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Tossing and turning all night? Take hours to fall asleep? You’re not alone. According to the CDC, about one in three adults aren’t getting enough sleep.
Sleep is incredibly important to our overall health, benefiting everything from muscle recovery to work performance. It’s involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels, helps with concentration, mood and even immune function.
Friday, March 19 marks World Sleep Day — so there's no time like the present to overhaul your habits. If you're looking for ways to improve your night's sleep, here are five simple tips that can help get your sleep back on track.
Dim your lights
By now, most of us are aware that you should limit your screen time at least an hour before bed. What you may not know is that you should be cutting your exposure to all artificial light after the sun goes down, including the lights in your house.
While there's no need to wander around in the dark, even a small act like implementing dimmable lights with a warmer glow option can make a big difference in the quality of your sleep.
Limit artificial light after sundown
If you have to work late or you have no other choice but to binge watch “Bridgerton" for the 10th time, there are still ways that you can help limit your exposure to artificial light. One of the quickest fixes is with a pair of blue light blocking glasses, which help filter out the blue wavelengths that mimic daylight and keep you alert.
There are a ton on available the market, but know that the more orange they are in colour, generally the more blue light they filter.
Wear socks to bed
We all know that keeping your room cool helps you sleep. Ideally the temperature should be between 62 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. But did you know that wearing socks can actually help keep your body cool?
Wearing socks to bed increases the blood circulation to your feet and causes your blood vessels to widen, which helps your body expel heat much quicker thanks to the larger surface area. This allows your body temperature to cool down at a faster rate than normal, leading to a better night's sleep.
Focus on merino wool socks that are both moisture wicking and naturally antibacterial, and try and size up to avoid a too-tight fit.
Use pink noise instead of white noise
A lot of us probably know that using white noise can help you drift off, but this comes with a catch. Some studies have shown that the high frequency sounds in white noise can trigger cortisol to be released and actually interrupt sleep.
So if you love white noise, try playing pink noise instead which has the same benefits but has more power in the lower frequency bands, making it easier on the ear and more likely to increase time spent in deep sleep.
Clear the air
Another often overlooked part of making your bedroom a cocoon of beautiful dreams is air quality. The Harvard School of Public Health found that poor air quality indoors increased the risk of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.
Especially now that we are spending a lot of time indoors, it’s worth making sure your air is as clean as it can be. A good air purifier in your bedroom can help, as well as opening your windows during the day or adding a few plants to your space.