How To Best Achieve Restorative Sleep

How To Best Achieve Restorative Sleep

You don’t need an expert to explain how beneficial sleep is for your overall health. You already know how much better you feel when you wake up after a good night’s rest. The benefits extend beyond an energy boost and better mood. Optimal sleep may help support your health far more than you realize, which is especially true if you aren’t sleeping enough right now. 

According to sleep experts, the average adult should get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that getting less than that may reduce immunity and increase the risk of chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Yet, one in three people do not get enough sleep per night. Even though this is the case, you can improve your chances of getting better, more restorative sleep. The following tips explain how you can set yourself up for sleep success.

Lower Your Thermostat

There is an attraction to being warm and cozy and snuggling up like a little fox in a bed. According to sleep experts, though, keeping your bedroom cool at night can support more optimal sleep. The body’s core temperature naturally dips in the evening to prepare the body for bed. For this reason, experts recommend that you put your thermostat between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the body cool. If you run hot at night, consider purchasing sheets or nightwear that is moisture-wicking or cooling. 

Move Your Body

Some evidence suggests that exercising during the day leads to more restful sleep, especially for adults and older adults. Physical activity actively tires out the body’s major muscles and helps to relieve stress, both of which relax the mind and body, making it easier for you to fall asleep. You don’t have to run a marathon or take part in a Spartan race to reap the benefits. A 2017 study found that regular movement can improve both sleep quality and duration, regardless of the intensity of your exercise. 

Make Your Bedroom A Sleep Haven

You do not need to do any major remodeling to your bedroom to sleep better. Set your bedroom up for sleep success by making it very dark, cool, and as tranquil as you can. Darkness is paramount because the more light you have, the likelier your mind is to race and wake up. Research from 2018 found that even a soft glow can disrupt your sleep, so consider purchasing blackout curtains or shades and unplug any devices or charges that emit light. Sleep experts also encourage you to make your bedroom a sleep-only zone, meaning you don’t spend time in bed catching up on work emails or scrolling social media. Treat your bedroom as a sacred space for sleep, which may help train your brain to power down when you go under the covers at night.

Try Relaxation Techniques In Bed

If you struggle to fall asleep because you get tense or anxious at night, it can be beneficial to engage in relaxation techniques. Many people benefit from guided imagery, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. Trying to force yourself to fall asleep usually has the opposite effect. If you are not able to doze off with the relaxation techniques we just mentioned, consider reading, listening to an audiobook, or listening to calming music. Accepting your sleepless state can actually relax the mind and make it easier to fall asleep. 

Create A Relaxing Bedtime Routine

Sleep experts suggest going to bed and waking up around the same time daily to regulate the body’s internal clock. Research from 2015 found that consistent sleep and wake times may make it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up with more energy the next day. In order to do this, consider establishing a nighttime ritual, which can include pre-bed activities that aid sleep, such as: 

  • Dimming the lights: A study from 2019 found that exposure to bright light suppresses the body’s production of melatonin. Turning off or dimming the lights an hour or so before bed may help you drift off more easily. Additionally, stop looking at screens an hour or so before bed to reduce your exposure to blue light
  • Take a hot shower or bath: Taking a steamy, hot shower or warm bath is very relaxing, but it’s the aftermath that may have a positive effect on your sleep. Research from 2019 found that the body’s core temperature starts to go down after a hot bath/shower. That supports that natural temperature dip that occurs every evening to prime the body for sleep.

2024-04-03T00:17:20-07:00

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