Sleep is the most cheapest and free thing in the world yet 70% of people struggle to get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is a naturally occurring state of mind and body. It directly affects our mental and physical health. Insomnia is known as a common sleep disorder, that makes you hard to fall asleep or causes short periods of sleep, waking up in the middle of the night or waking up early morning, with no quality sleep. Even after a full night’s bedtime the feeling of being sluggish, tiredness, difficulty in doing daily chores, low levels of energy all these directly affect the physical and mental strain.
Here are some tips to follow for a good night’s sleep
- Maintain The Body’s Sleep cycle
- Healthy Lifestyle
- Digital Detox
- Avoid Naps
- Clear Your Mind
- Improve Sleep Environment
- Listen To Calming Music
- Exercise Regularly
- Have A Night-Time Snack
- Cut Down On Caffeine & Alcohol
- Quality Over Quantity
1. Maintain The Body’s Sleep Cycle
Do you love hitting the snooze button? I think it is safe to say yes! We all do. If so it’s time to take a look at your sleep routine.
Use the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique – The 4-7-8 is a simple breathing technique but also a powerful method to promote calmness and relaxation. It consists of a breathing pattern and can be practiced anytime you feel anxious or stressed out.
- Exhale completely through mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4
- Hold your breath till a count of 7
- Then exhale completely through the mouth making a whoosh sound to the mental count of 8.
- This is one breath, now inhale again and repeat the cycle for a total of 4 breaths.
Note – The technique involves inhaling quietly through the nose and exhaling audibly through the mouth. This method helps in reducing stress, anxiety, manage cravings, controls anger and helps a person get to sleep.
2. Healthy Lifestyle–
There is no secret in this, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very vital. Poor sleep leads to weight gain. Eating the right amount of food at the right time is most important.
- Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Replace saturated with unsaturated fats.
- A heavy lunch could be followed by a light dinner
- Reduce salt and sugar intake, avoid all white-colored food items
3. Digital Detox
Remember when you started the web series and it got so interesting that you had to finish all the episodes? Well, this is our main culprit of being sleep deprived. Give yourself a digital break. Don’t use phones late into the night. The light from the phone screens can be the reason you’re not getting enough sleep. Too much use of the internet only creates a distraction. Instead, talk to friends, spend more time with your family, connect to nature. Get a move on, make it a habit!
4. Avoid Naps
Napping isn’t for everyone, some people just can’t sleep during the daytime. Short naps generally don’t affect nighttime sleep routine, but if you experience insomnia or poor sleep quality, napping might worsen things up. It may also cause sleep inertia you may groggy and disoriented after waking up from a nap. Aim only to nap for 10 to 20 mins a day. The longer you nap the more the risk of feeling groggy and unsteady.
5. Clear Your Mind
Decluttering the mind can make you focus on vital things better. Make a list of tasks- when you got many numbers of things to do prepare a list to keep timers to finish them on time.
- Get Organized- Often our mind will be full thoughts of “Where is my wallet?”, Where are my keys”? Did I turn off the gas?. There is nothing more annoying than misplacing items it can sap our mental energy. Getting organized is the best way to cope up.
- Let go of negativity – Don’t allow negative thoughts seep into you be it yours or others! It’s best to let go of the negativity.
- Learn to say NO – When you have already got enough on your plate doing favors and accepting invitations will only add the burden. Learn to say no.
- Take A Break- Take a few minutes away from your current task or activity it will help you clear your thoughts and then come back with a refreshed mind.
6. Improve Sleep Environment
- Declutter the room of all unwanted stuff.
- Ditch all electronics
- Use aromatherapy scented candles helps promote sleep
- Paint your room research shows painting your room in blue, yellow and green helped people get more hours of sleep. These colors are often related to calmness and relaxation and help put the mind at ease as you are trying to sleep.
