Top Tips for Better Sleep and Improved Health

If you’re one of the many with difficulty falling and staying asleep, you could face some health issues very soon. Nothing can be as frustrating as lying down after a long, stressful day and praying that sleep will come.  But, as we’re sure you’re aware, better sleep leads to better health. More specifically, it leads to better testosterone levels and hormonal balance.    

Instead of rattling off all the adverse effects of poor sleep, let’s touch on how obtaining good sleep impacts male health. We’ll cover a variety of factors that can help you get the sleep that your body and mind need to ensure that you can live a happy and productive life.

How to Increase Sleep Quality and Quantity

Several factors play an important role in sleep and our sleeping patterns. Following some simple rules and making a few lifestyle changes could be all needed to get you from restless and irritable to well-rested and productive. However, you may very well have some bad habits when it comes to getting the required quality and quantity of sleep.

1. Consider Environmental Cues – Sun and Meals

Setting your body clock can help improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Your circadian rhythm regulates various physiological processes, including sleep-wake cycles, hormone production, and metabolism. It is influenced by external cues, primarily the natural light-dark cycle. You can optimize your sleep patterns and overall health by aligning your activities with your circadian rhythm. Here are some pointers!

·       To start, with an alarm, get up at the same time daily, including on weekends. This practice will set your circadian rhythm to trigger automatically and help reduce insomnia.

·       Once you’re awake, get sun exposure to your eyes and skin within 15 to 30 minutes. Sunlight is the single greatest tool for setting and maintaining your circadian rhythm, even on a cloudy day.

·       After sunlight comes breakfast. Those who skip breakfast repeatedly report poorer sleep than those who eat earlier. Irregular meal consumption negatively impacts all layers of sleep. Avoid consuming large meals 2 hours or more before bed.

·       Then, go to bed within the same hour block daily; rhythm is everything for sleep. For every one-hour change in how long someone sleeps from night to night, there was a 27% higher chance of developing metabolic syndrome

Maintaining a constant sleep schedule is key to regulating your circadian rhythm. Going to and waking from sleep at the same hour daily helps train your body to fall asleep and wake up naturally, promoting more restful sleep. Exposure to natural daylight during the daytime and minimizing exposure to artificial light, especially blue light emitted by electronic devices, in the evening can also help synchronize your circadian rhythm.

Also, remember that a regular meal pattern can help regulate your sleeping patterns. Avoid evening snacking on foods with high sugar content, as they can confuse the body. Irregular meal consumption also has the same effect. Also, avoid consuming a large meal 3 hours or less before bedtime. This type of eating is associated with poor sleep.

2. Avoid Sleep Disruptors – Caffeine and Screens

Many of us enjoy our caffeine in the mornings as a part of our wake-up routine and throughout the day. However, stopping caffeine consumption for 8 to 10 hours before sleeping is best. For as much as you may like to have a caffeinated soda with lunch or during the evening, it’ll help to maintain a better quality of sleep if you know when it’s too late to consume them.

This practice will set your circadian rhythm to trigger automatically and help reduce insomnia. Caffeine level in your blood peaks one hour after consumption and stays at this level for several hours. Half of the caffeine you drink remains in your body six hours after consumption. It typically takes up to 12 hours to completely clear caffeine from your bloodstream. Even if 20% is still in your system, it can disturb your sleep.

If you’re the type that likes to lay in bed glued to the TV or the smartphone, scrolling through your social media posts before hitting the hay, this could be severely disrupting your body’s ability to wind down. Luminous artificial light exposure between 9 and 11 pm disrupts melatonin release and dopamine regulation. Minimizing bright artificial light and screen time 2 hours before bed will help your body realize it’s time for bed. 

Many phones and e-readers have a night mode that can cut down screen glare and help to reduce eye strain. Night mode also lowers the amount of blue light that screens emit, the same blue light that can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Although it’s best to put your mobile device down at least 2 hours before you want to sleep, for those who cannot resist the urge to tinker with them just before bed may, turning on night mode is a step in the right direction.

3. Embrace Sleep Enablers – Calm, Darkness, Baths, and More

Making a few adjustments to your bedroom environment and your nighttime routine can help you get the quantity and quality of sleep your body needs to wake up feeling rested and having the energy to face the day. These suggestions are minor and don’t require much effort.

·       Keep your bedroom clutter-free, dark, and cold. A relaxed, calm, and orderly bedroom can do wonders to induce sleep. If it’s messy, give it a good cleaning and tidying up. Put everything away that isn’t necessary to help you to remain undistracted at bedtime.

·       A cool bedroom is better for sleep than a toasty one. Crawling under the covers and in from the cold helps our bodies relax once we feel the warmth. In addition, a cold bedroom is one of the most profound and uncomplicated methods to increase sleep quality and quantity. Shoot for 65-68 °F.

