5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Sleep Quality
- by Stephen Touhey
You don’t have to spend another day feeling groggy and dragging through your responsibilities. Whether you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep, we’ve compiled a list of 5 things you can do to improve your sleep quality today.
1. Do breathwork to wind down
Before bed, focus on your breath and slow your breathing to let your body know it’s time to relax.
When the mind or body is stressed your body makes sure to stay on high alert because it interprets that stress as danger. When your nervous system is in that overactive state it can feel impossible to sleep. Your mind might race, you might feel depressed or anxious, or you simply might just toss and turn with no idea why you don't feel settled.
The trick is switching on your parasympathetic nervous system, which signals to the body that it’s safe to relax. To do this you’ll want to take slow, deep breaths with equal counts in and out. This technique is so effective in taming an overactive nervous system that Navy Seals learn box breathing as a way to stay calm and of sound mind under extreme pressure in the field.
Here’s how to do the box breathing pattern before bed.
Breathe in for 4 counts
Hold for 4 counts
Exhale for 4 counts
Hold for 4 counts
Repeat 10-15 times
2. Go to bed by 10:30 PM
If your regular bed time is after 11 PM, that could explain some of your sleep struggles. Our bodies release brian chemicals in waves that help us either fall asleep or become alert. You may have heard this called a circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle.
If you struggle with insomnia it’s especially important to go to bed during the sleepy stages of the cycle or you might become alert again until the next wave comes around. You may have guessed by now that the optimum time to go to bed is 10:30 PM, which allows for perfect timing with the incoming wave of sleepiness.
3. Wear a bio-frequency patch
These gems are relatively new to the wellness scene and provide deep restful sleep completely holistically. BioActivate has created wearable Deep Sleep patches that are electro charged with vibrational medicine technology. Thanks to the latest scientific discoveries, these patches can work on everyone by bringing the body back into harmony with it’s natural bio-frequency for sleep.
4. Don’t eat 3 hours before bed
Giving up your bedtime snack is hard, but isn’t it worth skipping for a solid night’s sleep? It takes the average person about 3 hours to digest their food enough that it won’t affect their sleep quality. Not only does digestion require energy when your body should be resting, but eating before bed can also cause health problems like upset stomach, indigestion, or heartburn.
If night time eating is ingrained in your lifestyle, try making small changes at first and build up to 3 hours. Many people also have success by creating a nighttime routine to replace their evening snacking. In addition to breathwork, other popular additions to a nighttime routine include self-acupressure or massage, stretching, journaling, or reading.
5. Be mindful of your pulse rate
If you notice your pulse rate thumping when you lay down to go to sleep at night it might mean you’re deficient in potassium. Both stress and consuming sugar can cause a potassium deficiency.
To get your potassium levels back up you’ll want to eat more fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium like bananas, coconut water, avocado, sweet potato, watermelon, and white beans. Before you know it your pulse rate will be lower and you’ll sleep even more soundly.