11 ways to have better sleep
Sleep is very important and you realize that only when you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep helps the body heal, repair cells, organs, and tissues, improve memory, physical health, psychological health and even improve longevity. Sleep deprivation is linked to higher stress levels, lifestyle diseases, irritability, poor judgment, lack of concentration and focus and can even result in accidents. Millions of people suffer from poor sleep, primary or secondary insomnia or not getting adequate sleep. Some people may have physical reasons for being sleep deprived (illness, pain, shift work and the like) while others have psychological issues or stress that keeps them awake. Whichever category you fall into, here are 11 ways you can get better sleep.
- Use your bedroom only for sleeping and not for watching television.
- Wear comfortable loose clothing.
- Try and have your room at a conducive temperature – not too hot and not too cold.
- If you are happy to listen to soft music, put it on, otherwise the less music and noise the better.
- Make sure that there is not too much light in the room. Use a night light if you must, otherwise darken your room as much as possible. Otherwise use eyeshades to block the light.
- The pillows and mattress that you use should be comfortable and support your body and neck/head.
- Establish a pre-sleep routine: you may want to watch a favorite show or read a bit to wind down from the day. If you try to go to bed at the same time every day, you can quickly establish a sleep routine.
- Some people find having a night bath or shower relaxing as the warmth helps wash away the grime of the day and also makes you feel more tired.
- You can’t go to sleep if you are too hungry or too full, so eat the right amount. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and coffee for a few hours before sleeping. A warm cup of milk or cocoa or even herbal tea may help you sleep better.
- Eliminate the afternoon nap if it keeps you from sleeping during the night.
- Some exercise and physical activity like a post-dinner stroll can help you relax and go to sleep.
However, if you have tried all these and for any reason cannot establish a regular routine, you can also do some relaxation exercises to help you sleep. You can try
- Mindful breathing – inhale slowly, hold your breath and slowly exhale. Do this 10-15 times and then mindfully inhale and exhale. As you exhale, imagine that all the tensions and worries are leaving your body.
- Starting from your toes and working towards your head, tense and contract your muscles and imagine that your body is getting totally relaxed. When you reach your eye muscles (if you get that far) you will find yourself drifting off.
- Do some meditation or chanting in your head.
- Get back to some happy and peaceful memories, imagining a relaxing landscape of your choice.
If you follow these tips, you will get better sleep and be fresh and rested the following day with greater energy.