If you have trouble getting proper sleep, you’re not alone. Sleep is vital to both your health and happiness. We all have trouble sleeping from time to time; a lack of sleep can have serious effects on our health, increasing our propensity for obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many other diseases.
If you've been having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may have turned to sleep medications in search of more restful slumber. However, these drugs can have side effects. You don't need to avoid sleep aids if you absolutely need them, but before you turn to pills, try these tips to help you get a better night's sleep:
Set a Sleep Schedule:
Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Our bodies adapt very quickly to our sleeping habits. Notice that if you stay up late and eat, your digestion tends to run amuck. Most people require 7-8 hours of sleep to function optimally. If you keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, you will feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. Your body is much more efficient at sleeping and preparing for sleep if you can maintain a schedule.
Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine:
Make your bedroom more sleep friendly and also make sure that your bed is comfortable. If you often wake up with a sore back or an aching neck, you may need to invest in a new mattress or a try a different pillow. You can also try some relaxing bedtime rituals like:
Listen to soft music, read a book or magazine, take a warm bath, make simple preparations for the next day, listen some audio program, etc.
Going for a brisk daily walk won't just trim you down; it will also keep you up less often at night. Exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin. Exercising too close to bedtime can be stimulating.
Keep it Comfortable:
Many people use the television to fall asleep or relax at the end of the day, and this is a mistake. If your favorite TV show is on late at night, record it for viewing earlier in the day. Television and computer aren’t the only possible distraction in your bedroom. Ambience can affect your sleep quality too. Make sure your bedroom is as comfortable as possible. Avoid bright lights before bed…Ideally you want "a quiet, dark, cool environment.” The darker it is, the better you’ll sleep.
Eat—But Not Too Much:
A grumbling stomach can be distracting enough to keep you awake, but so can an overly full belly. Avoid eating a big meal within two to three hours of bedtime. If you're hungry right before bed, eat a small healthy snack to satisfy you until your breakfast.
Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine:
If you do have a snack before bed, wine and chocolate shouldn't be part of it. Chocolate contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Surprisingly, alcohol has a similar effect. "People think it makes them a little sleepy, but it's actually a stimulant and it disrupts sleep during the night."
Do Some Relaxation Techniques for a Good Sleep:
Relaxation is beneficial for everyone, but especially for those struggling with sleep. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed is a great way to relax and calm your mind, and prepare for sleep. Some simple relaxation techniques include:
Deep breathing, Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Visualizing a Peaceful & Restful place.
Sleep is an important part of maintaining health and enjoying life. If you’d enjoy sleeping more like a baby, keep these tips in mind. Maintain a regular sleeping schedule and ensure that your sleeping environment supports peaceful sleep.