Bedtime Tips: How to Improve Your Sleep Quality

Woman sleeping on bed

We all know that sleep plays a pivotal role in our overall health and wellness. Getting a good night’s rest is just as important as having a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle.

Research shows that quality sleep is associated with a number of health benefits including reduced inflammation, improved memory and attention, healthy weight, and even longevity.

Sadly, though, many people are still suffering from poor sleep, which can lead to increased risk of obesity and diabetes, and poor brain function.

Clearly, if you want to boost your health and wellness, getting a good night’s sleep is a must. If you find yourself tossing and turning all night, chances are there are things you need to fix to sleep better.

Learn about some bedroom fixes you can do to make your room more sleep-conducive, habits you need to change, and more tips to improve your sleep quality in this post!

How do you assess your sleep quality?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are things you need to consider to determine whether you’re getting the rest you deserve. Some of the indicators of good sleep, according to the organization, include:

  • Falling asleep in 30 minutes or less once you get in bed

  • Waking just once during the night, if at all

  • Staying awake for 20 minutes or less when your sleep is interrupted

  • Spending at least 85 percent of your time in bed sleeping

Ways to Improve Your Sleep Quality

If you’re missing any of the indicators listed above, it’s probably time to tweak your bedtime routine and sleeping habits. Some bedroom fixes and lifestyle changes can make you sleep better:

Manage your daytime naps

There are benefits to taking short power naps. Having long or irregular daytime naps, though, can negatively influence your nighttime sleep.

Several studies show that daytime naps can confuse your body clock, making it harder for you to sleep at night. One study even showed that subjects who took frequent daytime naps ended up feeling sleepier during the day.

Separate research noted that while short daytime naps can boost learning ability and performance, longer naps are linked to loss of productivity and sleep inertia.

So, if you want to doze off easily, and savor an uninterrupted sleep at night, limit your daytime naps or don’t nap at all.

Set your bedroom temperature

Several studies found that increased body and bedroom temperatures negatively impact sleep quality and increase wakefulness.

According to these studies, subjects who were exposed to hot temperatures during sleep experienced:

One study even revealed that bedroom temperature had a larger impact on sleep quality than noise.

So, if you want to sleep better, keep your bedroom temperature cool. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Improve your bedroom lighting

One of the key factors in regulating your biological clock and sleep is light and darkness exposure.

Too much light exposure may be one of the reasons why you’re sleep-deprived. One study even found a link between light exposure at night and depression.

In contrast, less exposure to light at night positively affects not just sleep quality but brain function as well. Interestingly, a recent study showed that nighttime light exposure can directly influence cognition and memory.

Managing your light exposure will help keep your circadian rhythms in check. The National Sleep Foundation recommends doing the following for better sleep and possibly for other health benefits:

  • Find time for sunlight during the daytime, especially in the morning.

  • Keep your bedroom dark at night. You can use drapes, light-blocking curtains or an eye mask.

  • Limit your use of blue light-emitting devices hours before your bedtime.

Optimize the air quality in your bedroom

In a recent study, researchers found that air pollution increases sleep apnea risk. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep.

It is a serious condition, and when left untreated, may increase the risk of other health problems including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression, and heart failure.

According to Dr. Martha E. Billings, the lead study author, air pollution can detrimentally affect sleep by irritating the upper airways and affecting areas of the brain and nervous system that control breathing and sleep.

Surprisingly, indoor air pollution could actually be worse than the air outside your home. In fact, it can be up to 10 times more toxic than outdoor air.

This is because of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) found in paints, fabrics, and other construction materials that are used to make home furniture.

Unfortunately, these toxic chemicals are also present in bedding, mattresses, and carpeting, and you can inhale them while you’re sleeping.

So, how can you avoid these harmful chemicals from ruining your sleep and worse, health?

Researchers conclude that plants can play a crucial role in improving indoor air quality as they help remove organic chemicals.

