Top 8 Science-Backed Sleeping Habits

Top 8 Science-Backed Sleeping Habits

Sleep is a fundamental aspect of health and life and plays a vital role in our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In the past few years, sleep scientists have started to understand some important sleeping habits that can significantly enhance the quality and duration of sleep. Let’s have a look at some of the evidence-based sleeping habits to help you achieve restful and rejuvenating sleep.

  1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule: One of the key habits for quality sleep is maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate your body's internal clock. Consistency helps our bodies anticipate sleep and promote better sleep quality.
  2. Create a sleep-friendly environment: A conducive sleep environment is essential for optimal rest. Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. We all know how difficult it is to sleep in the heat of summer. This is why we need to keep our bedroom cool, but not cold, as we still want it to be comfortable. Consider using blackout curtains, blinds, or an eye mask and earplugs to minimize any light and noise that might disrupt your sleep.
  3. Limit exposure to electronic devices before bed: Light exposure at night is essentially a cue to the body that it needs to be awake as it is “daytime”. The blue light emitted by electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, interferes with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. This often results in us not feeling sleepy when we need to. In our technology-driven age this seems to be getting more and more difficult but try to limit exposure to these devices, at least 1 hour prior to bedtime, to improve sleep quality.
  4. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine: Engaging in a relaxing bedtime routine and winding down at the end of the workday signals your body that it is time to relax and prepare for sleep. Activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath or shower, practicing relaxation techniques, chatting with family and friends, or listening to calming music can help promote relaxation and better sleep.
  5. Avoid stimulants, alcohol, and heavy meals before bed: Consuming stimulants like caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime can significantly disrupt your sleep. Both stimulants send “wake” signals to the body which can make falling asleep and staying asleep much more difficult. It is recommended to stop drinking caffeine in the early afternoon and have a lighter, easily digestible meal in the evening.
  6. Regular physical activity: Engaging in regular physical activity during the day is not only essential for healthy sleep but also for stress reduction. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a few times per week. Some people might want to avoid intense workouts close to bedtime, as this can stimulate your body and make it harder to fall asleep. You know your body best; you know your body best so experiment and find the right time for you.
  7. Limit Napping: While short power naps can provide a quick energy boost, excessive or long napping during the day can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. If you feel the need to nap, keep it short (around 20-30 minutes) and avoid napping too close to your bedtime.
  8. Stress management: Chronic stress and anxiety can significantly impact sleep and are one of the leading causes of sleep issues. Implement stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling to help calm your mind before sleep and promote relaxation.

Find Perfect Sleep at Dial•a•bed

While sleep should, for the most part, be as simple as closing your eyes, it often isn’t. There are many different factors that can interfere with sleep, but adopting some of these evidence-based sleeping habits can have a big impact on the quality and duration of your sleep, ultimately benefiting your overall health and well-being. Remember, these habits may take some time to become ingrained and won’t happen overnight. So be patient and persistent in implementing them. Here's to a good night's sleep and better health!

If you are feeling overwhelmed and struggling with your sleep, Sleep Science is here to help! Visit our website at www.sleepscience.co.za or email us at [email protected] to make an appointment and take the first steps to optimising your sleep.

Importantly, since having a comfortable sleeping environment is key to good quality sleep, don’t let your mattress disrupt precious hours of sleep. Get the very best mattress to suit your comfort and support. Find your nearest Dial•a•Bed store or shop online at www.dialabed.co.za. #SleepForLife!