You’re not doomed to toss and turn every night. Consider simple tips for better sleep, from setting a night sleep schedule to including physical activity in your daily routine. Remember, when it comes to sleep, it’s not just quantity that matters but the quality of the sleep that affects your next day activities. How you feel during your waking hours hinges greatly on how well you sleep.
Similarly, the cure for daytime fatigue and night sleep difficulties can often be found in your daily routine. Your night sleep schedule, bedtime habits, and day-to-day lifestyle choices can make an enormous difference to the quality of your nightly rest. The following tips will certainly help you optimize your sleep so that you can be productive, mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and full of energy all day long.
“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”
How to sleep better tip 1: Support your body’s natural rhythms with your night sleep
You need to get in sync with your body’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is one of the most important ways for making you achieve a good night sleep. If you are able to keep a regular sleep schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, then it will make you feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at variable times. This holds true even if you alter your night sleep schedule by only an hour or two. Consistency is really an important factor as far as sleep is concerned.
- Every day, try to go to sleep and get up at the same time. Sticking to a consistent sleep-wake schedule helps set your body’s internal clock thereby optimizing the quality of your night sleep. Choose a time to sleep when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you are regular in getting enough night sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. In case you need an alarm, set it before the bedtime.
- Avoid sleeping in extra hours even on weekends or nights you’ve stayed up late. It can be tempting to sleep in on weekends, after an exhausting work on the weekdays. But even a couple hours of difference in wake time may disrupt your internal clock. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules will differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms you may experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in.
- Be smart about taking naps. Napping is a good way to recharge and make up for the night sleep hours lost before. But if you have a habit of staying asleep late in the night, napping can make things worse. If insomnia is a problem for you, consider eliminating naps altogether. Else you can limit them to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
- Fight after-dinner drowsiness. It happens at times, when we are stomach-full, we tend to feel sleepy. At these times, you should stop yourself from falling asleep and indulge yourself in household works like washing the dishes, arranging your cupboard, or getting clothes ready for the next day. If you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and may face trouble getting back to sleep.
How to sleep better tip 2: Control your exposure to light
A naturally occurring hormone, named as melatonin is controlled by the light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes this hormone in a higher amount during the dark time, which makes you sleepy. And it secretes its lesser amount when there is light, which keeps you more alert.
However, if you are living a modern lifestyle, it can alter your body’s natural production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm. As you spend long days in an office away from natural light, which definitely impacts your daytime wakefulness and make your brain sleepy. While bright lights at night, especially from exposure to electronic items like LED lights, laptop or TV, can make your body think that it’s time to wake up. Here’s the list of what you should do to keep your hormones and sleep-wake cycle on track.
During the day:
- Try to spend more time outside during daylight.
- Expose yourself to bright sunlight during the morning.
- Let as much natural light into your home as possible.
- Do not watch television till late-night.
- Stay away from bright screens within 2 hours of your bedtime.
- Watching vampire stories, horror, erratic violence movies before bedtime may be avoided once for all.
- At the time of sleep, make sure that the room is dark.
- You can use dim light if needed.
- Setting unnecessarily alarms may disrupt your circadian rhythm, try to avoid it.
- Be smart night-time reader. But avoid to be e-readers, you can pen-down your next day’s to-do list.
How to sleep better tip 3: Get regular exercise
Studies have proved that regular exercisers sleep better and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercisers are blessed with deep, restorative stages of sleep, thereby improving the symptoms of insomnia. The more vigorously you will exercise, the more powerful will be the sleep benefits. Even light exercise like walking for just 10 minutes a day has the ability to improve your daily sleep quality. Just remember that exercise is not a quick fix. If you have an age-old problem of insomnia then it will lessen by doing regular exercises for 2-3 months of time. Better sleep will follow. The healthcare experts are of the opinion, that, if you stretch out physically and mentally by exercises and studious works respectively in the day time, it automatically gives enough stimulant to make you get proper uninterrupted sleep in the night.
“Though sleep is called our best friend, it is a friend who often keeps us waiting!” Physical activities will help you to get your sound sleep back and you will feel refreshed each day.
Exercises are known to speed up your metabolism process. It will elevate body temperature and stimulate activating hormones such as cortisol. You can exercise during the morning or evening, no matter, but if doing it at your bedtime, it can interfere with your sound sleep.
Try to finish moderate to vigorous workouts at least 3 hours before your bedtime. You can take-up, low-impact exercises such as yoga or gentle stretching, that help in promoting your sleep.
How to sleep better tip 4: Be smart about what you eat and drink
Your daytime eating habits play a role in how well you sleep. It’s particularly important to watch what you put in your body in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
- Reduce the intake of caffeine. You might be surprised to know that caffeine can cause sleep problems up to ten to twelve hours after drinking it!
- Stay away from heavy meals at night. Making dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoiding heavy, rich foods will ease your digestion process. Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up.
- Avoid alcohol before bed. Alcohol is known to keep your brain drowsy but wakeful, so to optimize the quality of your sleep, stay away from alcohol in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
When you pair tryptophan-containing foods with carbohydrates, it may help calm the brain and allow you to sleep better. For others, eating before bed can lead to indigestion and make sleeping more difficult. Experiment with your food habits to finf-out your optimum evening meals and snacks.