How to sleep better at night naturally?
Most of the time we tend to wake up from a bad night’s sleep, drifting through the day like zombies and unable to focus on your work in the morning.
In fact, sleep can be a rejuvenating experience, a time for repairing your bodies and refreshing your minds.
Though modern technology has destroyed the sanctity of sleep with electronic devices and artificial lights, you can use science to deal with it.
In this article, I’ll share with you some of the most practical, biology-backed tips to help you sleep deeper with a positive impact on your life.
Below are the topics I will cover in this post.
- How light affects sleep?
- What is the best timing to sleep?
- What is the right lifestyle to make you sleep better?
- How to maintain a healthy mind and body for a great sleep?
- How to create an ideal sleep sanctuary?
- Final words: last actionable advice for better sleep
How Light Affects Sleep?
Light has a big impact on the quality of our sleep.
The reason is that our production of melatonin is affected by exposure to light.
What is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone produced by our brain’s pineal gland, which has a powerful rejuvenation and antioxidant properties.
It regulates the body’s circadian rhythm i.e. the internal body clock, which tells when to sleep.
When the sun goes down, our bodies naturally release the hormone, so that we feel sleepy. And people exposed to light early in the mornings will produce more melatonin in the evenings, allowing them to doze off faster and in a deeper state.
That’s why we need to maximise light exposure during the day and wake up early in the morning, because bright light can prompt our brains, organs and glands to be active.
You may get a short walk between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
When it comes to the evenings, you need to restrict your exposure to screens, ideally 60 minutes before bed.
Electronic devices emit a heavy blue spectrum of artificial light to which our boy is sensitive. This can inhibit the release of melatonin, making it harder for you to sleep.
Lastly, since nightlights can peek through curtains which inhibit the production of melatonin, blackout blinds are a must for us to sleep better.
What is the Best Timing to Sleep?
If we don’t pay attention to our timing, we won’t get the best rest we need. So let’s look at some of the proven timing tips that will improve our nightly rest.
First, we should go to bed within 30 minutes of the same time every night.
In the modern world, we are encouraged to cut down on sleep during the week and catch up on weekends, which is harmful to our circadian rhythms.
Our bodies can’t adapt quickly enough to accommodate our late-night binges on weekends.
Only if we go to bed at a consistent time, can our circadian rhythm run smoothly and make us sleep better.
Secondly, we should tuck in and wake up early.
According to one 2008 study by researchers at the University of North Texas, students identifying as morning people achieved higher academic grades than the night owls.
The reason is that thousands of years evolution has conditioned humans to react to the Earth’s patterns of light and darkness.
Our ancestors were programmed to sleep at sundown because snoozing during the day was likely to be eaten by a predator.
It is not until the recent 150 years have humans started to override this instinct with the invention of the light bulb.
But our bodies haven’t caught up to the new nocturnal habits yet.
Hence, we should go to bed between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. This is when our bodies reach the peak production of hormones such as melatonin and human growth hormone.
In another word, sleep during this period of time is more rejuvenating than sleep after 2:00 a.m.
What is the Right Lifestyle to Make You Sleep Better?
To give our sleep more help, we need to live the correct lifestyle.
First, we need to restrict our consumption of caffeine.
Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, which is similar to adenosine, a chemical that our brain produces while we’re awake and once it hits a certain level, we start to feel sleepy.
Because of its similar nature, caffeine fits into the same receptors in our brain that adenosine is trying to access, blocking its path. That’s why we feel more energised after drinking a coffee.
But caffeine has a half-life of eight hours, meaning that 200 milligrams at 7:00 a.m. becomes 100 milligrams at 3:00 p.m., and 50mg at 11:00 p.m.
So we shouldn’t drink coffee after 4:00 p.m. to allow our bodies to flush enough caffeine out.
Secondly, we should curb the consumption of alcohol.
Though a few drinks might help you fall asleep, it’s disruptive once we’re away, limiting the amount of time we spend in the deeper stages of sleep.
Worse still, alcohol interferes with REM sleep, the stage responsible for memory processing. This means that binge drinking is adverse to enhancing intelligence.
Thirdly, an orgasm before bed can help you sleep better.
The reason is that having an organism is a natural sedative which releases a cascade of chemicals into your system, like serotonin and oxytocin. These compounds can relieve your stress and trigger the production of endorphins to make you feel good and drift away much easier.
How to Maintain a Healthy Mind and Body for a Great Sleep?
A healthy mind and body is essential to a great sleep.
Let’s begin with the body. You might already know that exercising can help you improve the quality of sleep.
Exercise creates micro-tears in our muscle tissue, which our body needs to repair. Hence it stimulates our brains to let loose a host of rejuvenating anabolic hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH). All this repair work means the body induces a deeper and more restorative sleep.
Another way is to supplement with magnesium, which is good for relieving stress and calming our nervous system. It balances blood sugar levels, optimises blood pressure and relaxes muscles, resulting in a high-quality sleep.
But when you supplement magnesium, it’s better to apply it to your skin in cream form otherwise most of the power will be lost during digestion.
Maintaining a healthy mind is also important to high-quality sleep.
It’s estimated that over 50,000 thoughts run through our minds every day. This kind of monologue often intensifies when we go to bed.
With meditation, you can sort out this problem.
Simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing for 10 minutes is proven to reduce stress and release feel-good endorphins into our system, promising us to doze off.
There is no better place than your sleep sanctuary to start meditation.
How to Create an Ideal Sleep Sanctuary?
Our bedroom has a huge impact on the quality of our sleep.
The key is to have fresh, clean air and create feelings of relaxation.
You can achieve this by introducing house plants into the bedroom. With organic sights and earthly smells of greenery, you will feel more calm and happier, not to mention that plants are ideal for filtering air.
Good air quality is crucial for your sleep sanctuary. That’s because air contains ions, which are atoms with electric charges. Ions with a negative electrical charge are energizing and they improve your health by oxidizing mold, parasites and toxic chemical gases.
But over time, the air we breath becomes stale as the oxygen content drops and ions lose their negative charge.
Plants can fix this by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and recharging the air’s ions. One great houseplant is English Ivy which was found by NASA to be the best air-filtering houseplant, as it can pump out oxygen while absorbing formaldehyde, a harmful neurotoxin.
Another one is mother-in-law’s tongue. This piece of flora only needs minimal water and light to flouring, making it perfect for a dark bedroom. In addition, it can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night.
Apart from that, there is another golden rule for your sleep sanctuary i.e. keeping work out of the bedroom.
It’s the worst thing you can do by bringing phone calls, texts and emails into your bedroom. That’s because it increases your cortisol levels, a hormone that induces stress and wakefulness, making you feel more difficult to fall asleep.
With these practical tips, you can get ready for the best night’s sleep.
Final Words: Last Actional Advice For Better Sleep
If you used to get up at 8:00 a.m. but want to change your habit, don’t try waking up at 6:00 a.m. immediately, which will make it even harder to sleep the next day.
Instead, try to push your alarm clock time back 15 minutes every morning until you reach your ideal wake-up time. That way, you’ll find it much easier to adapt to your new habit.
Now, with the bundle of all these practical sleeping tips, you should be able to tuck in tonight and enjoy your new sleeping habit.
There is nothing more fulfilling than having a great sleep and feeling energised in the morning.