Everyone knows sleep is crucial for health and longevity but few know the exact benefits of getting regular, high-quality sleep. During sleep, the body produces hormones that help to repair cells and tissues, regulate metabolism, support growth and development, boost immunity, and reduce stress. All of these functions are essential for maintaining physical health and well-being. In order to maximize these benefits of sleep we've compiled the Top 5 Tips for getting the best sleep of your life!
1. Increase Light Exposure During the Day
In order to stabilize your Circadian Rhythm you should maximize your exposure to sunlight during the day. Try to get outside within 30 minutes of waking up for 10-30 minutes depending on level of sun in the area you live in. Exposure to bright light upon waking helps keep your sleep schedule aligned with a healthy rhythm.
2. Be Careful with Caffeine Intake
Try to limit caffeine intake late in the day and be mindful of how caffeine effects your sleep. Caffeine disrupts the chemicals needed to fall asleep and stay asleep. Caffeine too late in the day can not only decrease your chances of falling asleep but also decrease your chances of staying asleep.
3. Avoid Alcohol too close to Bedtime
While it is best to avoid alcohol completely if you are trying to improve your sleep, making sure you don't drink too close to bedtime is the second best option. Alcohol can disrupt your heart rate as well as your breathing and can lead to shallow or restless sleep. Limit your alcohol intake to what dietary guidelines suggest and don't drink within 2 hours of bedtime.
4. Limit Blue Light Exposure after 10pm
The same way increasing light exposure early in the day can help regulate your Circadian Rhythm, viewing bright and blue light later in the day can cause imbalances in your chemical regulation that can negatively effect your sleep. Try to change the lights around your house to Smart Lights and only have red lights on after 9-10pm or purchase some Blue Light Blocking Glasses to decrease exposure.
5. Keep your Room Cool and Dark
In order to fall asleep, and stay asleep, your body needs to decrease in temperature by 1-3 degrees. The natural warming of internal temperature is the process by which you wake up. Try to either open a window or have a fan or AC system on to bring the temperature of the room down appropriately. Layer blankets on your bed to keep you warm.