All you should know to ensure sound sleep
Sleep is one of the basic needs of human being that leaves the impact on physical and mental health directly and indirectly. Your overall activity largely depends on your sleep quality. If you are suffering from sleep deficiency, it will affect your productivity, energy level, and even your weight.
But with the growing complexities of modern life, people are having sleep difficulties more and more. More than one-third of the total population in America are struggling to get adequate sleep.
Well, there is a solution for this problem also. And the solution is hidden in our outlook towards life and entire lifestyle. Just make some simple changes in your daily routine and see the magic. It will result in increased energy, productivity, improved heart and immune system and healthy, glowing skin. In a word, you will feel rejuvenated after a sound and satisfying sleep.
How to get a sound sleep at night?
It may seem like a fairy tale to those who are suffering from a sleeping disorder, but the fact is, tossing and turning at night is often triggered by lifestyle choice and unhealthy habits. So, obviously, the solution is also hidden here in your outlook towards life and the way you lead your life. Here in this article, we have provided some tips by following which you may get rid of your sleep issues. As every individual are different, all the rules may not work in the same way for everyone. By experimenting with all, you may find the ones that work best for you.
1. Establish a regularity with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle :
This very thing is the first and one of the most important things of your total strategy. If you can maintain regularity in your sleep-wake cycle, you will be able to feel the difference all by yourself. You will feel much more energized physically and cheerful spiritually. Just make simple changes in your sleep-wake cycle and feel the difference!!
- Go to bed and wake up from sleep at the same time every day:
When you will go to bed and wake up at a specific time, an internal clock of your body will be set according to that very routine and enhance your sleep quality. Choose your bedtime as per your body’s need- when you feel exhausted and sleepy. This will make sure you get to sleep without tossing and turning. And when you get enough sleep, try to wake up all by yourself. If you think you cannot wake up without an alarm clock, try to go to bed a bit earlier.
- Stick to your sleep routine- even on weekends:
Most of us make this very mistake- sleep for the longer period and keep sleeping in which is very dangerous. This makes one drowsier and hampers immune system. If you feel you need some more sleep- opt for a nap in the daytime. This will help you make up for your lost sleep without hampering your daily routine.
- Be conscious about nap-time:
Nothing is good when it gets over. Here is the same case. If your nap- time exceeds the normal limit, you may face trouble falling asleep at night. So, keeping your nap time within 30 minutes is the safest option.
- Try not to go to bed if it’s not your regular bed-time:
It’s natural to get sleep after dinner, but you must resist it if it’s way before your bed-time. Keep yourself busy with some physical work like washing dishes or pressing cloths or make some preparation for the breakfast of next day.
2. Control your exposure to light:
When you are in contact with light, your body produces a hormone namely melatonin which controls your sleep-wake cycle. It alerts your body when to sleep or remain active. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy, which is created more in the dark and less when it’s light.
How to set the right exposure to light:
- Enjoy bright sunlight in the morning:
Immediately after getting awake from sleep, try to come in direct contact with sunlight. You can do this while taking breakfast or jogging. The sunlight will signal your body to be active.
- Increase daytime activity in sunlight:
The more you can expose yourself in sunlight in the daytime, the better. So, what can you do?
You can come outside whenever you are taking work breaks for refreshments. Exercising in daytime is also a good solution. And if you were taking your dog for walking in the night, change it to daytime.
- Keep curtains open in daytime:
The more sunlight can enter in home or office, the better. Keep curtains open in the daytime so that more sunlight can enter. If you can move your desk closer to a window, it will be more beneficial.
- Use light therapy box:
A light therapy box is used to simulate sunshine. In winter time, when the day is shorter, it creates daylight effect to keep you active for longer.
While daytime exposing to light in helpful, it becomes opposite when it’s night. To control light exposure in the night, follow these simple steps:
- Avoid bright screen within 2 hours of bedtime:
Blue lights radiated from different electronic devices like mobile, TV, computer or a tablet is disturbing which keeps you in illusion. Try to avoid screens at this time totally. If it’s emergency, turn the brightness of screen down or use light altering software to minimize the harmful impact.
- Avoid late-night TV programs:
Late-night TV programs may also be responsible for your sleeplessness. It hampers in two way. First, blue light from TV subdues producing melatonin. And most often these TV programs are not relaxing, rather stimulating. Better try listening audiobooks. It may help you get to sleep easily. Relaxing music also works great.
