A good night’s sleep boosts brain power, helps build muscle, burns excess fat, and sets you up for the day ahead. It is, quite simply, one of the most important variables of living, yet few of us actually get our recommended 7-9 hours per night.
Fixing bad sleeping habits isn’t easy, after all, in today’s world of instant consumerism we live extremely hectic lives. However, studies indicate that the negative affects of sleep deprivation can come into play within just 48 hours.
If you often feel drowsy during the daytime and want to make a change, these tips may help.
This is perhaps the most important aspect of getting good, healthy sleep. Use the time before you go to bed to do some calming activities: take a bath, do some yoga, read a book. This will physically and psychologically program your body into sleep mode. Establishing a routine and sticking with it – that means sleeping at the same time each night – will slowly shift your body and mind into sync.
You can’t force yourself to sleep, so if you stay up clock watching for more than 20 minutes or waking up in the middle of the night and feeling stressed because you’re not tired enough, get up and do something. Listen to relaxing music, read a book or perhaps take a night time stroll around the block. As soon as you feel your eyelids drooping, return to bed. Fundamentally, if you aren’t ready for sleep, forget about sleep.
Make Your Bedroom Sleep-Friendly
A quiet, dark and airy environment will help create a sense of calm. If you live near a roadside, lower the exterior volume by using earplugs or a white noise appliance. Specialist sleep headphones can also be beneficial. In addition, use heavy curtains that will block out the light, and keep the temperature between 60 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, a comfortable mattress and pillow goes without saying, so make sure you have this crucial element sorted before you start making any significant changes. If you want to go all out, you could even paint your walls a sleep inducing color, such as blue.
We could all do with a rejuvenating nap during the day to keep us sharp, but this doesn’t have to upset our natural sleeping routine. If you are going to take a nap, make sure you keep it short and do it early in the day. Avoid napping after 5pm to ensure your body clock remains in order. Limit nap time to 15-20 minutes.
Avoid Eating Late at Night
Like napping, you should also avoid eating too late. Nothing will give you a burst of energy like a meal, so if you do start feeling peckish towards sleep time, have something that is low in calories, or a glass of water – sometimes the human body mistakes hunger for thirst. Plan your dinner at least three hours before you sleep. This will give your body plenty of time to use up those energy reserves.
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Sometimes all it takes is a little change of routine to set us on the right track. And in turn, we are blessed with a higher quality of life.