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Sleep is an integral part of life but sometimes we ignore its importance. Around 36% of adults in the UK struggle to fall asleep at least once each week and 40% say this makes them stressed. Other negative effects of poor sleep can include a decline in heart health and memory loss, so it’s important that we find ways to improve sleep quality.
To help you get some much-needed shut-eye, we’ve come up with a few natural ways to improve your quality of sleep at night.
Keep it cool
A cool room temperature has been proven to be an important factor in getting a good night’s sleep. The ideal temperature for sleeping is around 13.3 degrees Celsius, but this can differ between people.
Our bodies are designed to reduce in temperature towards the evening, therefore, turning down your heating a few hours before bed may improve temperature regulation and signal to your body that it’s time for bed.
People who often experience night sweats or hot flushes should aim to keep the room as cool as possible using air conditioning or a fan. Also, you should wear cotton or breathable fabrics when in bed.
Barefoot walking involves removing your shoes and exploring the world freely. Earthing is a term for forming a physical connection with the ground that can reduce inflammation, pain, and sleep.
Additionally, when we make a connection with the Earth, studies have found a reduction in white blood cells and an increase in red blood cells in the body. This indicates an improvement in immunity.
If you decide to go barefoot, take it slow and build up gradually. Start with small walks outside and increase the length if you feel comfortable. It’s always best to be safe, which is why it’s recommended that you wear barefoot shoes. These will provide the same benefits but protect the feet from hazards.
Keep the lights off
We all know that we sleep better with the lights off and when we reduce smartphone usage. But what you probably didn’t know is that turning lights on during nighttime can impact sleep.
For example, if you get up to use the bathroom, you’ll probably turn the lights on. You should avoid doing so and instead use a flashlight or torch, as this reduces visual disruption. If you worry that you aren’t drifting back off to sleep quickly enough, don’t worry, sometimes this can take around 30 minutes.
Be more active
It’s not entirely understood why exercise can help to improve sleep but we do know that moderate aerobic exercise boosts the amount of deep sleep we get during the night.
It can also reduce the time taken to fall asleep and alleviate daytime sleepiness. This is because aerobic exercise releases endorphins that raise body temperature and signal the body to keep you awake. As a result, it’s recommended that you leave at least two hours between exercising and going to sleep.