Sleep isn’t equal. For some it’s given in plenty, for some it’s a scanty resource. Everybody dreams of a good night’s sleep but not everyone gets it. Is there something that can be done on a daily basis to make sure that you can sleep better? There is and here are some suggestions.
- Kick the bad habits
Smoking is stimulating; it won’t help sleep. If you’re a heavy smoker, come night time, you may find yourself reaching for a cigarette. Once you take that first puff, your body comes awake, not letting you sleep. Quit it now and in a matter of days, you’ll see your sleep rhythms get better. While it’s true that alcohol helps people fall asleep faster, it’s also been seen that there’s a reduction of REM sleep. The Rapid Eye Movement stage is the dream stage and that’s where all the healing happens. If REM is disturbed, it can make you sleepy the next day, affecting your concentration as well. Kick the smoking and drinking habit if you want better sleep.
- Get moving
Some physical exercise is mandatory each day. If your activity raises your heartbeat and tires you out, it can improve your sleep by leaps and bounds. After a workout, your body’s temperature rises and stays that way for a few hours. In such a stage, your body does not rest. But as it cools down, it signals to your brain- you’re feeling sleepy now! Sleep! So exercise every day and not too close to your bedtime. If you can’t find the time to exercise in the day, consider mild exercise like yoga. This can be performed even close to bedtime, and when coupled with meditation, can prove therapeutic.
- Think about your naps
Despite their sometimes bad reputation, naps are good- they increase productivity to such an extent that many companies have actual nap rooms where employees can catnap. But, if your need to sleep is compulsive, and because you’ve been feeling lethargic and sleepy the whole day, then there may be other factors at play, including stress and health issues. A short nap under an hour and a half, even a fifteen minute snooze, can help you in many ways, with creativity and concentration. Make sure to not overdo it. And if you find yourself dropping off mid-work during the day, do speak to a doctor about it.
- Put it out of your mind
If you’re the kind of person who overthinks everything, then sleep can be elusive. Many people have a way of taking an issue so much to heart that they cannot see straight. Some folks think and overthink every single aspect of whatever they are dealing with and they do it so many times, that even when they lie in bed with every intention of sleeping, they find themselves unable to. Don’t dwell on your troubles and issues. Process them with logic and sense, think about what you can and cannot do, work on what you can and let go of what you can’t. Carry the same attitude when you go to bed to sleep. Empty your mind of corrosive thoughts, focus on breathing deeply and naturally and calm yourself. This will aid sleep.
- Lessen gadget dependency
Every single one of us knows this- gadgets at night time are bad for us. They create the blue light effect that mimics day time and keeps us awake and they stimulate our senses. And yet, we look at our screens pretty much through the day. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, can you consider not looking at your phone or tablet? Even your laptop? Less dependence on gadgets will mean less need to reach for it at night. This makes for better sleep, and more ready sleep. If you can place your devices in another room for the duration of the night, even better. Get an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake you up- you don’t need a phone for it.
- Make your bedroom a welcome space
When you wake up, make your bed- fold the sheets, tuck the top sheet, arrange the pillows. It may seem counter-productive because you’re going to reverse the process in a couple of hours, but those hours in between wake and sleep are crucial. Pick up the clothes off the floor, arrange the items in your room in an orderly fashion, leave the drapes open for some cleansing sunlight and then get on with your day. A bedroom should be a place of rest and calm. A clean bedroom does that for you. When you come back at the end of the day, it’s a welcoming space where you are more than eager to let your head touch the pillow.
- Eat right
All through the day, be careful about your food and snack choices. Eat wisely, cutting down on oil and spices. Stop any caffeine post 2 p.m., whether that’s coffee or cola. Diet has a big part to play in regularizing sleep patterns so pay attention to what you put into your system.
Do these every day to sleep well every night.