Struggling to hit the 7-9 hour sleep recommendation per night? Or maybe you do, but you don’t wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new day? With sleep deprivation affecting over 70 million US adults, good quality rest is a luxury many people wish they can have.
Hit the reset button every night with these 7 daily habits for deeper sleep.
1. Cut back on screen time:
Almost 90% of adults use an electronic screen before bed. Although checking your phone may seem harmless before bedtime, the blue light it emits has a strong negative impact on your sleep.
Blue light exposure right before bed can affect your body’s natural sleep rhythm, by affecting the amount of melatonin your body produces. Melatonin is your ‘sleep hormone’ that signals for your brain and body to get some shut-eye. When you are looking at a light source, your body slows down the production of melatonin.
The solution? Avoid looking at any screens an hour before bed-time. Read, take a warm bath or do some meditation instead to wind you down for bed.
2. Avoid daytime naps:
We understand. Nothing feels better than a long nap after a busy day. But it comes at a cost. Napping for longer than 20 minutes actually does your body more harm than good. This is why many individuals wake up feeling groggier than before the nap.
If you can, avoid napping for any longer than 20 minutes. If you drift off past that mark, you may risk entering the deep sleep phase, which is best kept for night-time sleeping. Additionally, daytime napping can also impact your ability to fall asleep at night at your usual bedtime - which can negatively throw off your routine.
3. Reduce caffeine intake:
While coffee in small doses is okay, having too much caffeine during your day can disrupt your sleep because of extra stimulation.
Caffeine can disrupt your natural body clock and sleep pattern. High caffeine can also cause energy crashes, headaches and muscle pain, which can all affect your ability to sleep deeply at night.
Instead of drinking one cup of coffee after another, aim to drink only non-caffeinated beverages after noontime. Things like herbal teas and infused water are great alternatives that can also boost hydration. Herbal teas such as chamomile can also promote relaxation before bed to help you drift off into deep sleep.
4. Boost your magnesium levels:
With many individuals failing to achieve the daily recommended intakes of magnesium through diet, it can cause a variety of health disturbances, including affecting sleep cycles. Magnesium has over 300 functions in the body, including regulating your circadian rhythm.
Magnesium is also super important in promoting muscle and nerve relaxation, which are key to winding you down before bedtime.
There are many ways you can incorporate magnesium into your nighttime routine to upgrade your sleep. Topically, you can apply a high quality magnesium oil onto your skin after your shower. Or, take a relaxing warm bath using magnesium bath flakes before you hop into bed to get you in the zone. Add your own essential oils, or use magnesium bath flakes that are already infused with calming lavender for the ultimate spa experience.
5. Set a daily sleep routine:
Sticking to a regular sleep schedule will help lock-in your body clock long-term. Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day and night to program your brain. Avoid tempting sleep-ins during the weekend, as forcing yourself to sleep for longer can throw your body clock off your regular bedtime.
After sticking to regular times, your brain will naturally begin to drift off and wake up at the same times everyday. Waking up naturally can help you feel refreshed, replenished and ready for another productive way.
6. Exercise daily:
Not only is exercise absolutely essential for overall health and wellbeing, it can have a powerful positive impact on your sleep quality.
Regular physical activity is a brilliant stress-buster, which can in turn relax your body and mind before bed-time to sleep better at night.
Aim to get moving for at least half an hour 5 days a week to improve your health. Remember, every little bit of staying active counts. You don’t have to run a full daily marathon to reap the benefits. Ease your way into a healthy and fit lifestyle.
7. Eat a healthy diet:
You are what you eat! And it’s exactly the same when it comes to sleep. What you eat can have a massive effect on your sleep quality.
Avoiding stimulatory foods such as sugar and alcohol are key to avoiding sleep disruptions.
Instead, focus on eating a healthy balanced diet, rich in whole-grains, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. Foods rich in the amino-acid tryptophan, such as oats, brown rice and milk, can help your body produce more melatonin to support sleep.
There are a ton of tips you can try to get 7-9 hours of deep sleep every night. If you are showing symptoms of sleep deprivation, it is time to get your sleep routine in check. Avoid long naps, caffeine and blue light, and increase your magnesium levels and physical activity levels as a starting point.