Many of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is very important. However, not all of us are able to get one. Life tends to get in the way of having a good night of sleep. There is too much to do and too little time. Despite this, you can still get quality sleep. Here are some activities which you can perform towards this effect.
1. Exercise first thing in the morning
The benefits of exercise have been repeated over and over again. Exercise helps the body in various ways and one of these is by assisting you to get a good night’s sleep. By engaging in some vigorous physical activity during the day, you can fall into deeper sleep at night.
Exercise gets your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping. It wakes you up. As such, it is not a good idea to exercise too close to bedtime. The most ideal time for exercise is at least 4 hours before you go to sleep.
2. Let bright light awake you
It is an interesting phenomenon that our internal body clocks are governed by light. A flood of bright sunlight can wake our body systems sufficiently so that we are able to face the day in a capable and alert way.
As such, it is always a good idea to set up your bedroom such that the bright light shines upon you in the morning and wakes you up. This helps you inform your body that it is time to get up and start the day.
3. Reduce your stress levels as much as possible
Everyone gets a stressful day at work from time to time. Despite this, it is important to make sure that the stress levels are kept low. Don’t go to bed worrying about things. If you are stressed, it will be difficult to fall asleep. In addition to that, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night. Remember that every stressful situation is temporary. Moreover, all problems have a solution.
4. Ensure that you don’t take liquids a couple of hours before you go to bed
It is important to make sure that you do not consume any liquids before you go to bed. This is because you will be forced to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Taking too much liquid before bed interrupts your body’s natural sleep cycle.
To avoid this form of interruption, make sure that you only take liquids an hour or two before you go to bed. This eliminates the need to wake up at night. In addition to that, you can go to the bathroom right before you go to bed so as to gain ample confidence that you will not wake up in the middle of the night.
5. Eat your dinner early
Every day, life can be so hectic that you end up eating your dinner quite late. It is always a good idea to eat your dinner as early as you can. As a matter of fact, the Business Insider indicates that the people who ate their biggest meals of the day before 3.00pm were able to get higher quality sleep.
They were also able to lose more weight quicker than those who ate later in the day. Furthermore, your body’s hunger hormone becomes active at night. This means that if you eat a big meal prior to going to bed can negatively affect your sleep cycle.
6. Coffee is not to be had after 2.00pm
Caffeine can inhibit your ability to go to sleep. It can also disrupt your sleep cycle tremendously. It is a stimulant. Hence, it makes you feel more alert. Consuming caffeine makes your heart beat faster.
This stimulant stays inside your veins for many hours after consumption. As such, don’t drink caffeine past 2.00pm. This is so as to make sure that the effects have worn off by bedtime.
7. Ensure that your sleep schedule is consistent
It is very important to maintain consistency for the purpose of keeping your internal clock working sharply. Try your best to wake up at the same time every day. Also go to bed at the same time daily too.
This trains your body to know the time when it is supposed to fall asleep. Not only does this create a constructive rhythm, it also helps to foster deeper sleep each time.
8. Do not drink too much alcohol
While drinking a lot of alcohol can make you fall asleep quickly, it does not help you to stay asleep. An interesting fact about alcohol is that it affects the chemicals which you produce in your body.
As it wears off during the night, your sleep cycle gets disturbed. This results in interrupted, intermittent sleep. Therefore, limit the amount of alcohol which you consume as you go to bed.
9. Keep the room temperature fairly low
Research has proven that low temperatures contribute to deeper sleep. Your body temperature normally drops during your sleep cycle.
As such, cool temperatures are complementary in nature. If you sleep in warm temperatures, you could experience troubled sleep patterns. The best sleeping temperature is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Your mattress is very important
The level of comfort that you experience during your sleep is instrumental to the depth and quality of sleep that you will have. An old, lumpy mattress will be uncomfortable to sleep on.
As such, you will toss and turn all night resulting in interrupted sleep. On the other hand, a comfortable one will lull you into dreamland and promote your health too.
11. Your naps should not last for longer than 90 minutes
A good nap is one way to keep your mind and body sharp and ready to work every day. However, a nap shouldn’t last for too long. That’s because it can disrupt your body’s natural rhythm.
As such, do not sleep for more than 90 minutes. 20 minutes is enough for a good quality nap.
12. Meditate or do yoga later in the day
Reduced stress levels are directly connected to good quality sleep. Yoga and meditation are well known for reducing stress levels significantly. 10 minutes of meditation can relax your mind while a session of yoga can relax your body. This prepares both for a night of good quality sleep.
13. Do not work in your bedroom
Your mind associates your bedroom with sleep and your office with work. Seeing as work is often quite stressful, it is not a good idea to work in your bedroom.
This can cause your mind to associate your bed with stress. This mental correlation can prove destructive to your sleep cycles. If you work from home, set up a desk away from your bed for work purposes.
14. Avoid the scary movies before bedtime
A good scary movie is ideal for most people. However, the effects of fright can extend much longer after the movie is over. Scary movies normally increase your stress levels. If you watch one before sleeping, the movie can make it difficult to fall asleep.
If you eventually doze off, you might get nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night. As such, if you want to enjoy a good night’s sleep, you can pick something more relaxing such as comedy.
15. Turn off your cell phone
It has been proven that bright light from your cell phone can prevent you from falling asleep. If you spend time on your smartphone before you sleep, it exposes you to blue light.
This prevents the production of melatonin. This is a hormone that your body needs so as to fall asleep. As such, shut off your electronics before you go to bed. This is best done 1 hour before you call it a day. A good book is always a great way to usher in your 40 winks.
Sleep is your body’s natural method of relaxation. The tips above can help you to create constructive sleeping patterns. They are tried, true and effective as well. Apply them in your life and enjoy better quality sleep!