Sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to staying healthy, both mentally and physically. During sleep our bodies and brains recover. Sleep helps with processing memories, growth, and restoring the immune system. Making sure you get an adequate amount of sleep every night is therefore very important. Modern life can make this challenging sometimes though. Many people therefore opt for sleeping pills, but sleeping pills come with dangerous side effects, plus the risk of developing a dependency. Luckily there are also many natural ways to improve your sleeping habits. Spa Sophia selected the five best sleep tips...
Sleep Tip 1: No Bright Screens Before Bedtime
Laptops, TV, iPods, phones: They all mess with your melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone secreted in your brain that plays a big part in what is often called your internal clock, your circadian rhythm. Melatonin levels are influenced by light: When it gets dark, melatonin levels rise, making you feel tired and sleepy. When it's light melatonin levels are low, keeping you feeling awake.
Brightly lit screens lead to a delay of the rise in melatonin levels, which is why you'll have a harder time finding sleep if you look at bright screens before sleeping. One of the best sleep tips is therefore not to play video games, watch TV or anything else that involves a bright screen up to an hour before sleeping. So yes to eye pads and no to iPads!
Sleep Tip 2: No Caffeine After 2PM
This may be one of the most well-known yet most ignored sleep tips. Seriously, people. We know you love your coffee, afternoon tea, and soda, but any caffeine after 2PM will make finding sleep at night much harder. It takes your body about 6 hours for deplete 50% of an 8 ounce caffeine intake. That's 6 hours for your regular small Starbucks coffee. Think of what a venti (20 ounces) will do to you! So opt for herbal tea, decaf coffee, or other caffeine free drinks after 2PM.
Sleep Tip 3: Get Moving
Exercise is the miracle medicine for many problems in life: lack of energy, depression, cardiovascular diseases...we could go on and on. And it also helps you sleep better! This is one of those sleep tips we probably don't even need to get into the science of - we've al felt how tired a good workout can make us - but research has proven that sleep improves drastically when people pick up some aerobic exercise.
Sleep Tip 4: Get On a Regular Sleeping Schedule
Like we described in the first one of the sleeping tips, melatonin plays a big part in creating a circadian rhythm. And sticking to this rhythm really helps you find sleep every night. Wether you're a night owl or morning person, try to go to sleep and get up at around the same time every day. Even in the weekends. The occasional all nighter is okay, as long as you have some sort of routine.
Steep Tip 5: Don't Eat Before Sleeping
Eating right before going to bed - especially food with a high glycemic load - will flood your blood with glucose. This in turn will cause your heart rate to go up and free energy for your body. Which is exactly what you don't need right before going to bed. So say no to those late night snacks.