A good night’s sleep is an important step in staying healthy. It is just as important as regular physical exercise and a nutrition-rich diet. Over the past few decades, Americans have seen a decline in their sleep quality, with a growing number experiencing sleep disorders.1 If you feel you didn’t get enough hours of sleep last year, work on getting a better sleeping schedule for 2020. Here is a list of tips on how to sleep through the night.
1. Wake Up Earlier
The circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Operating like your body’s natural clock, it repeats around every 24 hours. Want to know how to sleep better at night naturally? Expose yourself to plenty of natural light and bright sunlight during the day to optimize your circadian rhythm and keep it healthy. More bright light exposure during the day means more hours of sleep at night.2 Waking up earlier and going outside throughout the day will increase your bright light exposure.
2. Reduce Blue Light Exposure
Blue light is short wavelength visible light that produces higher amount of energy. Blue light is emitted by many digital devices including computer screens, laptops, and smartphones. While natural bright light helps you sleep better at night, blue light will decrease your sleep quality. It is important to avoid blue light exposure, especially in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
The simplest way to avoid blue light is to avoid using your laptop, phone, and other electronic devices during the night or at least two hours before you go to sleep. You could also wear glasses that block blue light or download an app that blocks blue light from your device.
3. Improve Your Bedroom Ambiance
Design your bedroom environment for sleeping. Having a relaxing bedroom is a key factor in getting a good night’s rest. Optimize your bedroom environment by minimizing external noise and light including artificial lights from devices like digital clocks and computer monitors. Artificial light tricks the body into believing it is still daylight which messes up your circadian rhythm. Multiple studies have shown external noise decreases sleep quality and has a negative effect on people’s health in the long-term.3
If you live near a street, external noise from traffic is hard to avoid. Consider installing soundproof windows or noise canceling window inserts. Soundproof curtains are a more affordable, but less effective option. Blackout curtains are effective in blocking out external light. Install a door seal to stop light from coming in through the bottom of your door. Finally, make sure all digital light sources are turned off or covered up.
4. Avoid Long Daytime Naps
Long daytime naps or irregular napping during the day will mess up your circadian rhythm which will mess up your sleep schedule. Short power naps can improve brain function during the day but avoid multiple naps as well as napping for more than 30 minutes. Frequent and long daytime napping can lead to a loss of productivity and worsen sleep inertia.4
5. Consider EPAP Therapy
If you snore loudly while you sleep or often wake up in the middle of the night in a choking fit, you may have a sleep disorder. If your restless nights are accompanied by morning headaches or excessive daytime sleepiness, consult with your doctor. You may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you are diagnosed with OSA, EPAP therapy can be an effective treatment. OSA sufferers are often prescribed portable nasal devices like the Bongo Rx EPAP device to improve their nighttime breathing and sleeping. If you suffer from mild to moderate OSA, ask your doctor about Bongo Rx today!
- Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research – Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem
- Journal of American Geriatrics Society – Alleviation of sleep maintenance insomnia with timed exposure to bright light.
- Sleep Science – Environmental noise and sleep disturbances: A threat to health?
- Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine – Good sleep, bad sleep! The role of daytime naps in healthy adults.