Falling asleep and staying asleep may seem the bane of many today! But having good sleep is within your control. Following a healthy sleep schedule can make a huge difference between restlessness and calmness. It can help overcome sleep disorders you may have without resorting to sleeping medicines. Or even save you a visit to a sleep specialist. Here are some simple tips which researchers refer to as “sleep hygiene”:
1. Sleep and wake up the same time every day
It’s good to follow sleep and wake patterns every day. This will improve your sleep quality in the long run. Those who have trouble sleeping, erratic sleep times and go to bed late on weekends are deprived of sleep.
Exceeding more than 7 hours of sleep could lead to a heart condition. 7 hours or less would be sufficient. Your sleep pattern should not vary too much from weekdays to weekends. It allows you to control your body system. If you don’t dose off to sleep within the first 20 minutes, it may be better to leave your bedroom and engage in something relaxing. Pick up a book or enjoy some relaxing music to calm yourself. Return to your bed only when you’re ready to sleep. Follow this ritual as often as you need to.
2. Stop overeating 2 hours before sleep
You wouldn’t want to go to sleep with hunger pangs or a bloated feeling. Refrain from overeating within a few hours before bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you awake. Eating into the night may negatively impact your sleep quality.
It would be good to avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. The effects of these take hours to wear off and will disrupt your sleep. Your concentration and energy can be enhanced with just a single dose. But if you consume it a few hours before bed, you will feel invigorated and it would be impossible to calm down naturally. When you consume caffeine about 6 hours before bedtime it can notably worsen your quality of sleep.
3. Make your room quiet, dark and cool
Make your bedroom perfect for sleeping. Ideally it should be quiet, dark and cool. It may be challenging to fall asleep with excessive exposure to light. It helps to avoid before bedtime electronic screens with blue light when you look at laptop or mobile phone’s screen. Consider using thick curtains to block off the natural light, plug your ears, and make your bedroom an ideal setting that enhances sleep.
To get a goodnight’s sleep, many feel that it’s important to get the bedroom environment and its setting right. This can include choice and arrangement of furniture, room temperature, noise level and external lights to name a few. External noise or “white noise” from your surroundings can lead to disturbed sleep and even affect our health over time. To create your perfect bedroom environment, try to reduce blue light from alarm clocks as well as external noise. Work towards making your bedroom a clean, quiet and relaxing place to retire to.
4. Take a relaxing bath or shower
You can also enjoy a good night’s sleep with a relaxing bath or shower. Your overall sleep quality improves and it helps you fall asleep faster. A hot bath an hour or so before you get into bed improves your sleep quality immensely. Simply bathing your feet in hot water whenever you can’t take a full bath at night can make you more relaxed and improve your quality of sleep.
5. Take in more bright light during the day
You have an inbuilt clock. It shapes your mind and body, which helps to keep you on the go till bedtime. Daylight energises you throughout the day and improves your sleep pattern during the night. Alternatively you can always install bright lightning if you can’t get your daylight time every day.
6. Limit long daytime naps
Try to avoid long naps during the day as it will interfere with your sleep pattern during the night. If you choose to catch 40 winks, you can but not more than 30 minutes during the day. Although “power naps” can be effective, your quality of sleep at night can be negatively affected by long or erratic napping during the day. Your internal body clock gets confused when you sleep during the day as such you find it difficult to sleep at night. At times you even get tired in the midst of your day in spite of taking catnaps. But when you nap for 30 minutes or less during the day you perk up your alertness. But if your naps are long it could take a toll on your state of health and sleep condition.
7. Exercise anytime daily except before bed
Aim for a good workout, but even light exercise beats having no activity at all. Regular physical activity can enhance your quality of sleep. Try to be less active close to bedtime. You can exercise at any other time of the day. Having a regular workout is proven to enhance your health and sleep quality, even reducing signs of insomnia. Exercise has proven to be more beneficial than drugs to insomnia patients with serious issues. Exercise took them half the time to drop off to sleep and for a longer time span.
8. Get a comfy mattress and pillow
Why do we have more restful sleep in hotels? The room ambience helps but the beds are very comfortable too. A change of bedding gives you a better sleep. But uncomfortable beds can give you a backache. Our bed needs to be comfy and provide the support you need for your back. Have just the right pillows for you and spruce up your bedroom often to make it more attractive and cosy.
9. Don’t drink any liquids before bedtime
Trips to the bathroom at night can affect your sleep pattern as well as your energy level during the day. Consuming liquids in excess before you sleep can have the same effect, though it affects people differently. Although drinking water is most essential, it’s good to limit the amount you consume closer to your bedtime. It helps to habitually go to the bathroom just before you get into bed, and so give you an uninterrupted sleep.
10. Don’t be anxious when you go to bed
It is helpful to gradually calm your thoughts and activities before retiring to bed. Take note of your thoughts till you wake up the next morning. Activities to de-stress yourself would help. You could get more organised, set goals and delegate your tasks.
Getting a customised Seifu Therapy targeted toward stress relief to ease anxiety. Clock-watching too from your bed when you’re awake during the night can be stressful. Avoid turning your clock to face you.
Sleep plays a crucial role in your health. It was discovered that insufficient sleep had a higher risk of obesity in children than adults. And having less than 7–8 hours of sleep every night makes you more prone to an increase in heart ailments and diabetes. If you aim to have the best possible health, then you should value the type of sleep you get every night.
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