Good sleep has a direct effect on your health and your ability to perform well during the day. However, more people these days are finding it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. If you have trouble falling asleep or waken frequently during the night, try these tips to improve your night’s rest.
Eat Light in the Evening
A heavy meal can make it difficult to fall asleep and can wake you with indigestion, heartburn, or acid reflux. For dinner or a late snack, go with light options that facilitate sleep. This could be a glass of milk, a slice of turkey, tuna, a hard-boiled egg, apricots or a banana.
You may already avoid drinking coffee after dinner because it affects your ability to sleep soundly. However, you may not be aware that many soft drinks and some pain relievers also contain caffeine, which can keep you awake.
Always read the labels to determine if a product contains caffeine. Some people rely on alcohol to help them get to sleep and stay asleep, but alcoholic beverages can cause disruptions in your sleep cycle and may have you awakening during the night. Nicotine also acts as a stimulant on the body and mind, so having a cigarette to relax before bed might not be such a good idea.
If you find that there’s some caffeine in your daily medication, have a talk with your doctor about changing it. At the very least, you should ask whether the dosage can be taken early in the morning instead of in the evening.
For other caffeinated products, it’s best to cut them out altogether if possible. Caffeine can remain in our system for up to 24 hours, so even a cup of coffee in the morning can make you restless at night. Try switching to herbal teas for some time and see if that helps in getting you a proper night’s rest.
Avoid Exercising Right Before Bedtime
Exercise in the evening can help you to feel more relaxed and get you to sleep more easily. However, finish your exercise period a few hours before bedtime to avoid becoming energized, which can keep you from falling asleep. Always make sure to cool down after a workout, otherwise, you might get cramps during the night and be jolted awake.
Avoid Napping During the Day
A daytime nap can throw off your sleep schedule and keep you awake for hours after bedtime. If you need to nap, make it a short 15 to 20-minute “cat nap,” to avoid disruption of your regular sleep cycle. It’s best if this short nap is taken in the middle of the day, sometime between early and late afternoon. Sleeping too close to bedtime can leave you wide awake later on and result in tiredness throughout the next day.
Limit Your Fluids After 8 PM
Drinking water or other liquids can cause you to awaken to go to the bathroom during the night. If you frequently get up during the night, avoid fluids after 8 pm. See if this helps in relaxing you during the night. If your mouth feels especially dry, take a few sips of water in order to rehydrate without having to rush to the bathroom.
Turn Off Your Electronic Devices
Some evidence suggests that the light from computers and smartphones can disrupt hormones associated with sleep. Turn off your devices several hours before bedtime to ensure a good night’s rest. Experts also recommend not watching TV before bedtime, in order to allow your mind to enter a more restful state to prepare for sleep. If you simply have to watch something in order to wind down, select something that relaxes you instead of stimulating your mind further.
Create A Restful Setting For Sleep
Choose loose, comfortable clothing that does not bind your body during sleep. Make sure the room temperature is warm enough or cool enough for your particular needs. If you prefer complete dark, block out any disturbing light sources. If you prefer a bit of light, place a small nightlight in an inconspicuous area of the room. Ensure that you have sufficient blankets to put on or take off as needed during the night.
Get the Right Accessories
If you’re not getting proper rest at night, the problem might be in your tense-up muscles. The neck muscles are especially susceptible to stress and tension, which could prevent you from being comfortable when trying to sleep.
For cases like these, the Oasiss C-Rest Neck Massager Pillow might come in handy. This pillow can serve to relieve stress, improve your posture, and even help in healing shoulder and neck pain. Working on the computer all day long can take its toll on your muscles in these areas, so this pillow might be a necessity for relaxation.
The fishtail design for this pillow is a fun yet serviceable one, with several pressing points on each side. It’s a lightweight option, so you can rest assured that it won’t increase the pressure on your neck muscles. All you have to do is put the pillow around your neck and lie down for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will make the pressing points fit into your head and neck, thus helping you get a comfortable and restful sleep.
Natural Light Exposure
Certain studies have shown that exposure to bright light during the day can enhance your natural body clock. When we talk about sleeping, our circadian rhythm is the best cycle to follow in order to enhance our health. This tells us when we should stay awake and when we should sleep. If we follow this rhythm, we can probably look forward to the best brain, hormone, and body performance.
One way to keep our circadian rhythm on point is to take in as much natural sunlight as possible during the day. Pull open those curtains, take a walk in the sun, or just have bright lights on throughout your waking hours. This will enhance your energy in the daytime as well as increase the quality of your sleep at night.
Even two hours of exposure to bright light and/or sunlight could improve sleep efficiency if the studies are to be believed. You might also find yourself sleeping more peacefully and for longer hours.
Sleeping and Waking Consistently
The circadian rhythms of our bodies are set on a sort of loop, so we’re naturally more tired in the evening and fresh in the daytime. We should hence strive to sleep and wake at the same time every single day, even on the weekends.
If we get into this habit, it might even turn out that we’re beating our alarm clock every morning. Walking up naturally is a healthy habit and will also result in a better feeling throughout the day.
Have a Routine
When you start getting ready for bed, don’t just jump in and try to sleep. Many experts have suggested that it’s best to have a winding down routine, which can help you relax just before bed. Try to stick to this routine as much as possible, as this will signal your body that it’s time to rest.
Your routine could include anything that’s relaxing and calming. Taking off your makeup, applying toner and rosewater, wearing soft and comfortable nightwear, or getting a massage could be just a few techniques to relax before bedtime. Other examples could include listening to a relaxing podcast or sounds from nature, reading a real book instead of an e-book, or deep breathing. Try out a few of these methods and see what works for you.
Although sleep should be the most natural action to human beings, a good night’s sleep often needs a bit of planning and staging. If you follow these tips, you will provide the right conditions to allow you to fall asleep easily and stay asleep throughout the night. This, in turn, will hopefully enhance the rest you get throughout the night and leave you waking up refreshed in the morning.