Most of us have had a horrible night’s sleep at some point in our lives. Except for feeling grumpy or under par the next day, a single sleepless night isn’t a big deal. Long-term sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can have considerably more serious consequences, including an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Take some time to unwind.
Around half of the UK population suffers from sleep problems caused by stress, so taking the time to relax before bed, whether it’s in a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to relaxing music, is essential. For some people, making a to-do list before bedtime might help them stop stressing about all the things they have to do the next day.
2. Establish a routine
We all know that having a routine assists newborns and youngsters in falling asleep at a specific time. This is also true for adults, since it allows your body to teach itself to fall asleep and wake up at specific times. Try to stick to a strict bedtime schedule and develop your own relaxing regimen.
3. Stay away from technology.
Remove your phone, computer, and television from your bedroom, and don’t look at them for an hour before going to bed. This type of equipment generates blue light, which suppresses melatonin, the sleep hormone.
4. Create a relaxing atmosphere
Make sure your bed has the right amount of support, comfort, and space so you don’t wake up and move around as much. Make sure your room is at a comfortable temperature – between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius (60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit) is ideal. A lack of clutter, as well as pastel colors and nice scents like lavender and geranium, can help to create a relaxing environment.
5. Do not keep track of the time.
Worrying about not getting enough sleep can prevent us from sleeping in the first place. Reminding oneself that lying in bed and thinking pleasant thoughts is more productive than tossing and turning and checking the time every ten minutes is the best method to deal with this. If you can’t stop looking at your clock, try turning it around or putting it on the opposite side of the room so you can’t see it ticking away as easily.
6. Sleeping-aid foods
Healthy eating helps sleep in general, but some foods, such as milk, chicken, turkey, and pumpkin seeds, are especially good. They include the amino acids tryptophan and serotonin, which are necessary for the creation of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
7. Things to stay away from
In the hours leading up to night, avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and heavy meals. Many people find that consuming coffee or other caffeinated beverages in the afternoon affects their sleep.
Sugary foods are unhealthy in general since the energy boost and subsequent collapse might mess with your biological clock. Furthermore, studies has shown that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to eat junk food the next day, creating a vicious cycle of poor sleep and unhealthy eating habits.
8. Sleep is aided by darkness.
People used to get up when the sun rose and go to bed when it grew dark before clocks. Similarly, a gloomy atmosphere promotes sleep, and dimming the lights can help you fall asleep. If you don’t have a dimmer switch, you can buy affordable lamps with a dimmer or have an electrician estimate the cost of replacing your main light switch.
You may try heavier curtains, extra lining, or blackout shades if you’re bothered by street lights outside your window or harsh sunlight at 5 a.m. in the summer.
9. Maintain a healthy weight and engage in physical activity.
Physical activity is beneficial to your sleep as well as your overall health. However, some people find that exercising vigorously fewer than two hours before bedtime makes it more difficult to fall asleep. If this isn’t a problem for you, there’s usually no need to adjust.
People spend a lot of time and effort exercising and eating healthily, which is excellent, but they overlook the third half of the triangle: sleeping.
10. Pay attention to how well you sleep.
We tend to focus on the length of our sleep, but the quality of our sleep is just as important. We go through five stages of sleep, which we go through five times a night in a cycle. Our memories are consolidated and information is processed, among other things, in the later stages of the cycle. This implies that getting up in the middle of the night, for example, to go to the bathroom, can disrupt the cycle and prevent you from progressing to the latter stages. As a result, it’s also a good idea to avoid drinking too much liquid before bed.