The modern lifestyle has become more and more stressful and hectic. The amount of things you have to fit in a day have increased drastically. These days you have to do almost everything in a single day. You have to go to work, have to workout, maybe take care of kids, take care of daily necessities and most importantly have to indulge in binge watching your favorite TV series.
And, there are only 24 hours in a day. So, to accommodate all these things in the daily schedule, people often cut back on their sleep. This could prove to be a disastrous as a lot of things depend on the quality of the sleep, you get. Not only, a good sleep keeps you fresh and active, it also has several other benefits such as good metabolism rate and better immunity. Here, are some effective methods that will ensure you to get a good night’s rest.
The sleep hygiene doesn’t mean just washing up and staying clean before the sleep. It also includes making sure that all the factors are conductive for a good sleep. And, these factors aren’t limited to physical ones such as light level in the room, the room temperature, the number of pillows or the quality of bed sheets and the mattress. In order to get a good sleep, you will also have to consider physiological factors such as sleep cycles and bedtimes. The sleep hygiene is the overall strategy that should be developed to ensure a sound and prolonged sleep. It includes establishing a regular sleep schedule, not exercising physically too close to bedtime, limiting worry and stress, limiting exposure to light in the hours before sleep, avoiding alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and other stimulants that disturb sleep cycle before bedtime, and having a peaceful and comfortable sleep environment.
Respect Your Internal Clock
Most of us experience a different level of sleepiness and alertness throughout the day. This is dictated by our natural internal clock, which in accordance with the daily habits and routines, decides when our body needs sleep. When we are awake during the day, our sleep / wake homeostasis tells us that the sleep is accumulating and we need to sleep. This helps us in getting enough sleep in the night and restores our body to start another demanding day. This routine carried for a longer time creates habitual waking and sleep cycles. This is why, it is easy to wake up early once you have established a regular routine. Almost all of us are guilty of upsetting this cycle now and then. The classic example is Friday and Saturday nights. We get up at a fixed time for five weekdays, but on weekend, we often stay up late. This disturbs the sleep cycle and creates an unbalance in the system, which results in a very difficult Monday morning as your natural cycle is retuned once again.
The Right Habits
The right habits are elemental for a sound sleep. Usually, what you will do in the evening leading up the bedtime will dictate the type of sleep, you will get during the night. Therefore, your favorite cup of coffee should be avoided in the evening, also you should step away from those delicious and big meals for dinner. Exercising within 3-4 hours of sleep can mess up your sleep and so does working in the bed. The alcohol certainly doesn’t help. Oh, by the way, don’t watch your favorite TV series in the bed as the glowing screen of your laptop, tablet and TV, signals your brain to stay alert.
Making a couple of associations and creating a ritual can do wonders to your sleep. By doing a couple of things every day before sleep, you are sending signals to your body that the bedtime is near. These signals can be random, but should be sleep conductive actions such as setting alarm on your phone, preparing your bed or reading few pages of your favorite book. The research shows that the subconscious prepares to put your body to sleep as soon as it gets the subliminal messages. Dimming the light can be an excellent pre-sleep ritual. The darkness simulates the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you wind down. Another good pre-sleep ritual is playing a soothing and relaxing music that will help you de-stress and alleviate anxiety.
Harness The Light
Our brains are programmed in such a way that it automatically starts relaxing and dozing off in the darkness. That is why, it is often difficult to sleep when the light is hitting your face. You would have noticed even when we lie in the shade of a tree, we often tend to cross our arm over eyes in a bid to keep the light out, relax and if lucky, catch a fleeting moment of sleep. So, it only makes sense that you should sleep when it is dark or near dark, which means that your nocturnal habits that include watching TV should be traded in for a dozing off. The reverse is true for waking up. The light flooding into the room can prove to be a wonderful natural alarm and would help you wake up in a fresher state. You can also use the dawn simulation alarm clock that can replicate the effect of the sunlight streaming into the room.
To get a good sleep, embrace the Zen advice of de-cluttering the room. This simple, yet powerful advice will make you feel calmer and more relaxed, which can apparently have a positive effect on your sleeping habits. A recent study published in the journal has backed this fact and has revealed that having a cluttered or unusable bedrooms and less comfortable bedrooms can cause stress and depression, and can severely affect the quality of sleep. To use this advice to get a sound sleep, you essentially don’t have to be a hoarder or habitually careless individual. Neatening up the bed covers, putting your books and piles of laundry away and getting rid of other bedroom clutter can have the similar effect.
Get Your Day Right
You might have realized by now that some of the things which are linked to a good sleep are done well before your bedtime. Similarly, you can cultivate some healthy habits that can aid in getting a better sleep. By slowly transitioning, you allow your body to gradually prepare for the sleep, which means by the time, you hit the pillow, your eyes would be dropping with sleep and you won’t have to lie awake into the night, struggling with insomnia. Some of these habits include getting your body adequate sleep, which will not only make you physically tired, but will also help in reducing stress levels, a balanced and healthy diet, which will ensure you don’t have to munch on unhealthy snacks and lastly, staying away for smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption.