There can’t be more emphasis on how important a good night’s sleep is. It helps your body heal, repair and makes it ready for the next day’s routine.
Instead of getting that much-needed shut-eye, are you spending your nights tossing and turning around on the bed. In that case here are a few super easy lifestyle changes you should incorporate to get a good undisturbed sleep.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule: Well, it’s a much-heard statement, nothing new about it. Yet it’s here as my opening line because this is by far one of the most classic, proven advice which has stood the test of time. Your body has an internal clock called circadian rhythm and by having a regular sleep cycle your brain knows when to be alert and attentive and when to rest. It not only leads to better sleep but also a more productive day ahead.
Have a good pre-sleep routine: Start your wind-down process well before your actual bedtime. One fixed routine might not suit everyone but a general idea is to disconnect from electronics one hour before sleeping, taking a warm bath, dimming the lights, making your bed and doing a few relaxation exercises if time permits.
Start journaling: It is a difficult task to sleep with random thoughts running circles in your mind, and writing them down is the best way to free your mind. Journal writing is like having a personal therapist whenever you need one. It is there to listen to your bad days, good days, stresses and emotions. Writing on a regular basis helps your mind have its emotional release and thereby reduces your anxiety, stress and induces better sleep.
Watch your meals: The kind of foods that you consume, the meal timings, all of it influences your sleep. Talking about timing, it is a good idea to have your last meal at least 2 hours before bedtime. The types of foods to consume and to not consume before bedtime and its reasoning is a vast topic,, but the general guidelines being not having caffeine after late afternoon, having a low calorie, less spicy dinner, and for hunger pangs near bedtime reaching out for sleep-friendly foods like almonds, walnuts, kiwis, cherries, bananas, warm milk or a cup of chamomile tea.
Maintain light balance: This bit composes of 2 parts, getting enough sunlight or daylight during the day and reduced blue light exposure towards the night.
When you reach out for sunlight your brain auto awakens and regulates your body rhythm. A few ways to do that are opening the windows as soon as you’re up, going out for a jog in the morning, and grabbing a seat by the window in the office if possible.
Following the same mechanism, by exposing yourself to blue light at bedtime your brain gets tricked into believing it is not sleeping time yet. So the ideal action to take would be surrendering all the electrical appliances well before bedtime. In case of emergencies or work-related use, use a blue light filter to minimize the ill-effects.
Exercise on a daily basis: exercise and sleep have a bidirectional relationship. So as much as exercise helps have a better and deeper sleep experience, for a longer duration, this good sleep motivates a good fitness routine and this cycle goes on to make sure you have a well-balanced workout and rest. And bonus, exercise also increases natural alertness and productivity during the day. Cheers!!
Avoid napping during the day: This isn’t exactly a thumb rule to be followed, as a power nap during the day does help some people. But for folks with sleep problems, it could cause sleeplessness at night. This much said I will leave it up to you to make a choice.
Do not resort to sleep meds without consultation: It is very tempting to just pop a pill when you are super exhausted but not getting any shut-eye. But those pills won’t do any good in the long run. The body starts to react less to those medicines with every passing day requiring you to increase the dose, and the medicine eventually becoming ineffective. Even then, it is not a complete no-no, you might have to take sleeping pills or other medications to treat some underlying sleep disorder, but do consult a board-certified sleep physician before reaching out for any medication.
If I have missed out on any important trick that you think our readers deserve, do let me know in the comment section below.