 15 and not higher than 20 degrees Celsius - at a lower or higher temperature, you will be more alert and wake up less rested.

Remove all bright screens from the bedroom: TV, laptop or tablet, to reduce the risk of even a small amount of light in the room. Not only human eyes, but also the skin has light-capturing receptors - upon receiving a light signal, the human body starts to produce less of the sleep hormone.

It is also recommended to leave the mobile phone in another room or at least cover it (for example, put it in the drawer of the bedside table) so that the light coming from the phone would not disturb sleep. The same applies to an alarm clock with luminous time digits - even a small light source has a negative effect on the quality of sleep.

Do not eat rich food or drink alcohol less than 3-4 hours before bedtime. The digestive system should rest at night, not work.

Alcohol, by the way, also harms quality sleep, although many people believe that a glass of wine will help you sleep better. This is not the case - the effect of alcohol may help to calm down or fall asleep, but it negatively affects sleep itself by shortening both sleep cycles and the total duration of sleep. One glass of wine can reduce sleep quality by 9% to 24%. After two glasses, the percentage increases to 39% and more.

Limit coffee with caffeine - it is not advisable to drink it in the second part of the day, less than 10 hours before bedtime. Even if it doesn't seem to affect your ability to fall asleep, the effect on sleep quality, just like with alcohol, is huge.

Plan your exercise or sports activities accordingly: avoid intense physical exertion in the evening and instead move such training to the first part of the day (most importantly - do intense sports no later than 3-4 p.m.). Leave the evening for quieter activities that do not increase the pressure and heart rate, such as yoga, stretching exercises, a walk or a leisurely bike ride.

A good night's sleep starts in the morning! The human circadian rhythm is subject to light, so the conscious use of light is necessary for a quality sleep routine.

Sleep scientists say that to truly optimize your sleep routine, you should get natural daylight within the first hour of waking up. Even just 10 minutes in the fresh air every morning will have a positive effect on sleep.

Natural daylight in the morning not only helps to start the day more energetically but also guarantees a better synthesis of melatonin - the sleep hormone - in the evening.

Depending on the season, try to get as much natural light on your body as possible. It's easier to do that in the summer by staying in the morning light with a sleeveless blouse or shorts, and in the winter, as much light as falls on your face will be enough. Don't wear sunglasses in the morning - let the retina capture all the natural light it can get.

The most important thing is not to look directly at the sun, the light should not hurt or otherwise injure you.

These six steps will be enough to create healthy and high-quality sleep hygiene and to enjoy the benefits of sweet sleep!