Getting proper sleep plays a critical role in your health. Sleep deprivation can put you at greater risk of struggling with heart disease, mood disorders, and numerous other potentially avoidable ailments. Unfortunately, research indicates that many adults don’t get nearly as much sleep as they need.
Maybe you’re one of the millions of people who aren’t getting proper sleep on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean you need to be. While it’s very important to consult with a doctor if you’re suffering from genuine insomnia, it’s also worth keeping in mind that taking simple steps can help you get more quality sleep more often. Steps worth considering include the following:
Replace Your Mattress
Falling asleep can feel impossible if you’re not physically comfortable. You might be having trouble falling asleep at night because you don’t have the right mattress.
Many have found that simply buying a new comfortable mattress is all they need to address their sleep troubles. You may also find it’s much easier to sleep when the surface on which you’re sleeping is new.
Avoid Using Digital Devices Before Sleep
In our digital age, there’s a good chance you spend a lot of time in front of a computer or smartphone screen.
To some degree, this may be unavoidable. That said, you should strive to limit the amount of time you spend using digital devices in the hours before you plan to fall asleep.
This is because such devices emit what’s known as “blue light.” Essentially, our brains have developed to trigger the release of melatonin when the sun goes down. Melatonin is the body’s “sleep hormone.”
However, research indicates that the blue light digital devices emit can “trick” the brain. Your brain interprets blue light as exposure to sunlight, which prevents it from releasing melatonin. With that in mind, if you struggle to fall asleep and/or stay asleep, you should limit the amount of time you spend using your phone or computer if you’re trying to wind down at the end of the day.
Watch Your Caffeine Consumption
So many of us rely on caffeine for energy throughout the day that we forget a very basic fact: caffeine is a drug. Therefore, its effects on the body can be significant.
This isn’t meant to discourage anyone from consuming caffeine in moderation. Although some people should refrain from caffeine usage in general, only a doctor can determine whether it’s safe for you to drink a cup of coffee or two a day.
However, if you are going to drink coffee (or any other caffeine-heavy product), you need to avoid doing so later in the afternoon or evening. Even if you’re genuinely tired when you’re trying to go to sleep, if you have caffeine in your system, you might find it unreasonably difficult to actually doze off.
Don’t underestimate the importance of applying these tips. Again, getting adequate sleep can boost your overall health and your lifespan.
Just remember, this was only a general overview. Strongly consider discussing this topic with your physician if lack of sleep is interfering with your overall well being.