- Keep the bedroom dark while sleeping:
When it’s sleeping time, make sure the room is absolutely dark. Prevent light with a heavy curtain that comes through the window. If there is an electronic gadget that radiates light, cover them up.
3. Exercise in daytime:
Exercising is very much helpful to get a good night’s sleep. It helps you to get a deep, sound sleep. As a result, you will not feel sleepy during the day. There is some exercise that is prescribed for treating a sleeping disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea. Actually, your body temperature rises with physical workout and then drops when body cools down after exercise.
It’s true that vigorous exercise brings a better result, but you can feel the difference even with simple walking. Here one thing to be noted, this difference is not possible overnight, it takes time. Stick to it until you get a positive output.
Here are some simple exercises which you can do easily and get an awesome benefit.
- Easy bodyweight exercise:
If you can’t manage for running or vigorous workout one hour before bedtime, try some easy and light bodyweight exercises.
You can do some easy sets of sit-ups or legs raises to relieve tightness in your hips and get your breathing precisely. Be careful you are not doing hasty and speedy movements.
- Breathing exercise:
Deep breathing exercise is also great to have a good night’s sleep. In this exercise, you need to make sure your spine is straight and chest is grounded. Now, breathe in for 3 seconds and then hold it for 2. Now breathe out slowly for 4 seconds. One thing is to be noted here, breath out time should be longer than breath in time.
- Visualization exercise:
This very exercise is very effective to get rid of day’s stress. But you need to be patient to get the result. You can do it anywhere you want.
In this exercise, you just have to visualize to erase your thoughts to cool it down. Any type of technique that slows down your brain will do the job. You can count 1 to 100 and then 100 to 1 to slow down your brain.
- Yoga :
Yoga is very much effective to erase stress and ease your mind that contributes to a sound sleep. Try some easy posture before bedtime. You can try easy yoga stretches after simple meditation.
Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing only, nothing else. This will push you to the state of drowsiness.
4. Be conscious about your foods and drinks:
Your eating habit controls your sleep quality to a great extent. It becomes more important what you eat or drink after evening. There are some foods and drinks that hampers sleep quality and in the same way, there are some foods that contribute to improving sleep quality.
Let’s know about these:
What to avoid:
Avoid caffeine and nicotine as much as possible:
Caffeine can cause great disaster to your sleep quality. This affects your sleep even after 10 hours of drinking. Nicotine is another threat to a good sleeping. It is a stimulant that prevents sleep. Smokers are likely to suffer from sleeping disorder than non-smokers.
- Avoid big meals within 2 hours of bedtime:
Fix your dinner time at least 2 hours before bedtime. Make sure you are taking any rich food and the meal is light. Spicy and acidic foods also should be avoided.
- Avoid sugary foods and refined carbohydrates:
Consuming excessive amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates may contribute to keeping you awake. That’s why, avoid the items like white bread, white rice, pasta etc.
- Drink lesser amount of liquid at night:
To ensure a deep sleep preventing frequent bathroom trip is necessary. For this reason, don’t drink any liquids after evening.
What to consume:
- Take calcium enriched foods:
Calcium contributes to a sound sleep through relaxing and creating more melatonin. Calcium helps the brain cells using tryptophan that ultimately produces melatonin and aids in sleeping. A glass of milk before bedtime can provide necessary calcium.
- Magnesium is a calming nutrient:
Different studies have shown that those who have a higher magnesium level, sleep deeper. Magnesium aids in better sleep as it is a calming nutrient. Along with calcium, milk is a good of magnesium. Spinach, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolates are also enriched with calcium.
- Try valerian root :
Valerian root is a plant with roots that has relaxing and sedative effects. It helps the nerve cells to calm down and consequently, you would get a better sleeping experience. this root is available in two form- in chamomile tea and capsule.
5. Stop worrying:
If you are suffering from unnatural stress, worry, and anger that keep you sleepless night after night, you need to control it immediately. Try some easy but effective steps like-
- Write down your grief:
Stress is one of the major culprits that cause sleeping disorder. You won’t get anything fruitful simply worrying, except a sleepless night. That’s why it would be wise if you write down all of your stresses and woes in a diary and make some plans how to solve that. Convince your mind that you would take action about that specific tension the next morning. When your tensions will get a form of action, it will vanish in no time.
