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10 Tips to Sleep Better and Healthier

Drew is a pharmacist, a novelist, and a writer with a great knack for learning new things. An anime lover, a musician, and a bibliophile.

Got too busy that you forgot to sleep? Got too challenged and played it all night?

Hey just a reminder, sleep is not something you should compromise on. Getting those shut-eyes is a necessity for better overall health. That is if you care about your health.

Studies have proven that good sleep provides a lot of health benefits than you can imagine. Most of you only knew that it is healthy. How healthy? Most of us, don’t really care much.

For beauty-conscious individuals, sleep gives a lot of free beauty benefits. A good night’s sleep can help you control your weight and avoid acne freak-outs. It can also help regulate your hormones better. Hey, it is one of the best ways to dodge those wrinkles as well as avoid premature aging.

For the health-conscious individuals, sleep offers more than those expensive pills. Sleep offers to lessen your risk of stroke, heart diseases, diabetes, and arthritis. It also gets your vigor pumping, steering your wheel away from depression.

For the performance conscious friends, sleep maximizes your inner potential. It empowers you to do your work better.

A good night's sleep enhances your stamina and power-ups creativity. It also lowers your stress and sharpens attention. Sleep also improves your memory.

Hear me out. And those are just the tip of the iceberg. See how important that daily sleep is?

So let’s get to the real questions. How do I get those quality sleep?

Here are 10 tips that will help you sleep better and healthier.

1. Avoid Caffeine Hours Before Sleep

Those cups of tea, mugs of coffee, and cans of soft drinks mostly contain caffeine. Even your cocoa or chocolate mostly has a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is one of the most commonly ingested pharmacologically active substances on earth. Hey, this is coming from me as a pharmacist. It has a lot of positive health benefits. But let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about how it affects your sleep.

Your caffeine enhances your focus and energy. Something good when you are about to work or at day time.

But not before you sleep.

A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine gave us an idea of how to handle caffeine. The results showed that caffeine should be taken 6-8 hours before sleep.

So stop chugging those coffees before sleep.

2. Set Your Sleep Routine

Do you know that too much or too little sleep is also bad? Yep, all things in excess can get it bad. I remembered a quote from the famous toxicologist, Paracelsus. Let me paraphrase. “All things are poison, it is only a matter of dose.”

Our body has it’s own wonderful pattern to align with day time and night time. It is called the circadian rhythm.

Circadian what?

The circadian rhythm is your 24-hour body clock. It tells your body whether it is time to be active or it is time for sleep.

Normally, it sends the sleepy signal during the night. Then alert signal during the day. It was one of the reasons why most night shift workers find it hard to sleep during the day.

Anyway, being consistent with the time you sleep and wake up is the key. Clocking it up every day will strengthen this body function.

So if you are having trouble sleeping, set up a habit of waking up and sleeping at a set time every day.

How much should you sleep? Check out the guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation below.

10-tips-to-sleep-better-and-healthier

3. Keep Your Room Dark

Keeping your room dark will help you sleep better.

According to studies, dimming the lights at least an hour before sleep promotes the release of a hormone called melatonin. This hormone is the one responsible for making you sleepy or drowsy.

Other interesting findings also showed that keeping those lights on will suppress the release of this hormone by at least 50%. A reason why you should keep those curtains close.

So what are you waiting for? Shut all those damn lights.

4. Put Away Your Gadgets

Since we just went on dealing with the lights. Let me also deal with your gadgets. Yep, your TV, smartphone, laptops, and computer. And if you really like those. I’m sorry but I want you to keep you away from gadgets before sleep.

Clear those gadgets away before your sleep. It is one of the most common reasons why you couldn’t sleep.

Blue light – a type of light released by your gadgets in large amounts is also a bad one. It prevents you from getting those good night sleep.

The light coming out of your gadget also suppresses the release of melatonin. Yep, just like any household lights.

So, when I said all the lights. I also meant to include those gadgets.

5. Take Your Shower Before Bed

Yep, taking a refreshing bath before diving to your bed will help you get better sleep.

Studies have shown that taking a good old bath improves sleep. Even simply bathing your feet before sleep can promote better slumber. The study was conducted both on the young and elderly.

A study from the European Journal of Applied Physiology & Occupational Physiology gave us a nice basis. It showed that a bath before sleep was attributed to good sleep and quickness of falling asleep.

It showed that body movement that could disrupt sleep were also less frequent during the first 3 hours of sleep after the bath.

So if you want some good sleep. Do take a nice bath.

6. Exercise Daily for Better Sleep

The truth is this. Exercise is one of the most evidenced-laced ways to get that perfect sleep.

Putting your effort into those daily exercises have a lot of benefits. It doesn’t only make you lose that unhealthy weight. It will also give you better sleep.

A study in Sleep Journal showed that aerobic exercise helps you to get sleep quality. It also elevates one’s mood and quality of life.

Exercise is also considered as a nice alternative treatment for insomniacs.

7. Avoid Any Liquids Before Going to Bed

Okay, just to make it clear. This is just before going to bed. Taking enough liquids helps you get fit and hydrated during the day.

Drinking a lot of liquid before bed can cause nocturia. What is it? It is a condition in which you wake up midnight because of an urge to urinate.

In some cases, nocturia doesn’t only cause sleep deprivation. In the elderly, it also increases the risk of falls. Something every clinician wants to avoid.

Waking after getting the urge to pee will also make it more difficult to fall asleep again. It also increases the chances of morning sleepiness. Something you don’t want if you are doing accuracy-related work. Hey, no one wants to cause an accident right?

Can it get any worse? The answer is yes.

Constant poor quality sleep can compromise your immune system. When your immune system is compromised, you will be more prone to various diseases. It can also lead to depression.

