Figured I would start a different thread about sleep rather than crowd up the dream thread, which is more dedicated to talking about our dreams.
I have really warmed up to the concept of sleep hygiene over the last few years. It appears that sleep can have quite the effect on your health, be it mental or physical. Outside of our medicinal sleep aids I have found there are things you can do to help ensure better sleep quality.
There are so many little things that happen during our days and weeks that can effect our quality of sleep. The trick is everyone is different so you have to find out what works for you. Going to bed earlier, and trying to get close to eight hours of rest a night has helped my feelings of well being. Sure makes getting up for work a hell of a lot easier when well rested
A big part of getting to bed on time is trying to follow a routine, and one that often does not stimulate the mind too late into the evening. I find that if its past eight and I am still trying to solve a problem or finish a game or project it will leave my mind racing come bed time. Too much physical activity late at night will cause the same problem. Trying to use the blue light screen filters a little more but not sure if they make much difference or not. I found turning the lights off in the room has a far greater effect on melatonin release.
The rare times I get called out to work at midnight you get home at say 2 am and its really hard to get back to sleep. Your mind is still going but your body wants to fall asleep. I have learned that a wind down at that late hour is required even though I have to get up in four hours. Watch some tv or something until my eyes feel heaving again. Television shows I don't really care about or music works really well for me. Allowing my mind to stop focusing on reality and slowly drift towards the dream state
Some of the more well known things like limiting caffeine and trying to avoid a huge meal before bed can effect things like quality and length of sleep. An interesting thing I heard today about caffeine was the idea of its half life, basically how long it will remain active in the average system. He gave and example saying that if you drank a cup of coffee at noon, by midnight you would still have the equivalent of around a quarter cup. Has me reconsidering what time of day to stop drinking that stuff. Usually I would try not to have any after 3 o clock but it has me wondering If I will see a slight improvement if I stick to my two cups early in the morning.
Another part of the eating thing is your blood sugar levels, they say that for some people that wake up often in the middle of the night it could be due to this. So they say a spoon full of honey or peanut butter, something small quantity wise but plenty of calories can help you sleep through the night.
Mattress and pillow quality, are important, the times I have had pain issues in bed it would dramatically effect it. I felt like a crazy person for buying a 100$ pillow a year or two ago but now it feels well worth the price
With the stiff neck, or pain radiating hips I would often waking up way earlier than I wanted to because at that point the uncomfortable toss and turn had taken effect and standing up to relieve the pressure is all you could do by then
Another part of it was the discussion around the idea of the sleep bank. Some believe in it and some do not. That being if you missed out on a couple hours sleep the night before one could easily recover it by going to be earlier the next night. Others recommend that routine is more important and would say to avoid the naps even though you are tired. Going to bed at your regular time that night is better for you body in a sense.
We have all noticed the effects of that afternoon nap that ran a little too long. Then come bedtime you find yourself wide awake and wondering how this could happen after feeling so tired.
Anyway curious if you guys have any routines that you like to try to follow to increase you sleep quality?