A good night’s sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. It can also cause weight gain and increase disease risk in both adults and children.
In contrast, good sleep can help you eat less, exercise better, and be healthier
Here are 4 evidence-based tips to sleep better at night.
- Increase bright light exposure during the day
Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your circadian rhythm. It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep.
Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration.
- Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
Caffeine has numerous benefits and is consumed by 90% of the U.S. population). A single dose can enhance focus, energy, and sports performance. However, when consumed late in the day, caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night.
- Reduce irregular or long daytime naps
While short power naps are beneficial, long or irregular napping during the day can negatively affect your sleep. Sleeping in the daytime can confuse your internal clock, meaning that you may struggle to sleep at night. In fact, in one study, participants ended up being sleepier during the day after taking daytime naps.
If you take regular daytime naps and sleep well, you shouldn’t worry. The effects of napping depend on the individual.
- Optimize your bedroom environment
Many people believe that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in getting a good night’s sleep. These factors include temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement. Numerous studies point out that external noise, often from traffic, can cause poor sleep and long-term health issues.