Well, don't chug the water jug they say.

8. Keep It Sleek and Silent

Still, can’t sleep with the lights off? Then insulate your room from noise and sound.

A published study in Noise and Health reached an interesting conclusion. It showed that an acoustically isolated room promotes better sleep.

They showed that keeping the room silent can keep you away from getting disturbed. In turn, making you sleep better. This is a good tip for me since I am really sensitive to sounds.

Time to do some soundproofing.

9. Comfy Bed for a Comfy Sleep

Yep, you read right. A comfy bed and wonderful mattress, mixed with a nice pillow is the pill you need. It doesn’t only helps you with sleep. A good comfy bed set can even reduce or avoid other possible problems in your sleep.

A study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics showed that quality beds don’t only give you quality sleep. It also avoids back pains and stiffness usually associated with your sleeping position.

It also showed that having new bedding systems can significantly improve a few sleep variables. Thus, increasing one's sleep quality.

10. Get Checked by a Physician

If everything doesn’t work. Then, it might be time for you to go and be checked by your physician. Hey, sometimes your doctors miss you too. Joking aside, your doctor might just have the answer to improve your sleep.

Most of the time, continuous sleep issues are associated with health problems. A few good examples are heart diseases, diabetes, and sleep apnea.

It never hurts to know earlier what’s bugging your sleep. It might be the sign that your body is asking for help. You must never wait until the worst-case scenario comes.

Come on, believe me on this. A lot of health risks can be minimized and sometimes be solved all thanks to early diagnosis.

Conclusion

A good quality sleep matters. It keeps you healthy and fit.

Most scholars and researchers even consider it as the cheapest medicine in the world. Much cheaper than those pills. And I, as a pharmacist, agrees.

I’m done here. Time for me to hit the bed. And maybe, you should too. But before that let me share a nice quote with you.

Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleep.

— Mesut Barazany

Want More Sleep Tip? Do Watch.

References

  1. Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. JCSM, 9(11), 1195–1200.
  2. St-Onge, M. P., & Shechter, A. (2014). Sleep disturbances, body fat distribution, food intake, and/or energy expenditure: pathophysiological aspects. Hormone molecular biology and clinical investigation, 17(1), 29–37.
  3. Joshua Gooley ET Al. (2011). Exposure to Room Light Prior to Bedtime Suppresses Melatonin Onset and Shortens Melatonin Duration in Humans. JCEM.
  4. Sung EJ, Tochihara Y. (2000) Effects of bathing and hot footbath on sleep in winter. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. ; 19(1):21-27. DOI:10.2114/jpa.19.21
  5. Reid, K. J., Baron, K. G., Lu, B., Naylor, E., Wolfe, L., & Zee, P. C. (2010). Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep medicine, 11(9), 934–940.
  6. Youngstedt S. D. (2005). Effects of exercise on sleep. Clinics in sports medicine, 24(2), 355–xi. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csm.2004.12.003
  7. Asplund R. Nocturia, nocturnal polyuria, and sleep quality in the elderly. J Psychosom Res. 2004;56(5):517-525. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2004.04.003
  8. Fietze, I., Barthe, C., Hölzl, M., Glos, M., Zimmermann, S., Bauer-Diefenbach, R., & Penzel, T. (2016). The effect of room acoustics on the sleep quality of healthy sleepers. Noise & Health, 18(84), 240–246.
  9. Marschall-Kehrel D. (2004). Update on nocturia: the best of rest is sleep. Urology, 64(6 Suppl 1), 21–24.
  10. Jacobson, B. H., Boolani, A., Dunklee, G., Shepardson, A., & Acharya, H. (2010). Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain. Applied Ergonomics, 42(1), 91–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2010.05.004
  11. Jacobson BH, Wallace TJ, Smith DB, Kolb T. Grouped comparisons of sleep quality for new and personal bedding systems. Appl Ergon. 2008;39(2):247-254. DOI:10.1016/j.apergo.2007.04.002

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Drew Agravante

Comments

Drew Agravante (author) from Philippines, Currently in Qatar on August 12, 2020:

Denise,

That's really awesome. As for me, creative ideas come while I am relaxing on a chair. Or perhaps reading something. Anyway, thanks for passing by.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 11, 2020:

I get some of my best creative ideas in that twilight place in between sleep and awake, right before I fall into a deep sleep. For me, that makes sleep doubly important.

Blessings,

Denise

Drew Agravante (author) from Philippines, Currently in Qatar on August 09, 2020:

Hi JP,

I totally agree with you. Having that nice temp really helps. Really puts you in the mood to get that nice nap. Thanks for reading!

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on August 08, 2020:

What an informative article Dave. The quality of my sleep is often a function of the ambient temperature. I like it really cool and that sweet range between 23 C to 26 C is enough for me to get some Z's. I get up really early in the morning - around 4:30 am or 5:00 am but I sleep a bit later than I want around 10 PM-11 PM. But I do take power naps and micro naps during the day. 5 minutes with my eyes closed and just relaxing is enough to recharge my body.

Drew Agravante (author) from Philippines, Currently in Qatar on August 08, 2020:

Hi Danny,

Yep, you are right. I will also make another article regarding sleeping postures. Thanks for the heads up.

Danny from India on August 07, 2020:

Nice sleeping tips Dave. I have also read that sleeping on left side is good for health. And the most important criterion is the sleeping posture as well as the pillow strength, angles of head and leg.

Legs should be in a little elevated. I liked all your tips.

Drew Agravante (author) from Philippines, Currently in Qatar on August 07, 2020:

Hi Ivana,

Thank you very much. I hope you learned a lot from this piece.

Ivana Divac from Serbia on August 06, 2020:

Great article! Werry well-written and with some excellent tips. This was certainly an interesting read.