Sleeping has a direct impact on your mental, physical, and emotional health. A good night’s sleep is crucial to improving your energy, productivity, emotional balance, cognitive functioning, and physical features of the body. Quality sleep allows us to function at our peak performance levels in both our personal and professional life. Check out the full whitepaper for Sleep Management.
5 Quick Tips to Help You Achieve Quality Sleep:
1. Increase bright, natural light exposure during the day & reduce blue light exposure at night
Your body has its own natural circadian rhythm that is triggered by zeitgebers. External cues such as light during the day help regulate your internal biological clock to be consistent with your rhythmic cycle. People with insomnia who increased their daytime bright light exposure had improved sleep quality and duration, and 83% reduction in the time it took them to fall asleep. Excess blue light exposure at night from electronic devices reduces melatonin, and should be minimized 2 hours prior to sleep.
2. Enjoy your caffeine before 3pm
With 90% of the U.S. population enjoying caffeine on a regular basis, studies show that consumption up to 6 hours before bed can significantly worsen sleep quality as caffeine stimulates the nervous system and stays elevated in the blood for 6-8 hours post consumption.
3. Reduce long, irregular daytime naps & aim for a consistent sleep/wake schedule (weekends too!)
Naps that are 30 minutes or less can enhance brain function, however a longer nap duration increases sleep inertia which is temporary disorientation that negatively impacts cognitive performance and mood. Your body’s circadian rhythm functions on a set loop and studies have highlighted that irregular sleeping patterns can alter your levels of natural melatonin signaling your brain to sleep.
4. Optimize your bedroom environment
Factors including temperature, noise, air quality, light, and furniture materials and arrangements can either help or hinder sleep and may lead to long term health issues if not properly acknowledged. Sleep onset and a reduction in core body temperature occur together as an internal signal for our body, accelerating non-rapid eye movement sleep directly through neuronal circuits. To achieve an optimal relaxing sleep environment, minimize external noise and light, lower room temperature to mimic your CBT (taking a hot shower will also help achieve optimal CBT for sleep), and utilize materials and furniture placements that aid in achieving optimization.
5. Exercise regularly & practice mindfulness
Exercise can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep by 55%, total night wakefulness by 30%, and anxiety by 15%, all while increasing total sleep time by 18%. The stimulatory effects of exercise that increase alertness through elevated epinephrine and adrenaline levels can vary based on individual.Practicing mindfulness prior to sleep such as reading, relaxing music, deep breathing and meditation is proven to lower stress and aid in better sleep quality.