- Make a positive outlook:
The more stress your brain handle during the day, the more time it will take to calm down. Try not to overstress your brain by interrupting again and again. Checking phones, emails or social media notifications are also disruptive that cause extra stress on your brain.
6. Improve your sleeping environment:
A peaceful sleeping environment makes your mind and brain prepared to calm down so that you can get a better sleep. You can follow these simple steps to ensure a better sleep.
- Prepare Your Mind for Sleep
Being mentally prepared for sleep is an important part of the whole sleep experience, and will allow you to fall asleep faster. We have all experienced the feeling of our minds racing when we lay down for bed, and we all know how frustrating it can be to try to get to sleep when it happens. Being mentally prepared can make the transition from awake to asleep go much more smoothly.
You can begin to prepare yourself mentally for sleep by spending a few moments before bedtime making a conscious effort to visualize lying down and falling into a peaceful, deep, slumber. This simple exercise teaches your mind that it is time to shut down and can have surprising results.
Another suggestion to help you prepare your mind for sleep is to do about ten minutes of mild meditation and deep breathing exercises before bed. The act of concentrating on your own breathing patterns helps you to tune out the distractions around you that keep your mind occupied and stimulated. You can even take these exercises with you to bed and use them to help you to fall asleep.
Of course, there is always the old standby of reading a book before bed. Getting enthralled in a good book can have the same effect as the meditations mentioned above of helping your mind wind down and disconnect from all of the things that keep it stimulated throughout the day.
The primary thing to remember about making your mental preparations for sleep is that you need to make a conscious effort to relax. This does not mean that you tell yourself, “OK, I need to relax so I can get to sleep”, just before you jump in bed. In fact, putting pressure on yourself to get to sleep will almost always have the opposite effect; it will just cause you more stress and stimulate your mind that much more, causing you to lay there tossing and turning rather than sleeping.
We have discussed things to do to prepare mentally, but we need to also discuss things not to do before trying to get to sleep. It is just as important to not over-stimulate your mind before bed as it is to work at relaxing. Try to avoid watching television for at least several minutes before you go to bed. It is surprising how muck even casually watching a television show or movie can stimulate your brain.
Prepare Your Body for Sleep
We have our minds ready for a peaceful night’s rest, now let us prepare our bodies. It doesn’t matter how prepared your mind may be for sleep if your body is not ready as well you will simply not rest well. If you do not rest well your body will not get the regeneration it needs to function properly and eventually your health will suffer.
To prepare your body for a good night’s sleep you just need to think about relaxing. You could begin by taking a warm to hot bath or shower immediately before going to bed. The warm water of the bath or shower will stimulate blood flow to your muscles and help them to relax and unwind. It will also work to relax your mind to prepare mentally for sleep.
If you don’t have time for a hot bath, you can always take a few minutes to wrap yourself in a warm cup of chamomile tea. Yes, we said we were going to discuss non-supplement ways of getting to sleep, but the chamomile does help you relax. The fact is, however, you don’t need it. Any caffeine free tea will help you to prepare for sleep because the hot tea will help to warm you inside and calm your body.
Just like when you are preparing your mind for sleep, there are some things that you can help your body prepare for sleep by not doing. First and foremost, avoid any and all caffeinated beverages for at least the last few hours before bedtime. This does not just mean coffee; it means everything with caffeine in it including sodas. While your resistance to the effects of caffeine may be so strong that you don’t think it affects you, rest assured that it does, and whether you recognize it or not, caffeine will rob you of rest even if you are exhausted enough to sleep through the effects of it.
You should also avoid strenuous or stressful activity right before bed. Doing a few minutes of yoga stretches before bedtime is a great way to help unwind your muscles but performing a full-blown work out will get your entire system in GO mode instead of STOP mode, which is the opposite of what you want.
Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
The place you sleep is as important to help you get a good night’s rest as anything else. Your bedroom needs to be a place that eliminates all of the disturbances that disrupt your sleep as much as possible. This is an area though, where what works for some may not work for others, so you may have to experiment a little bit to find what suits you best.
Start by making your bedroom as dark as possible when it is time for sleeping, and don’t be afraid to take some rather drastic steps to accomplish this. If you have to put a blanket over the window to get your room dark, do it. You will be amazed how much longer you will sleep in a completely darkened room, and you will be amazed as well with how much more rest you get from that sleep.
After you have eliminated the light from your sleeping area, work on getting rid of the sound interruptions. These are considerably more difficult to remove because they are often dependent on other people, both inside and outside your home. If you can’t protect your bedroom from disturbing noise you can try a couple of different options to cover the interruptions.
