Does this sound like your sleep patterns? It’s 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon and you’re sitting in front of your computer, catching yourself falling asleep and quickly bobbing your head back up. You had a horrible sleep the night before and it’s starting to hit you.
It’s near impossible to finish the workday like this so you run to the convenience store beside your office for a chocolate bar and Red Bull energy drink.
After speedily consuming both, you get a burst of energy that allows you to finish all of your work before the day is over.
However, the consumption of caffeine so late in the day leads to another poor sleep that night. You wonder if you’ll ever be able to break this rather unfavourable sleep cycle that you’ve created.
Without proper sleep, your day-to-day tasks can feel extra challenging. Even your mental health and immune system can be affected. Those who don’t get enough sleep also have an increased risk of getting certain cancers and diabetes. Plus, operating heavy machinery like a vehicle can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.
Health experts suggest that the average adult should get around seven to nine hours of sleep per night. But teenagers, children, and babies require more as they are still growing and developing.
If you’ve forgotten what restful sleep feels like, we’ve found ten things you can do to improve your sleep patterns.
1. Stick to a Sleep Schedule
The idea of creating a sleep schedule can sound daunting and restrictive but in reality, it’s quite simple. Start by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day as this will train your body and circadian rhythm.
Your circadian rhythm is in charge of your sleep-wake cycle and the natural process repeats around every 24 hours. Unfortunately, this also means that you’ll need to say goodbye to sleeping in on weekends as this can really confuse your body’s internal clock.
Napping on a semi-regular basis can also interfere with your sleep cycle and cause you to have poor sleep at night. Try your best to avoid napping but if that feels impossible, shorten your naps to a maximum of 30 minutes and don’t nap too close to bedtime.
2. Be Mindful of Your Food and Drink Choices
What you put into your body on a regular basis can have a significant impact on your sleep patterns.
When it comes to caffeine, finish your daily coffee energy drink consumption around six to eight hours before bedtime. While caffeine excels in giving us a boost of energy in the morning so we function at work, we just don’t require that same energy when trying to fall asleep.
Alcohol can also be very detrimental to your sleep patterns. Having a nightcap or glass of wine with your dinner can wreak havoc on your quality of sleep and hormones. However, everyone handles their alcohol differently. If you’ve found that post-dinner beer doesn’t affect your sleep then there’s no need to change a thing.
Also, try to stop drinking water approximately one to two hours before your head hits the pillow. This way, you won’t be a zombie walking to the bathroom every few hours.
There are certain foods that one can eat throughout the day that promote better sleep. These include kiwis, tart cherries, fatty fish, and walnuts. Oppositely, there are also foods that interfere with your sleep quality like chocolate, cheese, ice cream, potato chips, and spicy curries.
For some healthy recipe inspiration, visit our blog post “3 BBQ Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less”.
3. Ditch Electronics Before Bed
The blue light emitted from your phone or laptop can be extremely disruptive to the quality of sleep you’ll be getting. Many doctors have suggested that there is a correlation between blue light levels from electronics and slow serotonin production.
To improve your sleep patterns through better screen time habits, try to discontinue scrolling through Instagram or watching YouTube videos two hours before bedtime. If you absolutely need to be on your electronics before bed, consider buying a pair of blue light glasses or adjusting the light settings on your device.
Instead of sending your friends funny animal videos before going to sleep, take up reading or journaling as these will get you in the mood for bed.
Having your electronics close to your bed can also be quite detrimental to the quality of your sleep. If possible, plug your phone into its charger on the other side of the room instead of on your bedside table.
This way you won’t feel the urge to check your notifications in the middle of the night when you wake up to go to the washroom or to grab a sip of water.
4. Hot Tub Hydrotherapy
Soaking in your hot tub before going to bed each night can really help you get better sleep patterns.
Hydrotherapy improves your body’s blood circulation, allowing your blood to flow properly instead of hanging out in your brain. This can promote relaxation and remove feelings of stress. Just like a warm shower, spending time in your hot tub will raise your body’s temperature before bed and this will also help you have a deeper sleep.
Hydrotherapy can also be used to treat specific conditions, heal injuries, improve physical fitness, and reduce stress and anxiety.
5. Create an Optimal Sleep Environment
Your bedroom should only be used for sleeping and adult activities (wink, wink). It’s best to avoid watching television in your room or working from your laptop in bed if you’re wanting to improve your sleep patterns.
Other than reducing the time that you spend in your bedroom, you should also make sure the temperature is comfortable and that it’s a peaceful space.
Take this a step further by decluttering your room, purchasing comfier bedding, and reducing the amount of light that enters through the windows. Light provides your circadian rhythm with special cues so a dark space will tell your body that it’s time to go to bed. If there’s a street light right outside your bedroom, invest in some blackout curtains or a sleep mask.
