Prep Perfect’s Tips For Getting a Good Night's Sleep
Obviously we all need sleep, but unfortunately a lot of us don’t get enough of the quality sleep our body and mind requires. When we get a proper night’s rest, it helps us to better maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This is because during sleep our body heals and repairs itself, our hormones are better balanced, and getting enough sleep can even help us maintain a healthy weight. A soothing slumber also gives your brain a boost too, and enhance your memory, making it easier for you to learn and take in new information. Quality sleep also safeguards you against stress, and anxious thoughts.
Despite the benefits it brings, a lot of us struggle to sleep well and end up feeling constantly tired and fatigued throughout the day. If you’re struggling to get some healthy shut eye, we wanted to give you some simple and practical tips, to help you get the rest you deserve.
Sort out your sleep environment
One of the first things you need to look at when you want to improve your quality of sleep, is of course where you’re sleeping. If your bedroom isn’t right it will certainly lead to restless nights. Luckily, you can transform your sleeping environment easily to encourage some quality shut-eye.
Consider curtains that completely blackout your bedroom, or even start wearing an eye mask, as the darkness will help your brain switch off. Temperature is important, so try to make sure the room isn’t too hot or too cold; usually keeping it between 60 and 67° F will ensure you sleep soundly.
Get rid of any clutter in your bedroom, and make sure there’s no technology in there such as televisions and computers. Opt for softer colours, and muted tones to get you feeling calm in the room. Invest in some essential oils, such as lavender and germanium, as certain smells can help you drift off.
Don’t forgot your bed itself; this needs to be as comfortable and supportive as possible for a restful night. If you regularly wake up to aches and pains, it’s probably time to change your mattress. Also, it’s essential that you switch off your mobile phone, tablet, or any other screens way before you get into bed, as the LED displays can be disruptive to your sleep.
Take steps to reduce stress
When you feel constantly stressed and worried, the rhythm of your sleep will get disrupted. If you often feel anxious, your heart rate increases, and before long your mind starts to race, leaving you far too stimulated to sleep.
You can take certain steps to help alleviate these anxious thoughts, and get yourself back to feeling calm before bed. Practice mindfulness, which typically just involves you sitting quietly for a moment.
As you sit, it’s helpful to place your hand on your heart and listen to the beats it makes. Focus on your breathing, and take slow deep breaths. Let your mind concentrate on the steady rhythm of your heart and the sensations of your abdomen as you slowly breath, in and out.
Enhance your sleep quality with exercise
One of the best ways to reduce stress and enjoy better quality of sleep, is to get regular exercise. When you work out effectively, you’ll naturally tire your body out, and release any pent up tension. You’ll find that exercise lowers your body temperature, and releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals actually reduce your body’s perception of pain and trigger more positive feelings.
Don’t worry, you don’t necessarily need to start a gym membership somewhere, as there are plenty of exercises you can do to relieve stress and anxiety without the gym. Even if you don’t want to start doing long workout sessions, it can actually be more beneficial for you to practice short bursts of high intensity exercise. This type of exercise can fit easier into a busy schedule and can work wonders for clearing your headspace and enhancing your mood.
Whatever exercise you choose to do, it’s important that you don’t overdo it. As wearing yourself out too much can actually lead to additional alertness. Try some yoga, as well as some moderate-aerobic exercise like walking to get your body ready for rest.
Your diet can help you drift off
Everything you eat and drink will have an effect on how well you sleep at night. You may be amongst those who choose not to eat late in the evening, but if you do, then it’s best to include foods that contain tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin.
Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids derived from proteins, which you can find in foods such as chicken, peanuts, and beans, along with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. You can also find small amounts of it in milk.
Once you get some of this amino acid into your body, it’s then converted into serotonin by the brain. Serotonin helps to alleviate any feeling of anxiety and stress, and is then changed into melatonin at night by your body. This hormone is a key chemical that helps to induce sleep.
Of course it’s essential that you avoid both stimulants and sedatives, such as caffeine or alcohol. Remember that changing your diet to improve your sleep takes time, so consider starting a sleep diary to keep track of your progress.
Getting quality sleep is one of the fundamental components you need to lead a healthy lifestyle, and your nutrition plays a big role in your rest time. At Prep Perfect, we want to make healthy eating as easy as possible, through our meal prep delivery service.