7. Listen To Calming Music
Another method you can try for a good night’s sleep is to listen to calming music. A survey shows that listening to a piece of calming music helps promote sleep faster. The same goes for audiobooks if you love reading books switch to audiobooks hearing to a good audiobook also helps a great deal. There are certain apps we can use and are easily available as the calm app and amazon kindle for reading and audiobooks.
8. Exercise Regularly
Exercising definitely is good for one’s body and health. A good workout can make you more alert, speeds up the metabolism and energizes you. But exercising right before bedtime can lead to a poor night’s sleep, it is recommended to always exercise 3 hours before bedtime.
9. Have Night-Time Snack
there are some people who have those night time hunger pangs at some point in the night, but eating a pizza or a cup of coffee is not going to help. However, there are certain foods which promote & enhances sleep quality
- Almonds – Consuming adequate amounts helps in boosting sleep.
- Chamomile Tea – Contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, reduces anxiety, stress, depression and helps in achieving quality sleep.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal is high in carbs and reduces drowsiness when consumed before going to bed
- Milk and Bananas – Both have shown to improve sleep especially in the elderly.
- Walnuts – Walnuts contain melatonin that controls the body’s natural clock, eaten before bedtime enhances the sleep cycle.
- Kiwi – Kiwi is considered as a super fruit. Studies show that people who ate kiwi before bed woke up less during the nights and slept more soundly.
- Baked sweet potato – They are a great bedtime snack packed with carbs and potassium helpful for a good night’s sleep.
- Dark Chocolate – yes! Dark chocolates have known to have serotonin, which relaxes your body and mind.
An exact example of foods which can keep you awake is,
- Soy sauce
- Orange juice
- Spicy foods
- Tomato-based sauces
- Energy drinks
- Black tea
So, try to avoid such foods during the night and opt for having a healthy nighttime snack!
10. Cut Down On Alcohol & Caffeine
Are you someone who needs a fresh cup hot stuff to wake you up? Or someone who enjoys alcohol? Caffeine and alcohol are a drug that affects us both mentally and physically. It is found in many drinks and foods. Many people don’t think of it as a drug. Rather they take it as a necessity.
Firstly, it can make you harder to go to sleep.
Secondly, it makes you sleep more lightly and wake you up more often in the middle of the night.
Hence should always limit the intake of caffeine and alcohol. Avoid it at least 4 hours before going to bed.
Meditating is a great way to help you with a healthy lifestyle as well as improving your sleep.
- Remove all distractions from your room.
- Lie down in a comfortable position.
- Clench and release your muscles, starting with your face and working down to your feet.
- Close your eyes breathe slowly. Inhale and exhale deeply. Count 1 to 100 backward.
- Listen to mediation podcasts or use meditation apps.
- Meditation is done at any time of the day always helps in mindfulness and relaxation of the body which in turn helps in better sleep.
Shortly before going to bed try a relaxation technique. Such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing (as mentioned above) all of these will boost the quality of sleep. Envision yourself in a peaceful sleep you will immediately go in the relaxation state.
12. Quality over quantity
Quality is more vital than the quantity of sleep. Even if you slept for 8 whole hours and still wake up feeling sluggish and hazy, then that is not a peaceful sleep. Whereas, some people just sleep for about 5 hours and wake up fresh as a daisy how? the answer is simply implementing the above-mentioned methods will improve the quality of the sleep. Which is useful for long term health.
Many of us regularly toss and turn during the night struggling to get a peaceful sleep. There are many causes and symptoms of insomnia.
Traveling to different time zones
Working Night Shifts
Too Much Digital Addiction
Poor Sleeping Habits
Eating Too Much During the Night
Consumption of Caffeine & Alcohol
Not feeling well-rested even after a night’s sleep
Feeling drowsy, irritated and fatigued all the time
Difficulty in falling asleep
Waking up in the middle of the night
Waking up too early
Difficulty in concentrating
Difficulty in doing simple tasks
The sleeping environment is not clean