The Ultimate Men’s Guide To Achieving Better Sleep
Men in nature are always on the go. In between the hustle and bustle of your daily life, many things need to be done that you sometimes feel 24 hours a day isn’t enough. It can get quite difficult to keep up with work responsibilities, family time, and an active lifestyle. With so much going on in your schedule, you tend to forget one important thing—sleep.
Most people know that eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are integral keys to keeping the body and mind healthy. But, what about another essential factor, which is getting enough sleep? Men and women alike tend to not take into account the major role that adequate sleep plays in improving quality of life.
Why You Need Enough Sleep
Research shows that inadequate sleep has instantaneous effects on energy balance regulation, brain function, and overall performance of the body. It can also contribute to weight gain and potential risks of several health conditions such as hypertension, stroke, and coronary heart diseases.
In contrast, getting the right quality and quantity of sleep can lead to the following benefits:
- Better exercise performance
- Stronger heart
- Enhanced immune system
- Improved memory
As you can see, sleep can do so much in terms of improving or decreasing your quality of life. However, it’s always easier said than done, and this is very true when it comes to achieving better sleep.
How Men Can Achieve Better Sleep
Men and women have their own sleeping habits and patterns. What works for women may not be as effective to men, and that’s why the list below includes tips that are more geared toward men to help you achieve better quality of sleep:
1. Invest In A Comfortable Mattress And Pillows
Do you ever wonder why people tend to sleep better and more comfortably in hotels? The reason is actually pretty simple—hotels have comfortable and high-quality beds and pillows. If you haven’t considered it yet, you can always get that level of comfort simply by investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows at home like a buckwheat pillow.
A sturdier and thicker mattress won’t only be good for any sleeping position but may also reduce back pain and stiffness. There are basically three types of mattresses available: adjustable, foam, and innerspring. If you want a bouncy yet firm feel, go for the innerspring mattress. For a firmer base with fewer springs, the memory foam type will be a good option.
Additionally, the right bedding could enhance sleep quality especially when it’s made from cool, crisp, and soft materials. To get a complete hotel experience, consider buying a bedding set that contains the following:
- Fitted sheets to cover the mattress
- Flat top sheets that could include duvets, quilts, or blankets
- Pillowcases or pillow shams
Pillows may sometimes be included when you buy a bedding set, but if you want to get better quality, it’s recommended to buy them separately. As humble as they may appear to be, pillows can greatly contribute to achieving better quality of sleep. The right pillows can prevent you from getting nerve pain, muscle stiffness, and herniated discs.
There are several types of pillows available, and it can be confusing to choose which one to buy, especially when looking at your options online. Down pillows are fluffy, firm, and less expensive. If you’re after head and neck support, memory foam pillows in solid style might be what you’re looking for.
If your quality of sleep has been negatively affected because of muscle strain and tension, it could be because you’re not able to properly rest your head and neck when you sleep. Perhaps it’s time you consider buying a buckwheat pillow, also known as the Sobakawa pillow. This traditional Japanese pillow is filled with seed-like grains called buckwheat, making it durable.
Buckwheat pillows are said to be useful in supporting spinal alignment and proper posture. Men who like sleeping on their sides usually vouch for this type of pillow because the buckwheat fillings are firm enough to fill the gap between the head and shoulder. Buckwheat pillows may also help in promoting airflow, thus letting you get a cooler and more comfortable sleep.
If you want to learn more about buckwheat pillows, feel free to check out this video: America’s Finest Buckwheat Pillow | The Best Sobakawa Buckwheat Hulls Pillow by PineTales®
2. Improve Your Bedroom’s Sleep Environment
After getting the right mattress, bedding, and pillows, you also shouldn’t forget about the sleep environment that your bedroom offers. The room can’t just be comfortable—it has to present a sleep-friendly environment that’ll make you feel excited to sleep at night.
Make sure the bedroom is quiet, especially when it’s your time to sleep. Find ways to create a dark yet comfortable ambiance. You can do this by installing blackout curtains that could reduce the amount of light that enters the room. If you work on shifting schedules, and graveyard shifts can’t be avoided, blackout curtains can help you in making the room look and feel darker even when the sun’s brightly shining outside.
Other things that you can do to improve your bedroom’s environment are:
- Keep the temperature generally cooler, just enough to not wake you up shivering or sweating in the middle of your sleep.
- Remember that beds are made for sleeping (and romance, of course) and as such, don’t use them for other activities such as watching TV, drinking, eating, doing homework, or even talking on the phone.
- Reduce noise. Avoid playing too loud music whenever you’re about to sleep. If you can’t reduce outside noise, wear earplugs.
Your bedroom’s environment should help you get more sleep. It should be that one place in your home where you can relax, feel comfortable, and be at ease so that you can easily put yourself to sleep when it’s time for bed.
