Getting a good night's rest is a secret superpower. When you consistently get between seven to nine hours of shut-eye each night, you will experience a significant boost in energy levels, mood, mental capacity and emotional strength.
This is especially true if you’re trying to lose weight.
Because sleep can be a significant driver in helping you burn calories, maintain a healthy metabolism and develop more substantial and prominent muscles.
Unfortunately, it can be easy to neglect your sleeping habits in favor of other health factors - such as diet and exercise.
Usually, this is because sleep is something we all take for granted and don't take seriously enough regarding our health. Although no one wants a sleepless night, you may not question why you fail to sleep properly and how you can improve it.
The good news is that if you are struggling with the quality of your sleep, there are several great tricks, tips and methods you can use to experience a positive difference immediately.
Depending on the severity of your sleep problem, this could be as simple as sticking to a regular sleeping routine or as specific as listening to a podcast or wearing an eye mask in bed.
If you’re wondering how to improve sleep and enjoy the fantastic benefits we have mentioned, here are fifteen tips for improving the quality of your sleep…
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1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule
One of the simplest yet most effective methods to reset your poor sleeping pattern and create a better one is to stick to the same sleeping schedule every night.
This means going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning. This is effective because your body relies upon its internal body clock to prepare you for sleep, induce you into a deep sleep, and ensure you are fully rested by the time you wake up. If it doesn't know exactly how long you are likely to be sleeping, it will be difficult to induce you into a deep sleep for long enough. Whereas, if you typically fall asleep at midnight and wake up at eight in the morning, then your body will gradually create a sleep cycle that fits into this time frame. If you have ever wondered why you have felt more groggy and low on energy after sleeping for longer than usual, this is why.
It is less about the quantity of sleep you have than the quality. For example, if you sleep in late in the morning, your body's natural cycle will be disrupted, and it won't do you any good.
However, a common mistake people make with this information is forcing themselves to fall asleep by a certain time to reset their sleep cycle. This is a terrible approach for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, you are unlikely to relax enough to fall asleep if you are self-conscious about it.
Secondly, your body won't suddenly want to fall asleep at a specific time - especially if you have fallen into bad habits. Therefore, you should aim to get into bed at a particular time but allow yourself to remain awake as long as necessary.
To further help reset your sleeping pattern, focus on your wake-up time rather than falling asleep. By springing out of bed at the sound of the alarm, you will feel terrible at first, but it will force your body to be tired by an early point that evening, thus giving you more of a chance to sleep quickly.
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2. Create a comfortable sleeping environment
Another helpful tip to keep in mind when trying to improve your sleep hygiene is to ensure your sleeping environment is as peaceful and comfy as possible.
No one can sleep well on an uncomfortable mattress or if car alarms go off outside. You should therefore find ways to minimize this disruption.
Find a comfortable and supportive mattress, a bed frame that doesn't squeak, buy black-out curtains to keep out light, and invest in earplugs if you live in a busy urban area.
You may also want to listen to a podcast, the radio, white noise or a fan if you don't like the idea of complete silence - or if your mind chatter is severe.
3. Avoid sleeping during the day
Although naps are a welcome part of anyone groggy person's day, they may do more harm than good.
When you frequently take long naps during the day, your body's sleeping clock will be disrupted further, and you may not feel tired enough when you go to bed in the evening.
Try and stay awake if possible. The sooner you do this, the sooner you will find it easier to fall asleep on time in the evenings.
4. Lead a more active lifestyle
If you want to feel sleepy at night and enjoy a long, deep sleep, you must ensure you are exhausting both your mind and body.
Starting a regular gym routine, going for a daily run, playing a sport every few days or simply going on a long walk are all great ways to prepare you for bed in the evening. After all, the more tired you are, you will likely slip into a deep sleep.
You should also ensure your mind is empty and tired by the time you go to bed. This could mean you read a book, focus fully on work during the day (rather than lethargically making your way through tasks) and journal before bed.
Journaling has a couple of sleep-related benefits. Not only does it help exhaust your mind, and stops you from rolling around in bed, overthinking and distracted by worry.
When you write down your thoughts - whether they are anxieties or just thoughts about work - you will find it easier to remove them from the front of your mind and allow yourself to drift off to sleep.
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5. Avoid screens close to bedtime
A problem that has cropped up more and more in recent years concerning poor sleep is blue light.
Blue light is a type of light emitted by electronic screens - such as your smartphone, tablet or laptop - which can wake your mind up and stop you from sleeping.
