6 habits to improve sleep quality

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    23rd February 2023 – (Hong Kong) Quality sleep can be elusive, especially for the 70 million American adults living with sleep disorders and . Poor sleep hygiene and anxiety are just some of the factors that could prevent you from getting the much-needed rest your body requires. Meanwhile, sleep disorders are a growing concern in Asia, affecting millions of people and posing significant health risks. According to the Asia Pacific Sleep Alliance, up to 45% of the adult population in some Asian countries suffer from sleep-related issues, with many experiencing chronic sleep deprivation.

    Getting seven to eight hours of sleep is crucial for regulating mental and physical health. A good night’s sleep can positively affect your mood, decision-making, muscle repair, and immune system, among other benefits.

    If you struggle with poor sleep quality and feel far from refreshed when you wake up, incorporating these six habits into your daily routine can help you improve your sleep quality.

    Here are the six best habits for better sleep:

    1. Establish a Bedtime Routine Creating a calming bedtime routine can help prepare your mind and body for sleep. The human body responds well to routine, and your body can learn when it is time to sleep when you establish a consistent routine. Reading a book, meditating, taking a bath, and sipping on a cup of caffeine-free tea before bed can promote relaxation and ease anxiety.
    2. Stay off Electronics before Bed Electronic devices emit blue light that disrupts the body’s natural internal clock and reduces the production of melatonin. Notifications and other stimuli from phones or tablets also keep your mind alert when you should be winding down for bed. Therefore, it is best to avoid electronics for at least 30 minutes before bed.
    3. Exercise during the Day Physical activity during the day can help you sleep better at night. It increases your heart rate, improving sleep quality and even potentially taking the place of sleep medications. Avoid high-intensity workouts close to bedtime to keep your heart rate from spiking.
    4. Avoid Late Afternoon Caffeine Consuming caffeine too close to bedtime can keep you from falling asleep. The half-life of caffeine is four to six hours, which means it takes that long for half of the caffeine to break down in your system, keeping you alert for an extended period of time. Limit your last cup of coffee to at least six hours before bed.
    5. Start Journaling Journaling before bed can help you organise or release stressful thoughts, clearing your mind for a good night’s sleep. It can also help you prepare for the week ahead by allowing you to work through the tasks and responsibilities you need to tackle.
    6. Consider Natural Sleep Aids Natural sleep aids can help promote better sleep and serve as an alternative to sleep medications. Some easy-to-find home remedies and aids include lavender oil, tart cherry juice, and valerian root.

    Incorporating these six habits into your daily routine can help improve your sleep quality and promote better overall health. Start by establishing a consistent bedtime routine and staying away from electronics before bed. Incorporate exercise during the day, avoid caffeine late in the afternoon, and consider natural sleep aids. Finally, start journaling to organise your thoughts and promote relaxation.