By Luke Hughes
A lack of sleep can harm our mental health, leave us feeling low on energy, and even affect our ability to concentrate. To up your sleep game sleep, try these seven top tips to improve your sleep pattern.
Blue lights from screens, excessive caffeine, or alcohol consumption, and going to sleep on a full stomach are just some of the unhealthy habits that can contribute to sleep deprivation.
So, navigate from Netflix, swerve the social media scrolling, and implement these no-brainers to catch some much-needed ZZZs.
1. Swerve social media
We’re all guilty of scrolling our phones mindlessly before bed. Not only does the blue light from our screen affect our ability to sleep, but social media scrolling also stimulates the brain, making it difficult for us to winddown and fall to sleep.
Set your phone to ‘wind down’ mode before bed, or even better leave it to charge overnight in another room. If you simply can’t resist the temptation of TikTok, try using your phone’s nighttime settings or don a stylish pair of blue light blocking glasses.
2. Navigate from Netflix
Watching a Netflix series with a glass of wine and snacks before bed is often common practice amongst TV fanatics, but that habit can have a detrimental effect on the body’s sleep schedule.
If you’re guilty of binge-watching a series and enjoying your favorite guilty treats before bedtime, try sidestepping the new series and relax with a good book or a bubble bath to winddown after a long day.
3. Hit the gym in the morning
Participating in cardiovascular exercise like running or an aerobics class in the morning can have various benefits for your sleep schedule.
When we take part in moderate to vigorous exercise our body releases endorphins which set us up for the day leaving us feeling more fulfilled come bedtime, this will help stimulate sleep.
Regular morning exercise also improves sleep rhythms and tells the body to produce the hormone melatonin earlier in the evening. That’s why we often fall asleep quicker and more naturally when we’ve been up and active early in the morning.
4. Stretch your body before you go to bed
The importance of stretching can often be overlooked, but regular stretching can have a positive impact on the body and mind.Aching muscles can cause discomfort and keep us awake at night, so adding stretches into your nighttime routine will keep this pain at bay.
Not only that, but stretching can also improve blood flow, alleviate muscle tension, and help the body fall into a state of relaxation. The more we can get our body and mind to relax before sleep, the more effective and efficient our state of rest will be.
5. Add yoga to your evening routine
Yoga combines stretching and mindfulness to create a state of relaxation that can ultimately reduce any stress you’re feeling.Most yoga instructors will agree that the spiritual-based discipline helps improve sleep, especially when it’s routinely practiced.
Incorporating yoga into your evening routine two to three times per week could be beneficial in promoting good sleeping habits by reducing anxiety. Why not look for an evening yoga class near you or see if you can find an online instructor?
6. Practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique in bed
The 4-7-8 breathing method is used primarily to reduce anxiety and help us sleep. Simply breathe in through the nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then breathe out through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat this breathing pattern a minimum of four times.
This type of deep, rhythmic breathing has been known to relax the body and mind, easing people into sleep.It’s best to do this technique when you’re in bed and ready to drift off.
7. Get laid
When we have sex, our body responds by releasing oxytocin and endorphins, the feel-good hormones that activate the brains pleasure centers, creating feelings of relaxation.
Cortisol is the hormone that stimulates alertness and excitement in the brain, and after we’ve orgasmed the cortisol in our body decreases. The mix of more oxytocin and endorphins paired with reduced cortisol can be just what’s needed to rock us to sleep!
Luke Hughes, personal trainer at OriGym said: “Getting a good night’s sleep is an overlooked priority of many gym goers, but we’re here to tell you that it shouldn’t be. Sleep is an essential part of mental and physical recovery so it’s important we’re doing our best to get an adequate amount each day.
“Lifestyle choices can affect our sleep quality and leave us feeling groggy and unmotivated, but simple tweaks to our evening routine can make a massive difference. Not only will sleep improve your performance and enable you to hit your goals, but it will also aid the muscle recovery and growth you’ve been waiting for.”