You may have luck with a white noise machine that generates a wind sound that tends to help block other sounds. Another option to cover noises is to have a fan in your room with you. If you place the fan close to your head the wind noise will help to drown out other noises.
The next option would be to play instrumental music in the room. This can be relaxing and also cover the disturbing sounds. You do not, however, want to leave a television on in the room or play music with singing because the human voice will attract your attention even when you are asleep and cause you to not get the deep, restful sleep that you need.
Lastly, make sure that your actual sleeping place is as comfortable as possible. If you like to sleep on a firm mattress with clean, crisp sheets, do it. If you prefer to nestle down in a big, jumbled pile of fluffy pillows with lots of covers, make it happen. Also, make sure to have the thermostat in your bedroom set for what you find the best sleeping temperature to be. Some people prefer to have it a little cooler than normal at night so they can curl up under a heavy comforter, while others like it more temperate so they need no covers. Whatever your preference is, create the environment where you are able to completely shut the world out and relax.
Establish a Sleeping Pattern
One of the key elements to learning how to sleep better at night is to train your mind and body when to go to sleep. It may sound silly, but humans are habitual creatures that like consistency. If you will make the effort to establish a routine that involves a semi-regular bedtime, your body will thank you. You will notice that once you train yourself to be ready for sleep on a regular schedule, your body will begin slowing down around that time and instead of worrying if you will be able to sleep tonight, you will be looking forward to going to bed.
Be sure to work all of your sleep preparations, mental and physical, into your bedtime routine. After just a short time of following your new pattern, you will find yourself more prepared for sleep when you go to bed and it will take you much less time to actually fall asleep.
7. Try some natural home remedies for Insomnia and Sleep Apnea:
If you feel sleeping trouble even after changing lifestyle, try some natural remedies to bring your body back into a normal sleeping pattern. Taking these home remedies is absolutely health-friendly and have no side effects. It is also economical as most of these ingredients we use in our home. Another advantage is unlike sleeping pills, you are not likely to be dependent on these natural cures. Here are a few of common home remedies:
Lavender essential oil is one of the widely used home remedies for sleeping ailment. It works as a great tonic for the nervous system. Its mild scent lull you to feel sleepy and aids in a deeper sleep. It reduces stress and anxiety through relaxation. As a result, you can enjoy a deep sleep in the night and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
Mix a few drops of lavender oil and water in a spray bottle and spray 30 minutes before your bedtime. Or you can massage a single drop directly in your pillowcase in stressful days.
Cherry juice is another natural sleep-inducing ingredient that is full of tryptophan. Tryptophan is the thing that makes you feel sleepy. This juice is found in foods like cheese, yogurt, eggs or turkey. If you can take a small amount of carbohydrate with this, it will aid in rapid effect. Make sure the amount of carbohydrate is short.
Drink ½ to 1 cup of tart cherry juice just before sleeping. It will help you get sleepy immediately.
Chamomile oil is being used for centuries as a natural remedy for sleeping disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea. Many people take warm milk or tea before bedtime for relaxation. If you mix a drop of chamomile oil into your beverage, it will enhance the effect. It effectively calms nerves and reduces stress. It also has a sedative ingredient that aids in fighting depression that ultimately results in calm and restful feeling and you can fall asleep more easily.
Add 1 or 2 drops of chamomile oil into your regular tea and drink it one hour before sleeping time.
Passionflower is well known for its calming and anti-anxiety effects. It helps you to get rid of the vicious thought that hampers your night’s sleep.
Melatonin is the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle. Naturally, the body produces melatonin when there is little or no light. If your body doesn’t produce enough melatonin, stress or light exposure, whatever the reason is, you need to supply it to support natural production so that your body can settle down to sleep in the night.
Take 1 melatonin supplement pill before your bedtime.
However, the sleeping disorder is getting an epidemic form in recent years. That’s why whether you are suffering from some sort of sleeping disorder or just having difficulty falling asleep, you need to take action before it Detroit. If your sleeping discomfort keeps going on, it can lead to many health problems. It may result in frustration and irritation in short-term and lead to serious health hazards like heart diseases and diabetes in the long run. If you make few simple changes in your lifestyle, it may solve your complex sleeping issues. Try these simple and natural ways to correct your sleep-related problems and get a better night and happier day.