When we don't get enough restful sleep, our bodies don't perform as well as they should. Research has shown that disrupted sleep is associated with the higher risk of diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. A more recent study in the journal Neurology finds that those who lack restful sleep also "may be at higher risk for developing dementia."
Few of us realise that our lack of sleep is due to our behaviours and dietary consumption. With new-fangled contraptions tempting us to stay up, inconsistent sleep schedule or unhealthy food choices, many people should (and need to) step back and reassess their relationship with sleep.
Whatever your reasons may be for your restless sleep, we've listed five ways to help improve your conditions for a better night's rest.
1. Power down.
The blue light from cellphones and tablets may disturb your sleep. Motivational speaker, Simon Sinek suggests to charge your phone in the living room
. Your alarm clock is on your phone? Invest in an alarm clock. Invest in one and charge your phone in the living room.
2. Set your sleep schedule. Make it a routine to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day, even on the weekends. This will allow your brain and body to adjust to a healthy sleep-wake schedule. In time, you'll be able to fall asleep quickly and have more restful nights.
3. Work out wisely.
Exercise and sleep have a relatively uncomplicated relationship. When you work out, you fatigue your body and mind and in turn, sleep more soundly at night. For those with insomnia and other sleep disturbances
, Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron, a clinical psychologist and sleep researcher at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, suggests to maintain an exercise program, which has shown to mute "a person's stress response" and "her or his underlying physiological arousal is dialed down enough for sleep to arrive more readily."