How To Improve Your Sleep Quality
Let’s talk about how to improve sleep quality and a few things I’m going to recommend trying.
For most adults, the recommended amount of sleep typically ends up in the ballpark of 6 to 8 hours, depending on the source you are looking at.
I’m not going to give you a rundown of all the benefits of quality sleep. I’m just going to give you some suggestions on how you can action it and try and improve your own sleep quality.
Try going blackout mode.
That means no lights in your room (including the little red lights some devices have). And blackout blinds if you can get them to stop light sneaking in from outside.
You can also try wearing an eye mask or sleep mask instead. That doesn’t work for me because I use a sunrise alarm clock that gradually brightens to wake me up, and it will be slightly less effective if I’m blindfolded.
Manage Your Screen Time
Next up is to limit your screen time or your exposure to blue light from screens.
Screens emit what’s called blue light, which can interfere with the body’s melatonin production.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. So ideally no screens – which includes your phone, tablet, laptop, TV – for 30 to 60 minutes before bed.
Some screens have a night shift mode – I know my phone and my tablet both have this for example. They’ll switch to an orange/ yellow tint at sunset to help reduce the blue light they’re emitting.
You can also try blue light glasses.
I don’t really know the effectiveness of either night mode on screens or blue light blocking glasses, I haven’t studied or looked into it that much, but those options are available to try as well.
Drop The Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant. So loading up on a double espresso just before bed is obviously not going to be wise.
I read that caffeine from a cup of coffee can take around eight hours for your body to break down fully.
So what we want to try and do is reduce caffeine intake over the course of the day.
My last cup of coffee normally tends to be around 3:30 or 4:00 PM so five to six hours before I go to bed.
And I’ve got quite a high caffeine tolerance anyway, so it doesn’t seem to affect me quite as much.
But if you are struggling with your sleep quality or maybe even with getting to sleep, that might be something to bear in mind.
Do Something To Unwind
Try and do something relaxing that can help put a divider between a hectic day where you are on alert, to nice calm, sleepy time.
It could be yoga, meditation, a hot bath, herbal tea and a book.
Just some kind of ritual or something that’s going to help you unwind, help you release stress or stored up tension or energy, and it’s going to get you set up for bed or set up for a good night’s sleep.
You can also look at supplements. I need to choose my words very carefully here because I’m not qualified or registered to recommend specific supplements.
But there are supplements out there that do say they can help with your sleep quality.
For me personally, I read that zinc and magnesium before bed can help with sleep. I tried it and it’s something that did seem to have an immediate impact on me so I know it works for me.
If you are curious about supplements or about any specific ones and want recommendations, I would speak to a doctor or speak to a registered dietician – someone who’s qualified to actually talk you through the options available.
Improving Sleep Quality
You don’t have to do all of the above, and not everything is going to work for everyone. But it is worth playing around and seeing which of those work for you, which ones you can fit into your lifestyle, and which ones have the most impact on the quality (and maybe the quantity) of sleep you are getting.