catch some sleep: how to improve your sleep quality

Catch Some ZZZs: How to Improve Your Sleep Quality

March 8. 2021

We’ve all heard that a good night’s sleep is essential, but with today’s busy lifestyle and an ever-increasing addiction to technology and screens, creating quality sleep habits is sometimes impossible. 

Whether it be because our eyes are glued to glowing lights or because of the world’s stress, the amount of time sleeping seems to be decreasing.

However, a healthy amount of sleep impacts various areas of health. By focusing your attention on getting enough sleep, your body will reward you by feeling more energetic, more resilient against disease, and weight loss goals.

Looking for ways to change or improve your sleep quality? Here are some small changes you can make to increase the amount of rest you get per night.

Have a Consistent Schedule (with screens and otherwise!)

This may seem small, but maintaining a routine is arguably the most noticeable change you can make to your sleep habits to generate more extended periods of restful sleep. Your body functions as a clock, so by adhering to specific schedules, the watch will be dialed in, allowing for restful sleep. 

This is true for screens as well. Your body responds to light in different ways – lots of blue light late at night tells the body that it’s daytime, preventing you from sleeping. By adhering to a strict “screen schedule,” your body will know the difference between day and night. This may seem trivial, but it truly impacts the amount of restful sleep you get at night.

Regardless, whether screens or not, be sure to adhere to a schedule to go to bed and wake up. This can also pertain to your bedtime routine – by keeping things mostly the same nightly. You’ll set your body up for prime sleeping conditions.

Optimize Your Environment

Much of how the human body functions are related to the outside environment, whether awake or asleep. Because of this, it’s easy to see how your environment can impact your sleep habits. Loud, noisy areas create a distraction before falling asleep and have the potential to wake you during the night, contributing to a sleep deficit. Likewise, bright spots make it hard to fall asleep. It can seem impossible to fall asleep in areas with very hot or frigid nights due to the environment’s uncomfortable conditions.

To change this, make changes to your bedroom to aid in the generation of deep sleep. When possible, change the blinds to room darkening models, keeping bright lights out. Eliminate any sources of noise that may be distracting, including clocks or radios. In instances where noise cannot be eliminated (think traffic or other city noises), try using a white noise machine or fan to counteract those sounds. Similarly, ensure that you have the proper ventilation or heating needed to ensure a cozy area. These changes to your sleep habits alone will provide a perfect environment to improve your sleep quality.

Find Your Relaxation Technique

Often, the issue with getting the proper amount of sleep is due to mental stress. Since this is often the case, it’s essential to find the technique that clicks for you to reduce this mental noise. Reducing stress is excellent in all areas of health, but especially so regarding your sleep habits.

Whether it be taking a relaxing shower or some other outlet, a relaxation technique can be simple or complex. Drinking tea or another warm beverage could signal to your body and mind that it is time to relax for the night. Journaling and reflecting on the day can also provide an outlet to get thoughts out of your head, creating a sense of calm. Whatever it is, if it results in lower mental stress, it will likely positively impact your sleep habits

Exercise Regularly

This may seem odd, but exercising regularly can help you generate deeper sleep. Your body needs to heal after exercise, but this exercise contributes positively to the ability to sleep, creating a positive loop. These two activities go hand in hand, both contributing positively to your overall health. Changing your exercise habits will allow you to change your sleep habits for the better.

By making exercise a regular part of your daily routine, your body will reward you with the ability to sleep more deeply at the end of the day. Even if your workout routine is less than daily, making small changes in this area will allow your body to work with you when it comes to sleeping.  However, be careful; working out too late in the evening can harm your ability to fall asleep. Use this knowledge to maximize your ability to fall asleep, scheduling your exercise for earlier in the day.

Seek Medical Help, If Necessary

Depending on your circumstances, none of the above techniques could work due to health-related issues. If this is the case, seeking medical help to improve sleep habits should not be viewed negatively. 

Much like any other health-related disorder, seeking help to improve sleep quality is a positive way to address your health issues.

Often, medical conditions like sleep apnea contribute to poor sleep. The first step is seeking advice and treatment! Once your condition is diagnosed, you will make the necessary changes to boost deeper, healthier sleep. None of this would be possible without first seeking out medical advice. In regard to that, a weight loss clinic Chicago has a history of offering medical examination to people with sleep-related issues, and they find solutions based on your personal case. Contact the clinic today to schedule your appointment

Sleep is a vital activity that pertains to all health areas, so it’s essential to take proper steps to ensure good sleep occurs. By adhering to a set schedule, you’ll let your body’s natural clock stay tuned in with a healthy sleep schedule. Minimizing light and noise in your sleep area could have a significant positive impact on your sleep habits. Relaxing before bed using your choice technique allows you to check out mentally, relieving the brain of anxiety. If needed, you may need to seek medical advice to improve your sleep habits.

Nurse Walton

Author

Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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