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10 Healthy Habits for Better Sleep

03.01.2020

Sleep affects us in more ways than we realize. Its absence can be harmful when we want to lose weight, it affects our overall well-being and it is also related to dementia. We know that there is a lot of talking about how people need 7-9 hours of sleep to function optimally, but how to get the most out of those valuable hours is a whole different matter. Part of embracing the habit of healthy sleep in our lives is to prioritize the ritual of bedtime preparation, practice good sleep hygiene, and set aside time for a truly good sleep. 

Here are 10 tips that promise that sleeping will become an important part of your lifestyle: 

1. Create a good sleeping space 

We know by now that we need to turn our bed and bedroom into a haven, with thick curtains to encourage darkness, the temperature should be about 18-20 degrees, and there should be absolutely no electronics around. In fact, even the right pillow for you matters for the quality of your sleep. It may also seem strange, but counting sheep stresses you more. Try to do meditation, eliminate anxiety, and minimize stress when your head touches the pillow. 

2. Linen fabrics are important

As we sleep better at cooler temperatures, some find that sleeping naked is quite effective. Special fabrics are already in place to help restore sleep. The main feature is that they help to regulate your body temperature and promote air circulation. 

3. What you eat also matters 

Problems like heavy dinners, caffeine, alcohol and midnight snacks are pretty obvious. However, there are a number of foods that are good to eat at night - such as bananas - because they contain magnesium and carbohydrates that help produce serotonin; salmon because of B6, which helps for the secretion of hormones. The good news is that the better you sleep, the better you can control your cravings and sugar consumption. 

4. Some sleeping positions are better than others 

Now that you've set up the sanctuary of your dreams, you've found the perfect linen to regulate your body temperature, you eat the right foods for better sleep, and avoid foods and drinks that make your sleep worse, you're almost done. Then think about the way you sleep. If you sleep on one side, or even on your back, you're lucky, as these are good positions for a quality sleep.

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5. Sleep is more important than exercise 

When the alarm clock rings and it's still dark outside, the natural question is: is it better to sleep for an extra hour, or jump out of bed immediately to train? It turns out that there is a study exactly about that issue and eventually sleep outweighs training. However, instead of wondering which one to choose when waking up, plan to go to bed earlier so you cannot miss your morning workout. 

6. Time spent in front of different screens is not good for sleeping 

One of the main culprits for poor sleep is spending too much time on laptops, tablets and smartphones. The blue light emitted from these screens affects the production of melatonin in the brain, which can mess up your body clock and slow down sleep. It's best to make time for turning off the technology and it is advisable not to have any gadgets in the bedroom. You can read a book instead. 

7. Exercising help you sleep better

Sleep and recovery go hand in hand, since during sleep the muscles recover. In addition, just as sleep helps your sports performance, exercise helps your sleep by increasing your deep sleep time. Strive to achieve the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week for better quality sleep.

8. Take a nap, if necessary 

If your productivity is slowing down, you are constantly hungry, or you fall asleep as soon as your head feels the pillow, you're probably sleep deprived. In these cases, or if you have had a particularly difficult workout, a good nap might be a great solution. After all, sleeping is the best way to compensate for your lack of sleep. If you cannot sleep at all, a good option to spend the day is to go outside and absorb as much natural sunlight as possible.

9. Get to know your sleep cycle

You've heard a lot about REM sleep, when we dream, and how our brains process emotions and memories, but so much more happens while we sleep. Each stage of our sleep cycle plays a role in our recovery, and non-REM sleep is associated with the consolidation of memories and the clearance of harmful compounds in our brains. 

10. Be aware of your sleep needs

Being able to sleep as much as you actually need is probably the first step in optimizing sleep. Whether you work optimally at 7 or 9 hours of sleep, knowing your sleeping needs helps you plan your day to set yourself up for success. It is rare to sleep too much, but if you need help to relax, there are now many SPA centers that offer options for better sleep.

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