3. Avoid Consuming Caffeine, Alcohol, And Sugar Before Bedtime
If you want to achieve better and deeper sleep, you need to lessen your sugar, caffeine, and alcohol intake, at least, a few hours before bedtime. The ideal time to have your last cup of coffee should be at around 2 pm-4 pm as caffeine has an ideal half-life of 8-10 hours. If your last caffeine intake is at 2 pm, and you plan on going to bed at 10pm, that should give you enough time to down the caffeine and get to sleep.
Most people think that it’s good to consume alcohol if you want to fall asleep quickly. What they don’t know is that alcohol can actually prevent you from getting into a deeper stage of sleep. Thus, you easily toss and turn in bed. Eventually, you’ll find yourself awake in the middle of the night.
If you plan on drinking after work or just to destress at home, take note that the body takes, at least, an hour to metabolize one glass of alcoholic beverage. So, if you plan on drinking one glass, don’t go to bed for an hour. If you’ll have three drinks, that’s also three hours of being awake before you can snooze off.
4. Track Your Sleep Habits
People are usually in denial when it comes to their different habits and routines. Whenever they find it hard to sleep, they tend to blame it on other external factors such as insomnia. In reality, you can find out what’s keeping you awake at night by just observing your sleep and other daily habits.
You can easily monitor your sleep habits and other activities by trying sleep-monitoring apps. There are also activity trackers that can track how much time it takes you to fall asleep, as well as certain sleep interruptions that you experience.
Just be careful when choosing an app or tracker for sleep monitoring. Some apps may not be as accurate as others, so research thoroughly before trying anything.
5. Get Enough Exercise
Working out has a lot of benefits to the mind and body, including helping you get a good night’s sleep. It can contribute to stabilizing your mood and decompressing your mind. A clearer mind and better mood can lead to a better state of mental well-being. If you’re stress-free before going to bed, it promotes better sleep. When you wake up, you’ll feel more energized and ready to face a brand-new day.
However, you also need to keep in mind that the timing of your exercise or workout routine may matter when it comes to achieving better sleep. Some men who are physically active like to exercise at night, which might keep them awake for longer hours. For others, though, they claim that the time of exercise doesn’t affect their bedtime. It can get tricky, but as a rule of the thumb, observe yourself and apply which exercise schedule works best for you.
6. Avoid Taking Long Or Irregular Naps During The Day
It’s sometimes unavoidable to feel sleepy during the day, especially when you’re at home on Sundays or other rest days. While a power nap can make you feel energetic, be careful not to take long or irregular naps because that can negatively affect your quality of sleep.
Sleeping or napping during the day might confuse your biological clock. As a result, you’ll struggle to fall asleep at night. Moreover, feeling sleepy in the daytime might be an indication that you’re not getting enough sleep the night before. If you’re getting better and enough sleep at bedtime, that’ll also reduce the times you’ll feel sleepy the following day.
7. Avoid Stressful Talks Before Bedtime
As mentioned earlier, a stress-free mind can help you sleep better and more quickly. Therefore, stressing yourself out before bedtime can obviously make it difficult for you to fall asleep. You’ll notice this to be true if you’ve experienced having a fight with your wife or girlfriend, at least, an hour or two before going to bed.
An elevated level of stress can affect deep sleep. It’ll make you uneasy and you’ll experience several sleep interruptions throughout the night. Before you know it, it’s almost time to wake up and get ready for work or school.
If you can, avoid stressful talks or topics before going to sleep. If it’s possible, talk it out in the morning, unless it’s an emergency that you’ll need to tackle at that very moment.
8. Treat Any Sleep Disorders That You May Have
If you’ve been trying your best to achieve better sleep to no avail, maybe it’s time to evaluate if you have any sleep disorder that’s preventing you from getting quality sleep. Several sleep disorders don’t only affect how much sleep you get at night, but might also impact your quality of life in general.
It’ll be of great help to educate yourself on the different sleep disorders that you may possibly have so that you’ll also know the next steps to take. Some of the most common sleep disorders that people suffer from are insomnia and sleep apnea.
Consult your doctor and share on any signs and symptoms you’ve been experiencing. Upon diagnosis, the doctor will then suggest treatments or medications that can help treat or alleviate the condition.
9. Take Supplements That Can Induce Sleep And Relaxation
Another way to achieve better sleep is to take sleep-inducing supplements such as melatonin. This sleep hormone is responsible for telling your brain when it’s time to relax and go to bed. Melatonin has gained popularity over the years, and it’s usually used to treat insomnia.
Other natural supplements that you can consider include magnesium, valerian root, ginkgo biloba, glycine, and lavender. These are mostly natural herbs that may aid in stress reduction, relaxation, and enhanced sleep quality.
Sleep is just as important as other aspects of life, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet. Don’t take it for granted. Find ways to improve your sleep habits. Aside from enhancing your bedroom environment, invest in quality and comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding sets. Rule out any sleep disorders you may have to better plan how you can achieve better sleep.
As a man, it’s integral to have a strong mind and body to keep up with all the responsibilities you have. Take care of yourself and sleep well by following the tips above.