What You Can Do to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
The quality of your sleep is directly connected to your mental acuity and brain health. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your brain is not able to function at peak performance. Yet four out of 10 Americans don’t get the minimum amount of sleep recommended, and many others who try to get a full seven hours of sleep find they aren't getting quality sleep. Thankfully, science has answers to this problem. Here are some proven strategies you can use to help improve the quality of your sleep, so your brain functions at its best.
First, take a look at your technology use. The blue light emitted by computers and handheld devices actually stops your body from making melatonin, the hormone that controls sleep cycles. When you don't make enough melatonin, you either have trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep. Also, technology puts your brain on alert, which interferes with the quality of your sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends turning off the tech 30 minutes before bed.
Next, be careful what you eat or drink before bed. Both coffee and alcohol will affect the quality of your sleep, and as a result, your brain functions. If you’re going to enjoy these beverages, try to have them earlier in the day. Use water if you feel thirsty before bed.
Don't forget about your bedtime routine. You had a bedtime routine as a kid for a good reason. Your parents knew that following the same steps before bed would help you settle in for quality sleep. That doesn't change when you become an adult. Train your brain that it's time to sleep by sticking with a regular bedtime routine.
Finally, consider lowering the temperature in your room. Several studies have found that a lower room temperature at night actually leads to a better night’s sleep. Keep your bedroom temperature a little lower than your daytime comfort temperature, then use additional blankets or clothing to warm up your body.
Getting a good night’s sleep is not just a luxury. It is critical to your brain’s health. Use these strategies to improve the quality of your sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day