It's not a secret that many people have trouble sleeping. Factors such prolonged screen time, food & drinks, and stress can impact sleep duration and quality and contribute to a myriad of other issues.
Performing well (whether you’re working, gaming, or doing practically anything) is important, and so is getting enough quality sleep. In fact, the better your sleep, the better your overall health and wellness tends to be.
Here are a few tips that can help you improve your sleep habits.
1. Develop a Routine and Stick to It
We’re not saying that you should be going to bed at 9:30pm but you should be prioritizing sleep and aiming to get at least 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily.
Why? Research shows that irregular bedtimes can cause daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and impairment in brain function, which in turn will affect your ability to perform, your memory, your mood, and your overall health and wellness.
2. Beware the Midnight Snack Attack
Studies have shown that late-night eating can disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythms, which regulate energy and hunger, the nervous system, and metabolism. Our metabolism tends to slow down at night as the body prepares to rest.
While we sleep, that energy is focused on the body’s “self-cleaning and repair” functions. Eating too late can interrupt this process—siphoning energy away from the night-time functions to support digestion. This can not only lead to disrupted sleep but also weight gain.
3. Avoid Stimulants in the Afternoon/Evening
Stimulants such as caffeine can stay in the body for several hours after being consumed. In other words, having coffee, cola or any caffeinated beverage or supplement can make it difficult for you to wind down and fall asleep. If you need an energy boost, consider taking a short nap or enjoying a walk around the block.
4. Minimize Blue Light at Night
You may have heard by now that our beloved screens emit certain amounts of blue light. Blue light is characterized by short wavelengths that flicker or scatter and this can cause eye strain after prolonged exposure without adequate filtering or protection.
Blue light can be beneficial early in the day as it can help our bodies regulate their natural sleep/wake cycles. Too much blue light in the evenings, however, can disrupt circadian rhythm and interfere with the production and secretion of melatonin- the hormone responsible for sleep.
If you’re gaming after the sun goes down, popping on a pair of Blue light filtering glasses can help to filter out blue light and maintain proper sleep/wake cycles.
5. Supplementing Your Sleep
It can take time for your new routine or habits to become normal. You may have a hard time falling asleep even after implementing some of these suggestions. In that case, you may want to consider a natural supplement that can improve your sleep onset, duration, and quality. Naturally occurring compounds such as magnesium and melatonin can help you to form and solidify your new sleep routine.