Some of the best bedroom plants that can help improve your sleep include Peace Lilly, English Ivy, Warneckei, Snake Plant, and Lavender.

Indoor plants help to improve the air quality and aesthetic value of your home. However, they also come with disadvantages and drawbacks such as:

  • You need to water them frequently

  • They have humidity needs

  • They may develop molds and fungus

  • You need someone to tend to them when you’re out on vacation

Even though houseplants are a natural and effective way of keeping your indoor air clean, we know that it’s difficult to squeeze time to care for them given our busy lifestyles.

Luckily, there’s a more convenient option that offers the same benefits: air purifiers.

Experts believe that using an air purifier is also an effective way of improving the air quality of your home.

Winix air purifier

This air purifier helps to remove indoor air pollutants such as molds, dust mites, bacteria, and animal dander. It also safely breaks down the odor, chemical vapors, and allergens without harmful ozone.

Using this air purifier will also help to get rid of other irritants and toxic compounds that may ruin your sleep including:

  • Pollen

  • Smoke

  • Hair

  • Mold spores

  • VOCs

Research shows that when bedroom air quality is improved, subjects experience the following benefits:

  • Improved sleep quality

  • Less sleepiness the next day

  • Better concentration

  • Improved logical thinking

So, consider getting an air purifier for your bedroom so you can sleep better at night. This can be very beneficial, especially if you are prone to allergic reactions.

Get a comfortable mattress

Apart from a sleep-conducive environment, your bed also affects the quality of your sleep.

One study found a link between mattress and sleep discomfort. The study concluded that changing a mattress based on sleeping position may improve sleep quality, especially in people with chronic back pain.

A separate study revealed that a new mattress reduced back pain in subjects by 57 percent, shoulder pain by 60 percent, and back stiffness by 59 percent. It also improved the participants’ sleep quality by 60 percent.

Other studies discovered that a new bedding system can enhance the quality of sleep and reduce back discomfort.

Puffy mattress

According to the National Sleep Foundation, a good mattress can last up to 10 years. But if you’re finding it hard to sleep at night, you can consider changing it every five to seven years.

If you’re looking to buy a new mattress, make sure that you are getting a quality one. This mattress, for example, can adapt to all sleeping types.

So, whether you sleep on your back, side or any other position, it will give you firm natural support for a peaceful rest.

It also has a breathable and cooling technology that helps to prevent heat from disrupting your sleep. Even better, this mattress also offers other amazing benefits such as:

  • Total pressure relief

  • Balanced support and contouring

  • Enhanced spinal alignment

If you want to savor a restful night, consider changing your mattress. A new quality bedding can enhance not only your sleep quality but health as well.

Leave your worries outside the bedroom

Stress and anxiety have negative effects on sleep quality. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation also says that stress can cause insomnia.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a chronic condition that may also cause sleep problems. It is defined as a chronic state of severe, and pervasive worry, and tension.

This anxiety is hard to control, and commonly comes with symptoms such as:

  • Poor concentration

  • Irritability

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle tension

  • Restless sleep or insomnia

Fifty-six to 75 percent of GAD sufferers experience sleep disturbance. The worries may surface when lying down to sleep during bedtime, which can lead to increased anxiety.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, you can do a few things before bed to reduce anxiety and stress:

  • Practice meditation

  • Do yoga

  • Set priorities

  • Delegate tasks

  • Listen to relaxing music

  • Talk to a family or friend

  • Write on a journal

Know when to seek professional advice

Almost everyone experiences difficulty sleeping. But if this occurs often, see your doctor. It’s essential to identify the underlying cause of your sleeping problems to prevent it from getting worse.

Takeaway

Getting a restful night is crucial for your optimum health. Aside from making adjustments in your bedroom environment and lifestyle habits, it also helps to practice sleeping and waking up at consistent times.

If you’ve tried all these tricks, and nothing still worked, it’s best to see a health expert for proper assessment and advice.

Remember that coupled with proper nutrition and regular exercise, quality sleep can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.


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