How to sleep better and fall asleep faster
Wouldn’t you be interested in finding strategies that improve your sleep quality and allow you to be more energized?
Here are some of the best tips to optimize your lifestyle, and boost your level of productivity thanks to good sleep quality.
Experience both daylight and darkness
Light influences your body’s internal clock, which regulates sleep and wakefulness. Irregular light exposure can lead to disruption of circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep. That's why if you live in a country where there is not a lot of sun or winters without sun, it is normal for you to have episodes where you sleep badly. It is important to expose your body to bright light or artificial bright light during the day and sleep in a dark room at night. (Click here to know more about Circadian Rhythm)
Respect a regular schedule
The second most important tip is to follow a regular schedule. This means going to bed at a regular time to regulate your inner clock and to sleep as long as it takes to naturally wake up at the most suitable and regular time for your lifestyle.
The Circular app can help you with that because it will analyze for you, your sleep needs and tell you at what time you should go to bed depending on your time to fall asleep and your waking up time.
If you are not already doing physical activity, be active during your day. But be careful, do not do sports too close to the time you go to bed or your system will still be stimulated and you won’t be able to fall asleep correctly. Give your system at least 3 hours before sleeping. The best time to train is different according to your chronotypes. For some it is the morning, for others the afternoon and for others both. It depends on the time in the day when your body temperature is higher.
Avoid digital screens
The following factor is the number one cause for extremely high falling asleep time. Digital screens are a plague for sleep and this for two main reasons. Firstly because watching something on a screen requires a lot of effort for your eyes and is very stimulating for your brain. This will make your brain think unnecessarily (even unconsciously) before and during your sleep. And secondly, because the blue light of these screens will disrupt your circadian rhythm. Basically, it will make your inner clock think that it is not time to sleep and therefore delay your sleep even if you put yourself in the dark.
So don’t watch digital screens before sleeping. And if you really want to, please install something to get rid of blue light, lower the brightness to the minimum and do not look at your screen in the dark but rather in a lit room. Finally, do not look at your screens in your bed while lying down. Because lying in bed for a long time without sleeping will also disrupt your inner system. The gesture of lying indicates to your system that you want to sleep, so don’t miss your opportunity to sleep.
Be smart about what you eat and drink
Your nutrition has a big impact on your sleep quality. Minimizing caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine before sleeping seems logical. But less known, avoid having heavy and late dinner. A light dinner, without very sweet foods and red meat should be privileged.
Do not eat within 4 to 6 hours of the time you want to sleep.
Create a comfortable environment for sleep
Don’t work too late (within 2 hours of the time you want to sleep).
Sleeping in a quiet, dark room and at a cool and comfortable temperature will help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more stable. The ideal room temperature for sleep is between 18 - 22 Celsius degrees (64.4 - 71.6 Fahrenheit degrees).
Noise, as well as blue light, delays the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for your sleep. It is therefore essential to cut the noise as much as possible before going to bed. Don’t listen to any sound higher than that of a human conversation. For example, if you listen to music or television, try to listen to it at a reasonable volume.
Meditation and relaxation practice will help improve falling asleep faster and sleep better. There is a simple but powerful breathing method called 4-7-8 method that is used by the military and ancient yogi that will lower your heartbeat, calm yourself, make you fall asleep faster, sleep better and increase your natural defenses.
Here are the steps. Exhale completely through your nose until you completely empty your air. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose until you are completely filled with air (belly and lung) while mentally counting to four. Hold your breath and mentally count to seven. Exhale completely through your nose while mentally counting to eight. If 4-7-8 is easy for you to double the ratio to 8-14-16 and so on. Repeat this cycle 7 times. Do it at least three times a day, the more you do it the better it will be.
Have a social life
It has been proven that having social interactions improves your mood and your sleep quality.
Do not pay attention to time
People who can’t fall asleep or that wake up during sleep often tend to watch the clock and are obsessed with the fact that they cannot fall asleep. But this behavior causes anxiety and that’s what you want to avoid. So get rid of any clock in your bedroom that shines in the dark or forces yourself not to watch it. Even if it is tempting, watching the time is useless. Anyway, you will have to wake up at the time you have to and it is not by looking at it that you will fall asleep faster.
The next night should be prepared during the previous day. There are a lot of parameters to take into consideration to find a good sleep quality. But you are surely already doing great on some of these factors. And if you are not, it is okay, try to apply these changes step by step.
You can also use the Circular ring to help you monitor most of its parameters and understand in detail how your sleep and your activity affect your energy to improve it sustainably.