The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people 18 to 60 years old sleep 7 or more hours each night. However, according to the survey results, between 7 and 19% of adults in the United States do not get enough sleep, while approximately 50 to 70 million people have a continuous sleep disorder.
Chronic sleep deficiency can increase a person's risk of certain health conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes. Fatigue can increase the likelihood of injury, for example, due to drowsy driving or operating heavy machinery without full concentration.
In this article, we discuss some tips and home remedies to sleep better at night. We also cover when to see a doctor.
Exercising during the day can help a person sleep better.
Regular exercise offers many health benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, increased muscle tone and better weight control.
Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes during the day can help a person sleep better.
However, people should avoid strenuous physical activity for 2 to 3 hours before going to bed, as this can have the opposite effect.
Get a new mattress
If a mattress is old or is not suitable for a person, it can cause problems sleeping. According to the National Sleep Foundation, mattresses of good quality tend to last between 9 and 10 years.
When buying a new mattress, it is important to choose one that is comfortable and supportive.
Limit alcohol at night
Although alcohol has a sedative effect that can help a person sleep, it can also disrupt sleep patterns and increase the likelihood that a person will wake up in the middle of the night.
Drinking alcohol before bedtime can also increase the risk of snoring and sleep apnea.
Maintain a regular bedtime
The human body has a natural sleep-wake cycle. Sleeping and waking up at different times on different days of the week can interrupt this cycle, which can lead to sleep problems.
Where possible, people should try to stick to regular bedtime and waking hours, even on weekends.
Make the bedroom nice to sleep
It is important to make the room a comfortable place to sleep. A person can do this by:
- Keep the temperature cool, ideally between 60 ° F and 70 ° F
- Eliminating devices that emit noise or light.
- Use opaque curtains to ensure the room is dark enough.
Take time to relax
Relax before going to bed can help a person sleep better at night. Relaxing activities can include:
- practicing meditation or soft yoga
- reading a book
- taking a hot bath or shower
- listening to music
Avoiding the use of screens, such as televisions, telephones and tablets, before bedtime can also make it easier for a person to relax their mind.
Avoid large meals before bedtime
Eating large or too spicy meals in the hours before bed can cause indigestion that disrupts a person's sleep. People should generally try to avoid eating heavy meals a couple of hours before bedtime. If they are hungry during this period, they can eat a light snack instead.
Avoid large drinks at night.
Drinking too much liquid before going to bed can affect the duration and quality of sleep. When people drink too much liquid, this can cause them to wake up several times during the night to urinate.
People who find it difficult to fall asleep at night should try to avoid napping during the day, as this can make it hard to fall asleep at night. If a person needs a nap, it is best to limit the nap to less than 1 hour and avoid the nap after 3 p.m.
Use the bedroom only to sleep.
A person should only use the bedroom to sleep.
Creating a strong association between sleeping and sleeping can also help people sleep better. Doing this implies:
- Using the bedroom only for sleeping and sexual activities.
- Avoid using the bedroom to work, hobbies or exercise.
- keep the bedroom free of electronic devices, such as computers, televisions and telephones
- Encouraging children not to play in their room.
Avoid caffeine at night.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can help improve a person's energy levels and focus. However, when people consume caffeine at night, this can make it more difficult to fall asleep and can also affect the quality of sleep.
The results of a small study from 2013 suggest that consuming caffeine for up to 6 hours before going to bed can negatively affect the quality of a person's sleep.
Consider taking melatonin supplements
Melatonin is a hormone that plays an essential role in regulating a person's sleep and wake cycles. Melatonin is available as a dietary supplement, and many people take it to treat insomnia, jet lag and other sleep problems.
Some studies suggest that melatonin may help children with sleep disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to sleep more quickly.
Melatonin supplements are available at health stores, and a person can also buy them online. However, it is advisable to talk to a doctor before taking melatonin or giving it to a child.
Avoid throwing and turning
If a person has trouble falling asleep at night, they should try to avoid movements and turns. Instead, it can help to get out of the bedroom and do something relaxing for a while before going back to bed.
When to see a doctor
People who still have difficulty sleeping after trying to improve their sleep habits should consult a doctor. A doctor can evaluate a person to detect sleep disorders and other conditions that can affect sleep. They can also advise on possible treatment options.
Getting enough sleep can improve a person's energy levels, performance, safety and general health. Practicing good sleep hygiene and making certain changes in lifestyle can help people sleep better at night.
People who continue to have difficulty sleeping after trying to improve their sleep habits should talk to a doctor.