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7 Tips for Getting Good Quality Sleep

We all know how important sleep is, and that we should be getting at least 7 hours a night, but it is also important that the sleep we’re getting is good quality sleep. If you are getting 7+ hours of sleep a night and still feeling tired when you wake up in the morning, the quality of the sleep you are getting may not be as good as it could be. Here are 7 tips to help make sure the sleep you are getting is good quality. 

  1. Decrease caffeine – caffeine is a stimulant for the nervous system. Because it is a stimulant it can stop your body from naturally being able to rest. This is a problem when it gets to nighttime. It also decreases the quality of your sleep. Caffeine stays in your system for 6-8 hours which is a long time. It is important to not drink any caffeine at least 6 hours before your bedtime to ensure you get a restful night’s sleep. 
  2. Have consistent sleeping times – your body has something called a circadian rhythm, which is your body’s natural clock. It has an effect on your hormones, helping you to stay awake during the day and sleep during the night. Having consistent sleeping and waking times helps encourage your body’s circadian rhythm. This ensures that the correct release of hormones are happening to help you get a good quality sleep. Irregular sleeping patterns disturb this natural rhythm and therefore decrease the quality of your sleep. 
  3. Light exposure – The exposure of light is another thing that affects our circadian rhythm. It is important during the day to make sure you are being exposed to bright lights. Ideally this should be sunlight, but can also be artificial bright lights if necessary. The opposite is needed at nighttime. The main type of light you need to decrease at nighttime is blue light. This is electronic devices emitting their light. It tricks your brain into thinking it is still daytime. Reduce your screen exposure at nighttime and put away you devices at least an hour before bed. The reason is so your brain has the chance to slow down and relax. Managing your light exposure will also help encourage a regular circadian rhythm. 
  4. Magnesium – magnesium is what allows your muscles to be able to relax. If you are holding a lot of tension in your body you are going to have a much harder time getting good quality sleep. Taking a magnesium supplement helps with muscle relaxation and enhances sleep quality. 
  5. Make sure you have a good quality pillow and mattress – we spend a third of our lives in bed. During this time it is important we support our body. Having a good quality mattress and pillow not only protects your body but also helps to ensure a good quality sleep. 
  6. Exercise – it is important to exercise regularly for many reasons, but exercise is also very important when it comes to sleep quality. Exercise reduces the time to fall asleep, reduces night wakefulness, and increases total sleep time. It is important to burn off excess energy that may keep us from falling asleep. 
  7. Weighted blanket – if you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep you may want to look at buying a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets use ‘pressure therapy’ to place an amount of pressure on the body that helps to relax muscles and reduce anxiety, making it easier to fall asleep and get good quality sleep.