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Healthy Sleep Habits – Scientific Health Sleep Tips for Better Sleep

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Written By Anđela Rajković

Certified Sleep Consultant

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1 April 2024 3 min read

Having healthy sleep habits is extremely important for having a healthy life! Thus, never sacrifice your snoozing time! Here are a few scientific health sleep tips to get the rest you need.

But, why is sleep so important? Well, according to all sleep experts out there, without a good night's sleep, your body and brain cannot function. Of course, at first, you will not feel any symptoms that typically come from a lack of sleep. But, after a while, you will lose your focus and concentration, get blurred vision, get severe headaches, etc. And, if you are still disregarding all of these and not paying attention to your sleep health, you can mess up your hormones, start having migraines, and even develop some serious diseases such as diabetes, stroke, high or low blood pressure, etc.

So, why risk having all of these? Why risk having them as all you have to do is get a good night's rest?

However, we understand that, sometimes, it is not up to us. That is, sometimes, we just have trouble sleeping and falling asleep. But, don't worry – for this too, there is a solution! And, no, that solution is not a prescribed medication. Rather, it is starting to implement the following healthy sleep habits.

Thus, without further ado, here are a few scientific health sleep tips to get all the rest you need!

Replace that old mattress

A woman having fun on her bed.

One of the reasons why you are having sleep deprivation might be your old mattress. Because of it, you might have difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep, you might also wake up sore and tired, or, you might have terrible sleep hygiene in general.

All of this may be because your mattress is too old. Or, because it is too firm or too soft for your needs. There are many other reasons why your mattress stops you from having adequate sleep. But, to be honest, why that is so doesn't really matter – what matters is that you need to replace that mattress. Replace it today so that you can finally have a good night's rest tonight.

However, when choosing a mattress, be careful. Do a research on different types of mattresses and find one that suits your needs the most. For instance, if you are someone with back problems or someone who prefers sleeping on your back, you will need a firm mattress. Or, if you are a stomach or a side sleeper, you will need a softer one.

Start using a weighted blanket

An image of a woman sleeping under a weighted blanket

If you can't fall asleep or if you keep waking up in the middle of the night, you can also consider getting one of those weighted blankets. According to sleep experts, weighted blankets (which are regular blankets that just weigh more), can be very therapeutic.

With them, you can experience the so-called sleep pressure simulation which can not only help you fall asleep and stay asleep but also reduce your symptoms of anxiety. So, use this holiday free time to go out and choose the best weighted blanket for yourself.

Ditch caffeine (after lunch)

An image of a cup of coffee

Caffeine intake after lunchtime is a big no-no. And, drinking more than 2 cups of coffee is also a big no-no. We know that, by saying this, we hurt your feelings. You love coffee- we all do. But, drinking too much coffee and drinking it after lunch can affect your sleep quality. This is because caffeine stays in our bodies for almost 6 hours So, if you drink it after lunch, you will have poor sleep.

Moreover, caffeine contributes to various health problems – usually those related to our hearts. But, that is not the only thing it can affect. Namely, (too much) coffee can be really bad for our mental health. It can make the symptoms of anxiety, depression, etc., a lot worse than they are.

Tweak your diet

If you have been eating a lot of junk food, and if you have been eating it before bedtime, don't ask us why you are having trouble sleeping. Diet directly affects our sleep hygiene! Thus, ditch junk food and switch to a healthy diet. And, if possible, don't eat any heavy or large meals after 6 or 7 PM – trust us on this one – when your stomach is empty, you will fall asleep like a baby.

Exercise during the day

An image of a woman stretching

This one is a no-brainer. If you want to have a consistent sleep schedule, you should do some kind of exercise every day. That doesn't have to be anything too time and energy-consuming. Going for a walk, stretching, doing pushups, etc., is all of the exercise you need to get a night of good quality sleep. Of course, you can also do some kind of intense exercise, if that is what you like. But our advice is to leave those for the morning as intense movements can wake you up (which is not something you should feel before bedtime).

This is especially important for people who spend their days sitting down – studying, working, or something third.

When you don't move your body, you don't burn any energy. And, when you don't burn energy, you can't fall asleep. So, you know what to do – move that body! Try exercising before bed and see that sleep routine getting back on track.

Put your phone away from your bed

Some people fall asleep in no time when they are watching tv, listening to the radio, podcasts, or even when watching YouTube videos on the phone, for example. But, for others, blue light exposure is a huge sleep-killer. So, if possible, try to ‘train' your mind and body to fall asleep without any electronic devices.

However, if that is not an option, that is, if you are just used to falling asleep with a phone, tablet, tv, etc., try wearing specialised blue light-blocking glasses. As their name suggests, these will block all the blue light coming from the devices, and thus, they will relax your eyes and brain, and help you stick to your sleep schedule.

Expose yourself to natural light during the day

An image of natural sunlight during the day

Blue light is not going to give us better sleep. But, natural, daylight will. So, if you want to sleep better tonight (and every night), you should start fixing your body clock (also known as the internal clock or circadian rhythm). This clock is in charge of telling your body and your mind when it's time to go to bed and when it's time to wake up.

However, people who don't get enough natural, bright light, throw their internal clocks off-balance. And, as a result, those same people can't stick to their sleep schedule and can't have any kind of deep sleepThus, every day, go for a 30-minute walk.

This can help you bring back balance and produce more vitamin D – a vitamin (created by our bodies with the help of the sun) that is also important for our sleep quality.

Take a sleep supplement

If nothing else works, you can try taking sleep medicine. Your doctor can prescribe one for you.

But, before you even go there, consider taking a sleep supplement. These can be as effective as medicines and you will not have to worry about side effects. Namely, some sleep supplements such as melatonin, B12 vitamins, magnesium, etc., can help with sleep deprivation significantly! Thus, give them a go – they won't hurt you.

Conclusion

As you have seen, there are many scientific health sleep tips that can help you have better sleep. Thus, don't run to your doctor as soon as start having sleep problems. Instead, try some (or all) of the things mentioned above. Of course, if none of them work, visit your doctor then. And tell us in the comments if you know some scientific health sleep tips we missed out on!

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About the author

Anđela Rajković
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant and well-practiced sleep enthusiast, I find a lot of joy in bringing my expertise to our readers – preferably those who love to sleep. With a background in the English language and literature and a love of research, I'm always seeking new ways to share the latest sleep science and bed-related findings. And, when I'm not connecting with my readers, you can find me exploring the great outdoors, or, well, curling up in bed.
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