The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a third of adults in the U.S. usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Lack of proper rest at night has been linked to several problems, from diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression to motor vehicle crashes.
Luckily, the medical community has already spent decades trying to understand sleep, its effects and benefits. Researchers also discovered ways to help people get enough sleep or improve its quality.
This article explores some tips that require only little effort to sleep faster and better. They may apply for seniors, adults, women, men and even teens.
How To Improve Sleep Naturally
Avoid Your Phones, Tablets, Other Devices
Using electronics at night can negatively affect your sleep. That is because of exposure to blue light, which blocks the production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.
Mobile phones, tablets, laptops and even TVs can expose people to blue light. One study from the University of Haifa in Israel found that exposure between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. may not only reduce melatonin production but also shorten sleep time and hurt sleep quality.
People should avoid using electronics 90 minutes to two hours before bedtime to avoid the effects of blue light on sleep, according to Psychology Today.
Do Not Drink Alcohol Right Before Bed
Many people believe that drinking can help them sleep better. But alcohol can actually disrupt sleep.
It mainly forces people to get up at night for more bathroom trips. Drinking alcohol before bedtime has also been linked to increased risk of disordered sleep, such as sleepwalking, sleep apnea, paralysis and lower melatonin production.
Manage Room Temperature
Aside from avoiding electronics and alcohol, people may want to avoid hot temperatures at night. Cooler room temperatures at 65 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit could help improve sleep.
Hot areas affect sleep efficiency since people are more likely to get up during the night. It could also delay REM sleep, the final sleep cycle that’s associated with dreaming.
Another benefit of staying cool at night is that brown fat becomes more active, which helps burn calories even while sleeping.
This has been one of the most common tips that experts provide to help people improve sleep time and quality. Physical activities during the day could help achieve deep sleep at night and increase melatonin production.
Research also showed that people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience some sleep disorders, like insomnia.