Our sleep hinges directly on how a body feels in the waking hours. Sleeping schedule, lifestyle choices, and bedtime habits can craft an enormous impact on the quality of sleep. It is important to control the pathophysiological factors that are interfering with our sleep. The definition of restful sleep is relative and depends largely on the expectations, duration and quality of sleep, but generally 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep is generally considered ideal for all adults. Chronic insomnia affects millions of individuals worldwide. Experts believe that insomnia can be a symptom as well as a complication of more serious sleep disorders. Adopting good sleeping habits can optimize your physical, mental and psychological health.
Things To Do To Sleep Better:
Following are some tips which helps a person in optimizing their sleep; thereby making them more productive, emotionally balanced and mentally sharp.
Follow a Sleep Schedule:
Individuals who suffers from troubled sleep are encouraged to maintain (and strictly follow) a sleep schedule, which means setting a sleeping and waking up time and following it religiously regardless. This phenomenon is needed to reinforce the body’s sleep-awake cycle which is needed to maintain quality sleep at night.
If due to any reason a person feels sleepy way before the bedtime, distract yourself by engaging in healthy exercises or activities such as dish washing; ironing clothes, reading a book or listening to music. Surrendering against the drowsiness may cause troubled sleep later at night.
Closely Observe and Reevaluate your Eating & Drinking Habits:
- Avoid going to bed with stuffed or hungry stomach as this may cause discomfort.
- Avoid consuming heavy and rich meals at night.
- Fatty foods burden the stomach during digestion processes which may keep you up at night.
- Eating spicy and acidic foods in evening can cause heartburn and stomach problems at night.
- It is better to limit the liquid intake before bed time to avoid disruptive toilet’s trips at night.
- Limit the intake of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine after 6PM. These beverages can directly impair your sleep due to their influence on CNS activity.
Set Bedtime Rituals:
Follow a particular pattern of actions daily to retrain your body that ‘it is sleeping time’. Things like taking shower or warm bath, listening to soft music, reading a good book, doing some simple stretches, listening to a recorded book, arranging your clothes for the next day are some healthy sleep habits that can greatly help in improving the quality of sleep. It is better to avoid the use of electronic devices like television, cell phones etc. before bed as bright light before going to bed can deeply affect the rhythm and quality of sleep.
Create a Comfortable Environment:
It is better to create a friendly and cozy sleeping environment. This refers to a dark, quiet room with proper temperature adjustment (according to the weather). Think about using darker room’s shades, a room cooling device, earplugs and all related stuff which creates a welcoming and cozy environment. A mattress and a pillow are perhaps the most important ingredients needed to maintain quality sleep. It is subjective to adopt good bedding and investing your money in durable pillows and mattresses.
Avoid daytime naps:
People with insomnia should limit daytime naps as it can seriously compromise the quality of sleep at the nighttime. People who suffer from chronic insomnia or stress choose to nap during the day and it is often helpful in achieving optimal productivity and energy, but make sure that your nap is no longer than 30 minutes. If you work night jobs, you can definitely adjust this rule. Make sure to keep the windows covered (or use sleep aids such as masks) to prevent the disrupting sunlight from entering your eyes.
Adopt a Dynamic Lifestyle:
Develop healthy habits such as engage yourself regularly in physical activities (such as sports or running) to maintain quality sleep at night. Physical training promotes restful sleep secondary to physical and mental exhaustion. Experts also recommend exercise to optimize the circulation of blood throughout the body for detoxification (which also helps in sleep induction and maintenance). Other benefits of regular exercise include:
- Elevation of basal metabolic rate.
- Amplification of body temperature.
- Regulation of endocrine hormones.
It is vital to follow timely workout regimens i.e. exercising a few hours before the bedtime can energize a person and promotes healthy sleep at night.
Adopt Stress Management:
Person under severe mental or physical stress suffers very frequently from insomnia and other sleep disorders. It is important for those people to restore peace in their life by adopting healthy ways for stress management. Implement some basics rules in life to be organized, such as set priorities, organize your daily tasks etc.
Other helpful strategies include:
- Allow yourself to take breaks when required.
- It is healthy to engage in productive conversation with old friends.
- Before going to bed, make a list of tasks for the next day and then put them aside.
- Certain relaxing techniques are beneficial for sleep strugglers. This includes, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation (first tense all muscles tightly then relax completely) and visualizing a restful and peaceful place. Practice these techniques before going bed.
Follow these tips for better sleep. If these natural sleeping aids are not helpful in your case, speak to your primary care provider to identify core issues and optimal treatment solutions.