The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults need 6-8 hours of sleep per night for a healthy heart. Plus, a good night's sleep allows your body and mind to recharge, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and alert.
Sleep also helps the body stay healthy and ward off diseases. The brain cannot function properly without enough sleep. It may also affect your ability to focus, think clearly, and remember things.
Today, we’ll look at 10 proven sleeping hacks to help you keep a healthy heart:
1. Reduce the temperature
You experience a change in body temperature while you sleep. Your body cools down when you sleep and warms up when you get up. You might have difficulty falling asleep if your room is too warm.
Taking a warm bath or shower could also help speed up the body’s temperature changes. As your body cools down afterward, this can send a signal to your brain to go to sleep. One study found that taking a hot bath or shower before bed could improve certain sleep parameters, such as sleep efficiency and sleep quality.
2. Practice the “4-7-8” Breathing Method
Dr. Andrew Weil developed this simple but powerful breathing method that promotes calmness and relaxation. You can also use it to relax before you go to bed. It’s based on breath control techniques from yoga.
Here’s how to do it yourself:
Inhale through your nose while counting to 4. Hold your breath, and count to 7. Exhale for 8 seconds while making “Whoosh” sounds. Repeat this cycle at least three more times. This technique can relax you and help you fall asleep quickly.
3. Stick To Your Sleeping Schedule
Setting a sleep schedule can make it easier for people to fall asleep. Your body has its own regulatory system called the circadian rhythm. Your internal clock tells your body to be alert during the day and sleepy at night. Once your body adjusts to this schedule, it’ll be easier to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day.
4. Experience both daylight and darkness
Irregular light exposure can lead to the disruption of circadian rhythms. This will make it harder to fall asleep and stay awake.
Exposing your body to bright light during the day tells it to stay alert. Both natural daylight and artificial light, such as the kind emitted from your smartphone have this effect on your alertness.
During the night, darkness makes you sleepy. In fact, research shows that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep.
Let your body be exposed to sunlight or artificial bright light throughout the day. If possible, use blackout curtains to make your room dark at night.
5. Practice yoga, meditation, and mindfulness
Meditation, yoga, and mindfulness are tools for calming the mind and relaxing the body. Plus, they’ve all been shown to improve sleep. Yoga encourages breathing patterns and body movements that release stress. Research shows that yoga can improve quality, sleep efficiency, and sleep duration.
Meditation increases levels of melatonin and assists the brain in achieving a state conducive to easy sleep. In addition, mindfulness may help you keep your focus on the present, worry less before going to sleep, and function better during the day. Using any one or all of these techniques will help you get a good night's sleep and wake up reenergized.
6. Avoid Checking The Time
It's normal to wake up during the night sometimes. But, the inability to fall back asleep can ruin a good night’s rest. People who wake up in the middle of the night often watch the clock and struggle about the fact that they can’t fall back asleep.
This behavior may cause anxiety about sleeplessness. To make matters worse, waking up on a regular basis without falling back asleep may cause your body to develop a routine. As a result, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night every night.
7. Avoid Taking Longer Naps During The Day
People with insomnia tend to be sleepy during the day, which often leads to daytime napping. While shorter naps have been linked to improvements in alertness and well-being, there are mixed opinions about the effects of napping on nighttime sleep.
Some studies have shown that regular naps that are long (at least 2 hours), and late may lead to poor nighttime sleep quality and even sleep deprivation. So if you want to take a nap — stick to 10-20 minutes of power naps.
8. Don’t Eat 4 Hours Before Bed
The food you eat before bed may affect your sleep. Research has shown that high-carb meals may be detrimental to a good night’s rest. If you still want to eat a high-carb meal for dinner, you should eat it at least 4 hours before bed so you have enough time to digest it.
9. Pop Some Relaxing Tunes
Music can significantly improve the quality of sleep. It can even be used to improve chronic sleep disorders, such as insomnia. A 50-person study revealed that those who listened to relaxing music for 45 minutes at bedtime had a more restful and deeper sleep.
10. Exercise during the day
Exercise can increase the production of serotonin in the brain — which improves the quality of sleep and naturally decreases the stress hormone, cortisol. It’s vital to keep a moderate-intensity exercise routine and not overdo it. That’s because overtraining has been linked to poor sleep.
You should also consider what time of day you exercise. Working out in the morning may help promote better sleep quality than exercising later in the day. Get moving with activities like running, hiking, cycling, tennis.
There you go! 10 proven sleeping hacks to keep your heart pumping strong and healthy. Try them out and let me know what you think!