There is no reason for anyone to keep tossing and turning every night. Before your lack of sleep wrecks your life, you can try a few simple things to improve your sleep. Better sleep is attainable with just a few minor changes on your daily routine. Although you may not be able to completely control all the factors that relate to your sleep, you can adapt certain habits to help you get better sleep. First let’s learn more about sleep then let’s move on to the best tips to help you get better sleep.
What Is Sleep?
Sleep is simply a physical and mental resting state wherein a person becomes relatively unaware and inactive of his/her environment. Essentially, sleep is partially detaching from the world wherein many of the external stimuli are blocked from the senses. Normal sleep can be characterized by a general dip in body temperature, breathing rate, blood pressure and other bodily functions.
However, according to studies the brain is as active while sleeping as it is when the person is awake. In an 8-hour sleep cycle, normal adults alternate between two states namely non-REM and REM sleep.
Ways to Get Better Sleep
Again, the goal is to achieve quality sleep so that your body and mind will be able to recharge and you will have enough energy for the following day. Here are the top tips to help you sleep better.
Create and Strictly Follow a Sleep Schedule
You need to go to bed and get up at about the same time daily. There should be no exceptions even on your day-offs and on weekends. Consistency is important since it conditions your body to follow a sleeping schedule. If you don’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, get up and do something else like read a book or meditate. Go back to bed when you feel tired. If you agonize about falling asleep, it usually becomes more difficult.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Avoid going to bed full or hungry. You should eat your last meal around 3 hours before you go to bed so that it will not interfere with your sleep. Also, you should limit intake of liquids before bed since it can disrupt your sleep. You should also be careful and watch your intake of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine has a stimulating effect that can prevent you from sleeping. Alcohol can make you sleepy at first but it will disrupt sleep later in the night.
First of all, you need to make sure that your room is ideal for sleeping. It should be cool, quiet and dark. You should get rid of all distractions like the television, laptop, etc. To sleep better, you can also consider wearing earplugs, using a fan and darkening your room. It mostly depends on your particular needs and preferences. You should also use good quality mattress, pillows and blanket that are comfortable.
Avoid Daytime Naps
One of the best sleeping tips around is to avoid napping during daytime. You should only nap when completely necessary like when you’re very sleepy. If you really need to nap, keep it short at around 15-30 minutes and it should be during mid-afternoon. If your work schedule involves night shifts then you can make an exception to the rule against daytime sleeping. In this case, you need to make sure that the room is dark and free from distractions and noise.
Perform Physical Activities Daily
Another one of the best sleeping tips is performing physical activities daily. It can promote better sleep and help you fall asleep faster and enjoy higher quality sleep. Timing is important since physical activities before bedtime can prevent you from falling asleep. It is best to exercise early in the day before you go to work or during lunchtime.
When you have too many things on your mind, it is very difficult to fall asleep. The tendency is that your sleep will have several disruptions. To help restore peace in your life and sleep better, consider stress management like relaxation techniques. Take a break when things become unbearable. Do something to de-stress like exercise or go for a drive. Before bed, you should clear your mind and set your problems aside for the following day.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Almost everyone experiences occasional sleepless nights. However, if it becomes a regular thing you need to contact your doctor. Identifying if there is an underlying cause will help you determine the best treatment for your problem.
How Much Is Enough Sleep?
The amount of sleep a person needs depend on several factors like age. Infants need about 9-10 hours of sleep per night plus 3 or more hours of nap during the day. Toddlers need about 9-10 hours of sleep at night and about 3 or more nap hours during the day. School-age children need at least 9 hours of sleep. Adults should get around 7-8hours of sleep at night.
Sleep Schedule Disruptions
In some cases, sleep schedule disruptions are inevitable. For example, people who work night shifts need to sleep during the daytime. Another example is jet lag which can disrupt your sleep pattern and leave you tossing and turning at night. However, as soon as your body adjusts you will be able to have your normal sleep schedule back.
Some Things You Should Know About Sleep
Aside from the sleeping tips mentioned previously, you should also be aware of certain sleep myths that can mislead you. For instance, many people think more sleep is always better. The truth of the matter is that some studies have shown that people who slept more than 8 hours a night died younger compared to people who slept around 6-8 hours.
Another common myth is that taking prescription medication is the only treatment for insomnia. This is far from the truth since these medications can even make the problem worse. In many cases, you will become dependent on the drugs. This is why it is best to turn to natural remedies and treatments like the tips to sleep better stated previously and the use of natural sleep supplements.
There is no doubt that sleep is very important. Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect mental and physical performance the next day. Follow the sleeping tips mentioned above and you’ll be able to sleep better. If it doesn’t work then you need to consult a sleep specialist or doctor immediately.