It’s time to focus on sleep if you want to lose weight, improve focus, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, and experience other benefits. The National Sleep Foundation says most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night, but that 35% of adults don’t get that much on most nights. Plus, half of adults are sleepy during the day several times a week.
Even though lack of sleep is common and unhealthy, there’s a lot to celebrate. That’s because there are simple changes you can make every day to help you sleep better naturally. As a bonus, these same changes can be good for health in other ways, and Lark can help you achieve them. Here are 10 ways to sleep better naturally.
The temperature of your bedroom should be cool, or less than 67 degrees.
Darker is better. Turn off electronics and consider heavy or blackout curtains if there are bright lights outside your window.
Limit noise as much as possible. Ear plugs can help if you share a room with someone who stays up later than you, or if there is outside noise that you can hear from inside your bedroom.
Also, be sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable. You may need to experiment with different positions or use pillows in different ways, such as having one under or between your knees.
2. Be Consistent
You may have had a regular bedtime routine when you were a kid, or you might enforce one for your own children if you’re a parent. Kids may be more likely to lose control if they skip their routine, but adults can benefit from a routine, too. Here are some tips to help your mind and body get ready for sleep.
Have a consistent bedtime. Sleep hormones can respond better that way.
Save enough time for sleep. Determine when you need to get up the next morning and go to bed at least 7 to 9 hours before that.
Follow the same routine each night. It might include things like brushing teeth and changing into nightclothes, as well as reading, taking a bath, logging food with Lark, or packing tomorrow’s breakfast or lunch.
It can be hard to sleep when your mind is running nonstop. It helps to stop worrying about tomorrow so your mind can relax enough to let you sleep. Here are some tips.
Make a to-do list for tomorrow.
Identify anything that worries you and decide what you can take care of and when. Also accept what you can’t do anything about, and put it out of your mind.
Go over tomorrow’s schedule before you go to bed so you know that you’ll be in control when you wake up.
4. Be Physically Active
You can start getting ready for a better night of sleep as soon as you wake up if you’re active. Being active during the day can help you sleep better at night and feel less tired during the day, according to a wealth of research. You can get even more benefits by going outside to exercise.
A good goal is to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise. This is also a good amount for health. If you aren’t there yet, Lark can help you increase your activity!
5. Track Your Sleep
Tracking your sleep lets you know how much you’re sleeping so you can decide whether to make adjustments. Lark can help you track your sleep and provide insights into your patterns and how you might improve your sleep.
6. Use Technology Wisely
A good rule of thumb is to turn off electronic devices, such as phones and laptops, at least an hour before bedtime. If that’s not practical, it can at least help to avoid social media or other apps that can lead to infinite scrolling or to activating your brain. You can also take advantage of technology, such as lights that fade at bedtime, or a smart thermostat to make your room cooler at bedtime.
7. Eat Well
Eating nutritious foods can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep better. In a clinical trial, participants who ate fatty fish three times a week had better sleep efficiency than participants in a control group who ate chicken, beef, or pork. There’s even research to suggest that people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to sleep better.
On the other hand, some foods are linked to poorer sleep. A review article points out that people with lower fiber consumption and higher intakes of added sugars tend to sleep less. The same is true when talking about consumption of saturated fat, such as from fatty meats and butter.
Lark can help you choose nutritious foods for overall health and better sleep.
8. Watch the Clock When Caffeinating
Caffeine can be a blessing when you are feeling tired, but need to focus in the afternoon or evening. It can perk you up and give you energy. However, it can interfere with sleep if you have it too late in the day. Keep in mind that caffeine stays in your body for 6 hours, so it’s best to stop drinking coffee, cola, or other caffeinated beverages at least 6 hours before bedtime.
9. Outsmart Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages can make you sleepy, but did you know that they can actually disrupt sleep? Even though drinking alcohol can make you tired, you might have less sound sleep when you drink at dinner. If you choose to drink at all, it’s best to do so in moderation, and earlier in the day than at or after dinner.
10. Hydrate Early
Hydration is good, but it’s best to start early in the day. That way, you won’t need to chug water late in the evening and run to the bathroom all night. By the way, be sure to use the bathroom before going to bed!
How Lark Can Help
Sleep is critical for optimizing health and weight loss. Lots of people are short on sleep, but there are easy ways to improve your sleep quality and amount. From eating right to being active and watching your sleep environment, Lark can help you establish healthy habits that can last. Lark can help you 24/7 to help you manage your weight and health.
Click here to see if you may be eligible to join Lark today!
Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.