6 benefits of sleeping well and 6 tips to build your perfect sleeping routine right now.
Sleep has become an expensive benefit over the past years — one that people cannot ignore anymore. And no matter where you live, work, or relax, poor quality sleep will affect your performance.
If you ignore your sleeping routine, you could suffer from many problems affecting your health, metabolism, or motivation. And the only way to solve all those problems is to find the perfect sleeping routine that fits your personality, preferences, and even commitments.
Why should you make your Perfect Sleeping Routine?
Using sleeping habits other people suggested to you is great for experimentation. It helps you understand what you like and what you will never want to do again. And it also makes you realize the benefits of good sleeping routines if experienced for long periods.
But every person has their routines and commitments. So even if you love waking up at 5 a.m. as your idol does, it may affect your health if you can’t get to bed at 9 p.m. and therefore lose sleep hours. Over time, the disadvantages could overcome the benefits. So you need to search for your perfect sleeping routine and find one that aligns with your habits.
The Benefits of a Perfect Sleeping Routine
There are many benefits and studies related to good sleeping routines and quality sleep. For example, people who get enough sleep have improved social skills, learning skills, and decreased health problems risk. Meanwhile, people who cannot get enough sleep tend to develop the opposite trait.
So here are six benefits of a perfect sleeping routine:
1 — It improves learning skills.
Your brain consolidates most of the associations you make during the day when you sleep. So when you learn or study something new, the better you sleep, the stronger the connection.
There are many studies explaining why sleeping better improves learning skills. For example, a study by Kelly Cappello from the University of Pennsylvania shows the impact of sleep on learning and memory. Or another study from Harvard Medical School explains how sleep deprivation influences memory performance and learning in general.
So if you are a student of any kind or have a job that requires high analytical power, you need to fix your routine.
2 — It improves fat loss and weight control.
Good sleep also improves fat loss and weight control. For example, many studies show the correlation between sleep quality and metabolism performance.
If you don’t sleep enough, or sleep poorly, your stress levels increase, and the body starts storing energy to fuel your waking hours. So even if you work out more, your fat loss could drop by 55% over 14 days.
3 — It decreases health problems risks.
Sleep is the nutrition for your brain. And if you don’t get enough of it, you will get more stressed, your metabolism will worsen, and your body will be less protected against diseases.
For an extensive list of the possible risks, you can read the post by Harvard Medical School that explains each threat in-depth. But in general, each sort of disease could increase in gravity or duration because of poor sleep quality.
4 — It reduces stress and improves mood.
If sleeping reduces the tension your body carries, your mood increases too. On the contrary, if you sleep less, you could experience mood swings or a bad attitude.
A study led by the University of Pennsylvania found that even partial sleep deprivation significantly affects mood. For example, subjects with a limited sleep time of 4.5 hours reported stress, anger, sadness, and exhaustion after only a week of experimentation.
5 — It increases energy levels.
There are two types of sleep: REM and non-REM. And during one stage of the non-REM, our body heals itself and increases its ability to produce ATP, our fundamental molecule of energy.
So if you sleep well enough, your body will produce more energy during the day, and you will feel more energized.
6 — Improved social skills.
Sleep deprivation also has an impact on social skills. Researchers found out that poor sleep triggers viral loneliness and social rejection. And people who can’t sleep well feel lonelier and less interested in talking with other people.
How to make your Perfect Sleeping Routine
When you work on improving your sleeping routine, you want to consider three things:
- What do you do during the day?
- What do you do before going to bed?
- How do you get out of bed?
I’ve been working on my sleeping routine for a while now and tried many solutions. So here are a few suggestions you may want to experiment with to improve the quality of your sleep and, therefore, your mood and productivity.
1 — Don’t drink coffee in the afternoon.
I’ve been drinking coffee for many years without any rules because I thought I was immune.
After a few years of consuming coffee every day, I didn’t have problems with lack of sleep or insomnia. And every time I went to bed, I got asleep with ease.
But it wasn’t because I was immune. It was because I was exhausted.
A few months ago, I started tracking my sleep data and comparing it with coffee consumption. So I noticed if I stop drinking coffee after 3 p.m., my sleep quality increases, and I can have longer deep sleep sessions. And deep sleep is the stage of non-REM that affects body healing and enhances ATP production.
Also, I noticed I stopped waking up frequently during the night. So my sleep quality improved overall, and I feel more energized in the morning.
2 — Stop using backlit devices before going to bed.