This is because blue light suppresses the creation of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleeping cycle. By doing this, blue light disrupts your body's natural sleep rhythm.
Blue light from screens can also disrupt your circadian rhythm - the natural 24-hour cycle regulating your body's sleeping pattern. This disruption makes your body think it is daytime, thanks to the extra light. It will wake itself the same way you naturally wake up if the curtains have been left open in the morning.
Another reason screens are a bad idea before bed is that the content is designed to stimulate you. This can make it tricky to relax and wind down before sleep. If you've ever binge-watched your favorite Netflix series right before bed, then you'll know what we're talking about.
To avoid disrupting your body's natural rhythms, stop looking at your devices before bed. As a rule of thumb, an hour or two before you shut your eyes is best.
If you have to use a screen, consider using blue light filter apps that reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your device.
6. Reduce Alcohol consumption
There is a popular misconception that drinking alcohol makes it easier for you to fall asleep. You might think this because alcohol can make you drowsy - notably heavier alcoholic drinks like beer or cider.
However, an increased chance of passing out does not constitute quality sleep - far from it. When you drink alcohol before bed, it triggers your body to release more adenosine, which can make you feel drowsy and help you pass out faster.
However, don't expect a sound, peaceful night once you are asleep. This is because drinking also disrupts your normal sleep cycle, leading to lighter and less restful sleep. Unfortunately, alcohol suppresses your REM cycle, which is the stage of sleep when dreaming occurs and is crucial for emotional regulation and memory consolidation.
You may also find that when you drink, you wake up frequently throughout the night and find it hard to get back to sleep, resulting in a restless night. Additionally, alcohol is thought to increase the chances of snoring and sleep apnea, which can further ruin your sleep.
The solution to this is simple - don't drink excessively and avoid drinking shortly before bed.
7. Maintain a healthy diet
You may not think so, but your diet plays a crucial role in the quality of your sleep. Therefore, you must keep tabs on what you consume throughout the day (and at what times) to ensure a quality night's shut-eye.
At the head of the list, unsurprisingly, is caffeine. Given that it is a strong stimulant, it's best to avoid caffeinated foods and drinks at least six hours before bedtime.
Another common offender is sugar. This is because sugar spikes your blood sugar levels, leading to a burst of energy and a heavy crash. As a result, you may struggle to fall asleep and wake up multiple times during the night. Try to avoid sugar as much as possible - especially in the evening.
You may also suffer from bad sleep if you're a fan of spicy or fatty foods. They can trigger indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux, which are terrible for sleep. Try to avoid these foods close to bedtime.
To improve your diet, aim to eat a lean, protein-rich dinner (with a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats) can help to promote sleep.
Finally, stick to a consistent meal schedule and avoid heavy meals close to bedtime.
8. Meditate before bed
If you suffer from a lot of mind chatter, anxiety, or restlessness at night, you should try working on your mindfulness.
Mindfulness practices like meditation and deep breathing exercises can help you become more aware of the present moment and let go of any persistent thoughts or irritations.
For example, you could focus on your breath for a few minutes in bed. Using meditation apps or videos might help, or set a timer for 5-10 minutes and sit silently, focusing on your breath. This will help you to quiet your mind and release any tension you're storing in your body.
Alternatively, channel it in a healthier direction if you can't eliminate your overthinking. Imagine a peaceful scene of your choice - like a beach or a forest, as cliche as it sounds - and focus on the sights, sounds, and sensations around you. By pretending to be relaxed, you can take your mind off any 'real life' stressors and help you to relax.
Alternatively, take a few minutes to reflect on your day and unwind by reflecting on how it went. This can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones and prepare you for sleep.
9. Use a specialist supplement
Sleep deprivation is a horrible experience that can severely impact your daily life. If you have had trouble sleeping, you will relate to the helplessness you can feel when you're not getting the sleep quantity you need.
Instead of giving in to your frustrations, try following these steps to improve your sleep quality. Whether you want to get rid of sleep apnea or improve your mental and physical health, a practical approach to sleep at night will make a huge difference.
However, it can take time to develop this routine, and even then, you may want to enjoy even greater fat-burning benefits and this is where PhenQPM comes in.
Our night-time fat-burning supplement helps you regulate body weight while you sleep. If you are struggling with hunger cravings, burning those last few excess pounds or kick-starting your metabolism, this natural supplement can help.