Did you have a stressful day? Do you feel tired and irritated? Are you low on energy?
Ask your mom for a solution to these problems and she'll tell you "Sleep is the best medication".
She isn't wrong there! We, humans, undermine the value of good quality sleep even though we spend almost 1/3rd part of our lives sleeping. A night of quality sleep increases brain power, reduces the risk of diseases, improves athletic prowess, and even makes our immune system stronger.
What is the point of all the hard work if one cannot sleep peacefully at night? If you find yourself mulling over this same thought, here are a few tips to improve the quality of your much-needed sleep at night.
- Set your Body Clock
Sounds familiar? Now, it is time to apply it to your lives too!
To become wise, it is important to maintain a sleep schedule and stick to it no matter what. Go to bed at the same time and have a consistent wake-up time, even on weekends! Maintaining the timing of the body's internal clock helps one fall asleep and wake up more easily.
It is important to avoid taking naps in the afternoon and fight the drowsiness you feel after a heavy lunch or dinner.
Self-Help Tip: Overcome an afternoon energy slump by taking a short walk, having a glass of cold water, or simply socializing with a colleague or compatriot.
- Work Out Wisely
Exercise vigorously and regularly. Can you not fit that in your busy schedule? Even light exercise is better than no activity at all. Be active during the day, to avoid a distractive sleep at night.
Though the benefits of exercising regularly are uncontested, make sure that you exercise in the daylight hours and not right before bedtime. Maintain a gap of at least 3-4 hours between exercising and sleeping to let the body cool down and burn the tension that accumulates throughout the day.
Self-Help Tip: Only 10 minutes of walking, cycling, or swimming can help improve your nightly zzz's.
- Lower the Lights
Increase bright light (read: daylight) exposure during the day to improve day time energy and nighttime sleep quality. While day time requires bright light, night time asks for lower levels of light sending signals to the brain to sleep.
Avoid the blue light from a cell phone, tablet, TV, or any other electronics at night, especially close to your bedtime. The blue light tricks our body into thinking its daytime, thereby disturbing our sleep pattern.
Self-Help Tip: Turn-off TVs, computers, and other blue-light sources at least an hour before you go to bed.
4. Have a balanced diet
Pay attention to your eating and drinking habits. A few easy-peasy tips for a balanced diet are:
1. Eat Right at Night: Don’t eat heavy foods and big meals too late. They overload your digestive system.
2. Watch What Time You Sip: Don’t drink anything in the last 2 hours before bed. If you have to get up at night, it can be hard to get back to sleep quickly.
3. Rethink your drink: Though alcohol can make you feel drowsy, once the initial effects wear off, it will wake you up more overnight.
4. Look for Hidden Caffeine: Avoid caffeine in foods and drinks in the evening. Even small amounts found in chocolate can affect your sleep later that night.
5. Turn down Tobacco: Nicotine is a stimulant, just like caffeine. Tobacco can keep you from falling asleep and make insomnia worse.
Self-Help Tip: Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed, if you're still hungry.
- Free your Mind, Body & Soul
Create a restful environment. Your bedroom should be free from any noise or light that can disturb your sleep. Put aside any work or stressful discussions 2-3 hours before bed to clear your mind of the noise of the day. If you still feel worried and unable to sleep, jot down your thoughts and just let go for the night.
Take an hour before bed doing calming activities like reading. meditating, listening to music, or taking a warm bath to wind down and shift into sleep mode.
Self-Help Tip: Even 10-15 minutes of relaxation before sleeping makes a world of difference!
Sleep is a vital and often neglected component of a person's health and well-being. The benefits of quality sleep are many and the downsides are none! So, follow our advice, upgrade your lifestyle, and start quality sleeping today!
Did you find these tips effective? Let us know in the comments below! Do share this article with your friends & loved ones to help them get a good night's sleep as well!