Nowadays, the worst enemy of good sleeping routines is backlit digital devices, like smartphones and laptops. And if you take them into your bed, they will expose your eyes to artificial light that affects your ability to fall asleep and sleep quality.
The scientific reason behind our sleep/wake pattern revolves around many chemical reactions and hormones like melatonin, adenosine, and cortisol.
- The first increases in dark environments and helps us fall asleep.
- The second increases in bright environments and makes us feel tired.
- And the third helps us wake up feeling refreshed and restored.
So if you want to take control of your sleeping routine, expose yourself to light during the day, and avoid it in the evening. In this way, you reach maximum production of adenosine and melatonin, which help you fall asleep.
On the contrary, if you expose yourself to light before going to bed, your melatonin production won’t increase, and you will have difficulties falling asleep or sleeping well. Instead, you can do other activities that don’t involve backlit devices.
I chose books, and reading before going to bed helped me improve my life in many ways:
- I have more time to read, so I learn more things.
- Reading helps me fall asleep faster.
- And it keeps me from backlit devices.
3 — Make sure there is no light in your room.
The darkness affecting melatonin production doesn’t only matter before going to bed but also while you are sleeping. Therefore when preparing your sleep environment, make it as dark as possible to improve your sleep quality.
In Italy, most of our homes have curtains that blacken the room completely. But I know some homes don’t have it. So if you are in one of those situations, try to make your room as dark as possible. For example, you could use darker curtains.
4 — Stay at a comfortable temperature.
According to studies, the optimal temperature for sleeping is around 19°C. But this temperature is hard to maintain during summer. So I did not care about it too much in my experiments and aimed for the best solution.
During winter, I noticed a good feeling when sleeping under a hot blanket when the temperature hovers at 19°C. But in summer, I am satisfied with 22–23°C. Otherwise, I feel cold.
So try some setups, if you can, and make sure your temperature is around the optimal one.
5 — Find a strategy to fall asleep.
Each of us has his strategy to fall asleep. And some of us did not even need one. But in case you do, there are many to test out.
Usually, sleeping strategies rely on breathing techniques or practices that help your body relax. So here’s a list of things to try out.
- Mindfulness is the technique that helped me the most, but it requires training before mastering it.
- Relaxing yoga is a technique I tried a couple of times, but it never worked for me.
- Breathing techniques are a great way to relax your body, decrease stress, and allow your body to fall asleep faster.
- The pilot’s strategy is a technique that soldiers use to sleep. It is similar to a body scan but has relaxation instead of investigation purposes. Starting from your face, you try to relax every muscle in your body. So you focus on them one by one and release any tension you may find. Once you finish with your facial muscles, you can proceed with your neck, chest, hands, and legs. And if you still can’t fall asleep, you can repeat the process.
6 — Get a good waking-up system.
When searching for your perfect sleeping routine, you also need to search for an efficient waking-up system.
If you want to improve your sleep-wake pattern, you need to fall asleep and wake up at the same hour. This way, your circadian rhythm aligns with your new routine, and you can benefit from better sleep quality and improved energy when waking up.
Until today, I haven’t found a better way of waking up at the same hour that works better than an analog clock. So I suggest you buy one and put it far from your bed.
Many people suggest putting your smartphone away to increase your waking up consistency. But with vocal commands, this technique doesn’t have the same efficiency as before. I can tell Google to delay my alarm, and it will do it for me. So usually, an alarm clock is more challenging to deactivate than your smartphone, and it will wake you up.
But if you still want to use your smartphone, don’t set multiple alarms at least. Multiple alarms allow you to get back to sleep because you have a backup plan. But as soon as you don’t have one, your body will wake up faster.
Sleeping is one of the central systems of our body, so you can’t neglect it.
If you want to live a healthy life, you need to find your perfect sleeping routine that improves your sleep quality and duration.
Once you find it, you will notice countless benefits ranging from increased energy levels to higher retention of information or even fat loss. And if you have never worked on your perfect sleeping routine before, you can start with a few simple practices:
- Limit coffee usage in the afternoon.
- Avoid backlit devices before going to bed.
- Darken your bedroom as much as possible
- Keep the temperature of your bedroom around 19°C.
- Find a strategy to fall asleep.
- And get an efficient waking-up system.
You can start by working on the simplest of those practices and then improve your perfect sleeping routine with the other ones. Or, if you want, you can even search for other methods I haven’t even discussed. The literature behind sleeping patterns is infinite. You only need to find your perfect sleeping routine and keep it.
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