7 More Ways to Increase Deep Sleep [Even With a Busy Schedule]
This is the second installment of the WCT Sleep Series- where we teach you proven methods to get better sleep despite your busy schedule.
In Part 1, The Amazing Benefits Of Deep Sleep [3 Tips To Help You Fall Asleep], we discuss the numerous benefits sleep has on your body and the real effects of sleep deprivation. We highly recommend that you read that post first.
Today, we will continue that story and give you more tactics that you can use to help improve your sleep.
Proven Methods to Sleep Better
Getting quality sleep is one of the best things that you could do for your health, and for your fitness. It’s peaceful, it’s restorative, and most of all it is an absolute requirement for all humans.
No matter how much you try to avoid it, you will always fall asleep one way or another.
In Part 1 we started to provide the methods that we use to get quality shut-eye. We gave you 3 ways to improve your sleep.
This post will go over 7 more practical ways to get better shut-eye and improve your energy levels.
Don't forget, improving the quality of the sleep may be more important than the actual quantity.
This post will cover
- How to Make Your Bedroom Conducive to Sleep
- What to Wear to Bed
- Focusing on Quality Sleep
- Nightly Routines to Help You Get Better Sleep
1. Make the Environment Conducive to Sleep
The first thing that you need to do to improve your sleep game is to create the right environment.
Your bedroom has to be as dark as you can possibly make it. Any glimmer of light from your window or from electronics can hinder your ability to get restful sleep.
Sleep is a hormonal process that requires optimal levels of melatonin.
Melatonin is the hormone that helps regulate your circadian rhythm. Its levels are inversely proportional to the amount of light your body is exposed to.
So how dark should your room be?
You shouldn't be able to see your outstretched hand in front of you.
You can wear an eye mask, but studies have shown that light on your skin can also decrease your melatonin levels.
Get yourself some blackout curtains, and unplug all nearby electronics!
2. Play it Cool
In addition to making your room appropriately dark, it is important to set your room to the right temperature.
How many times have you woken up because you were hot? Or because you were sweating? It is highly uncomfortable, and an unnecessary interruption in your sleep.
Utilize an air conditioner when appropriate or at least a fan.
If you are into numbers, 68 degrees F is the optimal temperature to keep your room at.
It is always better to be a little cold than a little hot. You could always add additional sheets or blankets.
3. It’s Not a Formal Event
This is also a good time to discuss the clothing you should wear to bed. Being overdressed will increase your chances of sweating and becoming uncomfortable.
You should also avoid wearing anything constrictive, especially bras.
The best type of clothing is pajamas. If you don’t have pajamas, any soft, loose-fitting, clothing should do.
The appropriate clothing will create a trigger in your mind that it is time to unwind and relax.
You could also be a minimalist and sleep in just your underwear or completely naked.
4. Red Lights vs Blue Lights
Everyone should know that spending hours on your electronics, especially right before bed, can affect the quality of your sleep.
What is the last thing you do right before you go to bed?
Check your emails? Send a few text messages?
All electronics emit a blue light which can cause a disruption in your circadian rhythm and melatonin production.
Additionally, a sense of stress could be created if whatever you’re doing before bed requires any emotional thoughts.
The best thing you could do is have an electronic curfew.
This means shutting down your phone/laptop/tablet even your television ~1 hour before bed.
If it is absolutely impossible for you to set an electronic curfew, you can utilize a ‘sunset mode’ which most smartphones have these days.
This setting changes the hue of the light emitted from the phone to a red light which doesn’t have the same effects as blue light.
There is also an application called f.lux which you could install onto your laptop that does the same thing.
5. Get Out of Your Head
Another major cause of insomnia in many individuals is the inability to control their minds and/or prevent intrusive thoughts. Doing stressful, work-related things right before bed, or thinking about important decisions can be a major source of stress.
One thing that you could do to put your mind to rest is meditation.
I know, it doesn’t sound sexy.
Most people are hesitant about trying meditation, but I’ll be honest with you- it works.
Meditation helps calm a racing mind and provides a relaxing sensation to your body.
The best part is, mediation is inexpensive. It will only cost you 5 minutes of your time. If you don’t know where to start, download the Headspace app or the Insight Timer app. They provide free guided lessons to teach you the basics of meditation.
Meditation also helps release a lot of the stress you may have accumulated from your busy day.
It’s definitely worth your time to give it a try. The quality of your sleep will improve significantly.
6. Learn Something
Another great technique to help you get shut-eye is to learn something. If you put your electronics down an hour before bed, you need something to entertain yourself before you go to sleep.
Pick up a book and read. If you need to study, this is the perfect time to do so. Don't do this in your bed. Don't forget, your bed is for sleep and intimacy only.
Get your textbooks and research articles and dim the lights. Chances are, you will eventually get bored and become sleepy.
There isn’t anything that exercise doesn’t help. Exercise is a catabolic process, requiring a lot of energy and a lot of metabolites.
As a result, exercise naturally induces a state of fatigue as your body needs to go into a restorative phase.
In addition, exercise can help you lose weight, which by itself can also help improve your sleep.
Excess body weight can lead to obstructive sleep apnea and a dysregulation in critical hormonal processes.
Check out The 3 Best Exercises To Lose Weight Fast [And Build Muscle Too] to learn more.
Here’s a bonus tip:
8. Don’t Interrupt Your Sleep Needlessly
Far too often, people interrupt their sleep because they have to get up to urinate.
I don’t know about you, but having to get up to pee is annoying!
You can avoid this by controlling your fluid intake close to bedtime. Do not drink large amounts of fluids after 6 pm. While it is important to drink a lot of water, you should get most of it done earlier in the day.
It’s also a good idea to avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption anywhere near your bedtime. Not only do these substances affect the quality of your sleep, they also have diuretic effects, increasing the chances of you needing to pee while asleep.
Sleep Better and Stay Energized: Final Words
So there you have it. Here are 11 powerful tips to improve your sleep quality despite having a busy schedule.
Don’t forget, sleep affects every single thing that you do.
Pay it the respect that it deserves.
In the next post, we discuss caffeine. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of caffeine consumption. You can find it at Caffeine: Is It Healthy? Proven Tips On How To Stay Awake [For 24 Hours]
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