How to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep Cycle

The benefits of improved sleep and undisturbed cycles are well documented, supported with decades of research. Advantages include reduced stress, improved cognitive function and a drop in multiple chronic diseases. Appreciate your sleep by giving yourself the best chance of a quality rest.

Steps

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    Watch what you drink before settling down for the night. High caffeine drinks such as coffee and tea are offenders for preventing the natural on set of drowsiness. Take caution with flavoured waters and fizzy drinks. It’s best to check the label and stop drinking such drinks after 2pm each day.
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    Avoid drinking alcohol after 6pm. A common misconception is that alcohol consumption before you sleep can promote a deeper overall sleep. This is true for initial drowsiness and falling to sleep, but seriously disrupts the 2nd half of the sleep cycle, resulting in an unsatisfying feeling on awakening and often a feeling of weariness.
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    Allow your body to cool before getting into bed. Having a bath right before bed can help relax muscles, but can also raise your body temperature before you settle down to sleep, hindering your ability to fall asleep. Instead, schedule an earlier bath.
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    Avoid a heavy meal before settling down, as a full stomach will disturb your cycle. There are a selection of foods which help you rest, all looking to combine healthy protein and Tryptophan amino acids, essential to the human diet that converts to sleep promoting Serotonin in the body. Alternatively, Serotonin can be boosted through 5HTP tablets, a compound that the body makes from tryptophan which is then converted to Serotonin.
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    Monitor both natural and artificial light sources to prevent an environment polluted by light. Wear an eye mask, fit thick curtains and use draft extractors to prevent light coming under the door. For artificial light, don’t place charging items at eye level or leave them on standby if the light flashes. Research has shown using hand held devices such as tablets and smartphones before sleep can slow the brain’s ability to calm after stimulation.
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    Ensure your mattress and pillow are suitable for your body’s contours. Selecting a suitable pillow and mattress that supports your body is also important to prevent a restless night’s sleep. Choosing between the various mattress types (commonly spring, memory foam or combination) can be confusing and there are no right or wrongs, it’s person specific. Memory foam hugs to the body, so springs may often require maintenance through “turning” the mattress to allow for evened wear. Memory foam can absorb movement from a partner, helping to stop disturbances. The foam can also improve circulation, limiting “tossing” and “turning”. However, air flow can be restricted, which may be uncomfortable in warmer climates and a thin cover may be required. It is vital to consider all options and seek advice from an expert. Try the mattresses and look for a warranty in case of damage.

Tips

  • Ensure you are sleeping in a suitable posture that not only promotes complete body relaxation but improves your breathing rhythm. Ideally, research shows that sleeping on your back can improve your overall well-being through preventing back and neck pain and reducing acid reflux. Try this position and monitor your progress.

Article Info

Categories: Better Sleeping