You go to bed at a decent hour and find yourself tossing, turning, and unable to fall asleep. Or maybe you drift off but find yourself wide awake a couple of hours later. Sleep, no matter how tired you are, is ever elusive.
If this happens occasionally, like when you have a lot on your mind, there’s probably no need to worry. But if this is standard operating procedure for you, it’s a problem you need to solve. The sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.
What you do in the two or three hours before you go to bed affects how well you sleep. Screen time, light exposure, what you eat and drink, and physical activity may all play a role. So you need to take a hard look at your evening habits and what you can do to improve them.
There are dozens of things you can try to get higher-quality slumber. And there are at least three excellent reasons for making the attempt. Here’s why you should revamp your bedtime routine to achieve better sleep.
1. It Keeps You Healthier
The health implications of poor sleep have been studied at length. The strength of your immune system, propensity for disease, and susceptibility to mental health issues are all related to sleep quality. Since your health is incredibly important, good sleep should be equally so.
Your bedtime troubles could be due to sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted as you sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you should know it isn’t something that just goes away. Failure to address it can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiac arrhythmia. Your doctor will likely recommend a continuous positive airway pressure machine, which provides a steady stream of air to support continuous breathing.
If your bedtime routine doesn’t include the best CPAP mask for you, work it in. It’s such an easy way to keep your airway clear, your breathing regular, and your heart working properly. You may be surprised at how refreshed you feel after a night of uninterrupted slumber.
High-quality sleep also reduces your risk of diabetes and obesity and boosts your immune system. A strong immune system helps wounds heal faster and fights bacterial and viral infections. Everyone can appreciate the value of that in the midst of an ongoing viral pandemic.
Good health is the foundation for enjoying virtually anything else in life. That makes it an inarguable reason to maintain it with improved sleep.
2. It Gives You Clarity
You know what it’s like when your phone or laptop starts running painfully slow. It’s not only annoying, but it could compromise productivity in your personal and professional lives. The need to reboot is always recognizable.
Sleep is like that. It’s the daily reboot you need to restore your brain and your body to optimal performance. If you aren’t doing what you need to get a good night’s sleep, your loading icon will constantly churn.
Daily life is filled with decision making. These decisions may be as simple as deciding what shoes to wear. They may be as complicated as making life-or-death choices in an emergency room. That’s why you need the clarity sound sleep provides.
Your memory and productivity are also negatively impacted by poor sleep. So is your ability to perform under even a minimal amount of stress. That can put the kibosh on your optimistic career goals.
The quality of sleep you get routinely affects mental acuity in your personal life, on the job, and at school. Poor acuity equals poor performance. Nothing could be more crystal clear than that.
3. It Makes You Happier
Everyone wants to be happy. Especially in such a divided and dire era, a little happiness can help ease the pressure of the times. It can mean the difference between being a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full kind of human.
If a child doesn’t get enough shuteye, they’re cranky and irritable all day. The same is true for adults, although most attempt to control their crabbiness. But the ability to maintain outward emotional control doesn’t convert to internal happiness.
Good sleep quality reduces stress and anxiety and improves your mood. It gives you a remarkably more optimistic view on even the gloomiest situations. That optimism is crucial to successfully confronting whatever life throws at you.
Improved slumber can also help stave off depression. The relationship between sleep apnea and chronic depression has been widely studied. With virtually every good night’s sleep using a CPAP machine, symptoms of depression are reduced. It follows that if you’re not depressed, you’re a happier person during your waking hours.
Because you’re a happier person, you’ll get along with people better, no matter how grouchy they may be. Your well-rested ability to be amenable is beneficial to personal and professional relationships. So crank up your sleep, and you can shake off the crank within.
Don’t Sleep on Revamping Your Bedtime Routine
Getting consistently good sleep requires some life adjustments. Stop viewing a moratorium on screen time and forgoing that cola before bed as sacrifices. Instead, see these choices as investments in your ability to enjoy life.
Start now, instead of putting off your bedtime routine revamp for next year’s New Year’s resolutions. The sooner you begin practicing sleep-promoting habits, the healthier and happier you’ll be.