Let’s be honest, everyone knows that sleep is important. It affects memory, metabolism, mood and the immune system. Knowing this, however, and getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep are two different things.
You may be quite literally sleeping with the enemy if you tend to fall asleep with your laptop next to you. The blue light emitted from backlit e-readers and laptops disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythms and make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Additionally elevated stress, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or eating large meals before bedtime can contribute to difficulty falling or staying asleep through the night.
Don’t want to give up any of these activities but still want a good night sleep? Here are two easy tips to sleep like a champion.
Last year The Huffington Post published an article on the optimum temperature for sleep. Your body naturally experiences fluctuations in temperature that affect alertness. A dip in core body temperature will trigger fatigue and can facilitate a good night sleep. This explains why you feel tired midday, as the body experiences a similar drop in temperature around 2 or 3 in the afternoon (sitting in the sun helps combat afternoon sleepiness). Lowering your bedroom thermostat will naturally trigger this tired feeling and help you get to sleep faster, especially for those who have higher body temperatures. The article puts optimal sleep temperatures between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooling matts and gel pads are good alternatives for those who find a 60° bedroom a bit drastic or are trying to keep their electric bill down.
Increasing your exposure to sunlight during the day will also help you sleep. Light regulates the production of sleep-inducing hormones, like melatonin, that regulate sleep cycles. Being in sunny or well-lit rooms during the day increases melatonin production at night. Try removing your sunglasses during the day, taking your lunch break outside or letting light into your house or workplace to keep your circadian rhythm on track.