·       Daily exercise is crucial to keep our bodies healthy. A sedentary lifes usually leads to many health conditions like obesity, heart issues, and, yes, unhealthy sleep patterns. Zone 2 cardio (exercise performed within a heart rate zone representing 60% to 70% of the maximum heart rate (MHR)) can dramatically improve sleep quality.

·       After a stressful workday, a warm shower or an inviting bath can ease away the day’s pains. However, don’t limit yourself to that post-crazy-workday self-care spa-like experience in the evenings when you truly need to unwind. An evening shower or bath at 104 and 108.5 degrees Fahrenheit water 1-2 hours before bed improves sleep quality and decreases sleep latency (time to fall asleep) by about 10 minutes.

·       Finally, close your blinds and draw the curtains. Purchasing blackout curtains can help to keep the bedroom dark.

Sleep supplements can do wonders to encourage our bodies to sleep naturally. Sleeping tablets should be avoided as they can lead to dependency and other issues. Magnesium is a great aid to help our bodies to relax and prepare for a restful night of quality sleep. Take magnesium malate before bed. 

Try taking magnesium malate, magnesium citrate, or magnesium glycinate with at least 400 mg daily one hour before bedtime. A mineral involved with over 300 enzymatic bodily processes, this one nutrient profoundly affects health and sleep.

What is The Connection Between Sleep, Testosterone, and Other Hormones?

As we’re sure you’re aware, better sleep leads to better health. More specifically, it leads to better testosterone levels and hormonal balance. Testosterone, the male primary sex hormone, plays an important role in many bodily functions. The relationship between sleep and testosterone is so profound that simply having low testosterone interferes with getting a good night’s sleep. As a result, improving one directly enhances the other.

First, most of the daily testosterone release in men occurs during sleep. Men with difficulty sleeping or simply staying asleep rarely reach the level where this crucial hormone can be released. It can lead to low testosterone levels that can affect your ability to sleep and disrupt many of the body’s other functions. Testing testosterone levels can be performed in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Additionally, poor sleep can disrupt the production and regulation of other hormones such as cortisol, insulin, and growth hormone. These imbalances can greatly affect metabolism, energy levels, stress response, and overall well-being. Therefore, prioritizing healthy sleep habits and seeking treatment for sleep disorders can be crucial in maintaining hormonal balance and optimizing men’s health.

Follow the Sleep Quantity Requirements

Although some of us don’t require as much sleep as others, there are some basic requirements for what we need. Some people are incredibly rare and can function on less sleep, but for most of us, without an adequate amount of quality sleep, our mental, emotional, and physical health will decline. Babies require the most sleep, including naps, at 14 to 17 hours a day. For adults, this is by far way too much.

School-aged kids aged 6 to 18 generally require approximately 9 to 10 hours of sleep daily. As we hit our adult years from 18 to 60, this number drops to 7 hours of sleep daily. Older adults over 61 generally need to sleep between 7 to 9 hours.

Do You Know the Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep?

Most of the benefits of getting enough sleep are obvious. Nothing feels as good as waking up after a good night’s sleep, especially for those with difficulty sleeping or staying asleep. The body and mind need rest from our stressful days, but the advantages don’t end there. The benefits of getting good quality sleep include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting sick less often
  • Reduces the risks of serious health conditions such as heart disease
  • Improved mood
  • Increased energy
  • Better decision-making skills

We hope you don’t need to be reminded that good health means going to the doctor regularly. Stress, circadian rhythm disruptions, a poor diet, lack of exercise, hormonal imbalances, and other men’s health issues can lead to sleep disorders such as insomnia, delayed sleep phase syndrome, or shift work disorder. These issues can significantly impact your sleep quality and overall well-being. Therefore, you must consult a doctor if you are experiencing persistent sleep problems. They can assess your situation, identify underlying health issues, and provide appropriate guidance or treatment options.

Regular medical checkups are crucial as they allow healthcare professionals to detect and address potential sleep-related problems before they become more serious, helping you maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle and overall health.

Top Tips for Better Sleep and Improved Health: The Key Takeaway

The relationship between sleep and testosterone is profound. Increase your sleep quantity and quality by setting your internal clock with environmental cures and focusing on sleep enablers while avoiding sleep disruptors. A few lifestyle changes – not eating after a certain time, putting down that cell phone before bedtime, and avoiding sugary or caffeinated snacks and beverages – can help you to get the rest your body and mind need. A warm bath or shower before hitting a cool bedroom can sometimes do the trick.

If you can’t get 7 hours of sleep per night, your body is more prone to illness and injury. Therefore, making critical lifestyle changes is crucial if you consistently have trouble sleeping. Men who feel they could be low-T victims should consult with a men’s healthcare professional and have their testosterone and other hormones checked.

Getting enough rest is an important part of your health. Sleep as if your life depends on it because it does.