7 Lifestyle Changes that Can Lead to Better Sleep
|29th September 2021
Sleep is an essential part of your health and wellness. Poor sleep can lead to all sorts of health complications from hypertension to strokes, as well as having an adverse effect on your mood. The good news is that simple lifestyle changes, along with treating the root cause of mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring with eXciteOSA, can improve your health and overall well-being dramatically.
#1 Exercising Regularly, Preferably Before Noon
Exercise is an essential component of maintaining good health. It’s a great way to burn off excess energy and keep your heart healthy. It also helps with sleep by reducing stress, releasing endorphins, and improving your circulation.
Ideally, exercising before noon will give you the most benefit for sleep. Exercising too close to bedtime can create issues such as dehydration, sore muscles, and a racing mind. That last one, a racing mind, is because of all those endorphins that are released during exercise. Your body needs time to calm down from the exertion of exercise and doing that too close to bed usually is a bad idea.
#2 Stop Smoking
Smoking creates all sorts of health problems. The nicotine in cigarette smoke is a stimulant and too many stimulants make it harder to relax. Cigarette smoke also contributes to heart disease and lung disease. Both of these diseases make getting a good night’s sleep even harder since they make it difficult to get the needed oxygen to your cells.
Quitting smoking can be hard but it has huge benefits to not only your sleep but also for your general health and wellbeing. If you’ve tried to quit smoking in the past and found it tough, try to change the narrative a bit. Try not to think “I’m going to quit smoking today”, instead, wake up in the morning and think “I am a non-smoker”. This mindset shift will help you identify as someone who simply does not smoke, rather than applying mental resistance to your current smoking habit.
#3 Reduce Stress by Being Mindful
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. The reason this is a powerful technique for sleep is that being mindful can reduce our stress and our mind racing because of the challenges of the day.
A simple 10-minute daily meditation can help reduce stress and put you in a relaxed state. Meditation can mean many different things depending on who you ask. Some people find that meditation applications or YouTube channels work best for them, some people might like to meditate with their eyes open while they are in the presence of nature, while others might meditate in silence when they simply lay down in their bed. As long as you are being mindful and trying to stay as relaxed as possible by using the breath, you’re doing a great job! This relaxed state of mind will be a big benefit to a better night’s sleep.
#4 Limit Your Intake of Caffeine
Too much caffeine can interrupt your sleep especially if you drink too much or later in the day. Some people can indeed drink a lot of caffeine and still sleep but they are likely an exception to the rule.
The goal of limiting your caffeine is to make it easier for you to fall asleep. We want to have the best chance of that because that will make the eXciteOSA therapy that much more effective.
#5 Eat Healthy
Along with exercise, your diet has a big influence on your health and sleeping. Eating foods that make us feel bloated or puffy will make it harder to sleep. This also goes with spicy foods or foods that might give us heartburn or acid reflux. All of these things will prevent us from being in the best possible state to sleep.
Foods that are inflammatory to you or ones that you might be allergic to should also be avoided. Inflammation can constrict your nose, throat, and windpipe, which is what you want to avoid. Any kind of constriction in those three places makes it harder to breathe.
#6 Try to Sleep & Wake Up at the Same Time
Consistency is key when it comes to a good night’s sleep. Always try to go to bed at the same time. Try to do the same rituals every night as well. Make it a habit to get up at the same time as well. Even on the weekends.
The more consistent you are, the more your body will adjust to when it’s supposed to sleep and not sleep. This consistency is a way to train your mind as well. When you get in the habit of a bedtime routine, at the same time every night, it will allow you to permit yourself to go to bed. Even if you have a lot of unfinished work or projects, making that deal with yourself will pay off.
#7 Keep at It
The most important thing to remember about any habit or lifestyle change is to keep at it. Don’t be discouraged if you fall short – all that matters is that you make the effort to get back into your sleep routine. You’ll find some things work better than others, so the key is to find out what works best for you and double down on these habits. Some users find it helpful to keep a sleep journal.
Building the habit of better sleep will be a journey that will last a lifetime. Sleep is such an important part of being healthy that spending time to make it better is time well spent.