Do you want to start sleeping better? It's no fun having difficulty sleeping. Our sleeping patterns change as we age. For some, this means having to deal with a sleep problem for the first time or deal with a new sleep issue. Whether you have trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, waking too early, or suffer from a restless sleep, these problems can interfere with your life and affect your health. Here are four things that may help you get better sleep.
Many people find themselves feeling worried about all the things they have to get done. This anxiety can interfere with falling asleep. Some believe that writing about the future increases stresses over incomplete errands and tasks. That may not generally be true.
Researchers at Baylor University wanted to see if the act of penning a to-do list would offset sleep-interfering anxiety about unfinished tasks. The research compared the sleep patterns of 57 students. Some students took five minutes to make a to-do list. The other students journaled about the things they'd accomplished. According to their study, writing your to-do list before retiring to bed may help you nod off.
Insomnia, personality traits, and tendencies toward anxiety or depression are other factors that could moderate the effects of writing a to-do list before bedtime. This study may not apply to insomniacs. But researchers believe that some writing activities may help people with insomnia.
Some people prefer to write a to-do list on paper, but you can write down a to-do list on a smart device too. All you need is a note-taking app and a stylus. Then you're ready to start winding down for bedtime by writing your to-do list on your smart device.
There's another option if you would like to use your device for keeping track of your to-do list. That option is a to-do list app. It could be that the act of writing a to-do list is more therapeutic than creating a to-do list with an app. But maybe the act of organizing a to-do list at the end of the day, regardless of format, could be beneficial to your sleep. If you want to use your computer or mobile device to make your list, a to-do list app is a wonderful tool.
To-do list apps have been popular since the dawning of our smart devices. If you want to try using a to-do list app, you have a plethora of choices. If you're still on the quest for the perfect to-do list app, keep looking. New to-do list apps are always in the works, and well-known to-do list apps improve.
One study has concluded that pink noise helped older adults enjoy deeper sleep. Researchers used a novel sound system that increases sound stimulation effectiveness in older adults. They read the participant's brain waves in real-time and applied pink noise at the exact moment of neuron communication during deep sleep. Not only did it improve sleep, but it also enhanced memory performance.
Unlike white noise, pink noise emphasizes lower pitches. It sounds even or flat. Pink noise is what you hear when listening to sounds like steady rainfall or rustling leaves. Researchers say that pink noise is a simple, safe option for getting better sleep and possibly improving your brain's health.
Affordable devices that offer the sound technology used in this study aren't available now. But you can find ways to add pink noise to your sleep hygiene regimen.
You can listen to sleep-inducing pink noise using:
Various options and settings are available on pink noise apps and sleep noise machines. You may need to experiment to find something that sounds pleasant to you.
The use of electronic gadgets before bedtime impairs sleep due to the emission of blue light. A study has shown that wearing glasses that block blue light improves sleep. Blocking blue light helps in more ways than one. Those who used blue-light blocking spectacles fell asleep faster and slept better and longer than those who didn't use them. The blue-light blocking group also had higher melatonin levels than those who took melatonin pills.
While gadgets radiate significant artificial blue-light levels, the sun emits more natural blue light than any other source. Since the sun goes down at night, it's the blue light from our devices that impacts us most in the evening. But you don't have to quit using your electronics at night.
You can also use built-in features on your devices to lower blue-light exposure. Flux is a well-known app that reduces blue-light emissions. It's available for smart devices and computers.
Anxiety caused by not hitting a sleeping goal keeps some people up at night. Many people buy a sleep-tracking device or fitness tracker that monitors sleep, hoping it will help them sleep better. Some research has shown that sleep trackers make things worse for some people due to a specific type of anxiety.
Researchers have coined the term "orthosomnia." It means "correct sleep." They use it to describe a condition of extreme preoccupation or worry about improving or perfecting one's wearable sleep data. Orthosomnia is an unhealthy quest to achieve the perfect night's sleep.
Researchers also found that orthosomniacs put too much confidence in sleep tracker data. Data from sleep trackers is sometimes faulty. This issue is a bigger problem for orthosomiancs because they have difficulty accepting that the data is not always accurate. Altering their perceptions of their device's sleep data is difficult. Their overconfidence and reliance on sleep tracker data reinforce their unhealthy sleeping habits.
Issues with consumer wearable sleep trackers:
They don't accurately discriminate stages of sleep.
They have low accuracy in detecting waking after sleep onset.
Accuracy is impossible to calculate due to the lack of transparency in the device algorithms.
Consumer-wearable technology that tracks your sleep may not help everyone get adequate rest. If using a sleep tracker or sleep tracking app causes you anxiety, taking off the sleep tracker or deleting the app could be a better choice for you.