If you’ve been yearning for some new pillows, softer sheets, and a warmer comforter, here’s your excuse. Having the items that make you feel comfortable will make it easier for you to fall asleep at the end of each day. You really can’t put a price on good sleep patterns.
6. Learn How to Manage Stress
Well, the good news is: stress can be managed in tons of different ways, not all of which involve a whole lot of effort. If you’ve had a stressful day at work and then had to cook dinner for your family upon returning home, unwinding before bed is essential.
This can be done by practicing some yoga, meditating, performing some deep breathing exercises, or going for a slow walk. If you own a hot tub or swim spa, you can also remove feelings of stress and anxiety by stretching in the water. Find some sore-back-approved hot tub stretches here.
What helps one person manage their stress might not work for another so it will take some serious trial and error. Perhaps sitting in your hot tub with a comedy podcast playing in the background works for you while going for a run might work for someone else.
Click here for other tips and tricks that can help you live a healthier and happier life.
7. Swimming and Water Exercise
Regular exercise has been shown to decrease sleep disturbances and combat insomnia, effectively helping to improve your sleep patterns. Exercising for 30 minutes each day is recommended but if you’re trying to achieve a specific fitness goal or to lose weight, more is encouraged. If you have back or joint problems, exercising in a hot tub or swim spa can help you stay active without causing any pain.
Swimming has tons of benefits and is proven to improve cardiovascular health, build strength and endurance, and even tone muscle. Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Unlike high-impact exercises like running or lifting weights at the gym, it’s completely safe to swim every day with no rest days needed.
Since it’s a total body exercise, it will be a challenge not falling asleep after you get out of the pool or your swim spa. You’ll be out like a light and enjoying better sleep patterns before you know it.
8. Getting Active Outside
All types of physical exercise release endorphins, otherwise known as “feel-good chemicals”.
While endorphins are great for improving your mood, they can also keep you awake, which is why you should wrap up any exercise for at least one hour before going to bed. Some exercises like running or fast walking even promote the production of serotonin, the chemical responsible for making you feel sleepy.
Plus, being outside and surrounded by nature has a calming effect. Simply run through the forest or stroll through the neighborhood, you’ll feel happier and have better sleep patterns. All it takes is 30 minutes per day. But be careful not to over-exercise as this could make you overtired and restless at night.
9. Create a Pre-Bedtime Routine
Following the same pre-bedtime routine each night will train your brain into knowing when to fall asleep. Start your desired routine about one hour before going to bed.
Calming activities that you should incorporate into your bedtime ritual include having a warm bath or shower, drinking a small cup of chamomile tea, listening to some relaxing music, stretching, meditating, and reading a good book. Other activities like Sudoku and crossword puzzles can stimulate your brain while making your eyelids feel nice and heavy.
Your pre-bedtime routine should never include any electronics whatsoever, not even your tablet for reading.
Your pre-bedtime routine, otherwise known as your sleep hygiene, is the key to a good night’s rest and the ticket straight to dreamland.
10. Consider a Natural Approach
Many people include the use of natural sleep supplements and essential oils in their pre-bedtime routine. Lavender and chamomile oil, along with specially made sleep blends, can help you get in the sleep zone. These should absolutely not be ingested.
Instead, put a few drops on a cotton pad and tuck it near your pillow or purchase a diffuser. You can also massage a couple of drops of the essential oils into your shoulders and neck. For those who like to start their pre-bedtime routine with a bath, a few drops can be added directly into the water with Epsom salts for optimal enjoyment and better sleep patterns.
Before starting a natural supplement and vitamin regimen, it’s always a good idea to double-check with your family doctor. Vitamins like magnesium can help ease your restless legs and promote better sleep patterns, along with vitamin D, iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin E.
These vitamins are safe to be taken on a regular basis unlike Melatonin and prescription sleep aids. Melatonin is safe for short-term use but you should never be relying on the supplement for long periods of time as you can become dependent.
If you’ve tried all of the 10 tips above and are still having difficulty sleeping, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Some sleep disturbances and insomnia can be connected to health conditions that need to be addressed.
Improve Your Sleep Patterns with Swim World Today
At Swim World in Chelan, our mission is to help you live the healthiest lifestyle possible through the magical healing of hot tub hydrotherapy and backyard enjoyment.
We have a wide selection of high-quality hot tubs for sale, along with a range of backyard leisure essentials such as BBQs, patio furniture, and umbrellas.
To learn more about our products and services, contact our showroom today or stop by in person. A member of our team will gladly assist you!
Improve Your Sleep Patterns & More!
Did you find the information about boosting sleep patterns in this article helpful? If so, you can find more useful health and lifestyle tips about hot tubs in our blog.