If you suffer from insomnia, have experienced bouts of sleeplessness, or simply just feel tired all the time, you know that it can be hard to get the sleep you need.
We’ve compiled some of our top tips for improving your sleep quality so you can feel like yourself and enjoy life to the fullest!
Get enough sleep
Anyone between the ages of 18-65 should get around 8 hours of sleep per night to feel refreshed and energized the next day. Depending on the person, however, this can range anywhere from 7-9 hours. For those above the age of 65, you can get by with a little bit less sleep.
A good way to determine if you’re getting enough sleep is to be aware of how tired you are. If you find yourself getting tired throughout the day, chances are you need to add a little more time to your sleep schedule.
Stay on schedule
Your body is like anything else: it follows the path of least resistance. When you keep your body on a regular sleep schedule, you’ll have an easier time falling asleep and getting up in the morning.
Staying on a consistent sleep schedule keeps your body’s internal clock set at the right time and ensures you feel refreshed and energized in the morning. Even adjusting your sleep schedule an hour or two can mean trouble for your quality of sleep.
Some strategies for keeping a good sleep schedule include:
- Go to bed and wake at the same time every day: Choose a schedule that works for you. Love having time in the morning to work out? Make sure to go to bed early so you can have that time in the morning. Are you a night owl and love staying up late? Prep for work before you go to bed so you can sleep in a little longer in the morning.
- Don’t change your schedule during the weekend: Just because you have the day off from your job, doesn’t mean your body has it off from it’s job of keeping you healthy. If you think you’ll be tired and want to “catch up” on sleep, try napping midday to keep your bed and wake up time consistent.
- Nap smartly: Napping can make it harder to keep a healthy sleep schedule. Limit them to only when necessary and for short, 20-30 minute bursts of sleep.
Manage your light
Did you know that light actually has a biological effect on how alert you are? Light causes your body to release melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps you fall asleep when released by your body.
When it’s dark, your body releases more, which helps you fall asleep. When it’s light, less is released, helping you stay awake.
Keeping your melatonin levels balanced is key to keeping a good sleep schedule. Some tips for an ideal sleep schedule include:
Expose yourself to bright sunlight early on in the day by eating breakfast by a window or spending some time outside. The more natural light you can expose yourself to daily the better.
Spend time outside. Getting fresh air and feeling the sunlight is not only good for your ability to fall asleep, but is good for your health, too.
When it’s time to go to sleep, it should be as dark as possible. This remains true in the morning when light may be creeping inside your bedroom. Try to keep your bedroom as dark as possible when you’re sleeping.
Intelligently managing light is the best way to be in control of your sleep schedule.
Smart blind systems are the best way to manage light
Manage light like the health concern it is. With smart blinds from Portland Window Coverings, you can do just that.
With the Hunter Douglas PowerView App or with voice-activation technology through Amazon Alexa, you can easily manage the amount of light in your bedroom or any other room in your home. This leads to a seamless integration and management of light into your bedroom and home.
You can even set your blinds to open just as your alarm goes off, leading to a burst of melatonin as you wake. This will promote natural light and help your window coverings work for you. It will also prevent you from feeling sleepy as you wake up in the morning and lead to you feeling fresher in the morning.
Contact us to learn more about how a smart window covering solution can help you get more sleep and feel more alert throughout the day.
Say no to screen time before bed
It’s easy to synch into a rhythm of completing menial tasks on your phone before bed. Checking email or social media, catching up on your favorite show, and reading through your favorite website can be a nice way to end your evening. The only problem? This habit may be limiting your ability to fall asleep.
Cell phones, iPads, and computers all emit “blue light,” which have been shown to reduce sleep and make it harder to fall asleep in the first place. Instead, try the following things before bed to help yourself fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep.
- Reading a book or magazine (not on an iPad, though Kindles are okay)
- Warm bath or shower
- Listening to soft music
- Light prepping for the next day
Limit caffeine and food prior to bed
For most people, coffee and tea is a big part of waking up. In moderation, this is completely normal! But before bed, what you eat and drink has a large effect on your ability to fall asleep.
Limit the caffeine you have not only before bed, but the hours preceding bed time. While caffeine affects everybody differently, caffeine will almost always make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Big meals can also cause stomach issues and give you energy that will not be helpful while trying to achieve some shut eye!
Make sure you’re comfortable
Making sure you’re comfortable is one of the best ways to make sure you’re able to fall asleep. If something is bugging you, it will always be harder. Set up the perfect bedroom for your comfort and style. Some things to consider:
- Window coverings: If it’s not dark in your bedroom, you’ll have trouble falling asleep.
- A comfortable mattress: Cheap mattresses may save you money, but will cost you in the long run via unproductive daylight hours.
- A pillow that suits you: Soft, firm, memory foam — try some out and see what’s right for you.
- Temperature: Make sure your bedroom is the temperature you want. If this means investing in a space heater or AC Unit, do it! It will be a good investment.
- Proper bedding: Comfy bedding will make you feel great and luxurious when going to bed, leading to a deeper sleep.
Control the light in your home with smart window coverings from Hunter Douglas
At Portland Window Coverings, our custom window coverings are designed to not only make your home look beautiful, but improve your quality of life. There may be no more important thing you manage on a day-to-day basis than the light you see — it helps bring energy to your life. With Portland WIndow Coverings, managing this can also be one of the easiest things you do on a daily basis.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free appointment to see how Hunter Douglas smart windows can change your life too.