Have you ever woken up at 3 a.m and couldn’t sleep anymore? I know it could be so difficult, but trust me after reading this article you would have absolute control over your sleep. By simply following the healthy sleeping tips I am about to share with you here, can make a lot of difference between restful slumber and restlessness.
Researchers recently revealed some habits and practices they termed as “sleep hygiene”. According to the researchers, sleep hygiene can be of a great help to anyone who intends to make best use of their sleeping hours. Including those, who lack sleep due to jet lag, insomnia, or shift work.
Sleep hygiene could sound far-fetched, but it could just be the only solution to ending your sleepless nights. Follow these simple guidelines to improve your sleep.
#1 – Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine & Alcohol
If you love coffee so much, you should know by now that caffeine acts as a stimulant that has the ability of keeping you awake at night. Stay away from foods like chocolate, tea, coffee and pain relievers for about 6 hours before night. At the same time, it is advised for smokers to stay off tobacco products during the nights.
Even though alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it can still play the role of a stimulant after some hours, thereby making you wake up at night and hindering your sleep quality at night. It is strongly advised to reduce your alcohol intake to less than 2 bottles each day and avoid drinking alcohol for at least 3 hours before bedtime.
#2 – Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment
An environment that is cool, dark and quiet can make you sleep easily. Have you ever wondered why bats assemble in caves when they sleep during the day? If you wish to achieve that perfect environment;
- You can use earplugs to shut out the outside noise or you can utilize a white noise appliance.
- You can use blackout shades, an eye mask, or heavy curtains to keep light away from the room.
- Maintain a comfortable and cool temperature at 60 and 75°F and ensure the room is properly ventilated.
- Equip your bedroom with a comfortable pillow and quality mattress.
Do not also forget to keep your pet away from your bedroom if it has the habit of waking you up at night.
Limiting your bedroom activity to only sex and sleep goes a long way too. Keeping away TV’s, computers, and other work materials from the room also helps you to create a mental association between your sleep and your bedroom.
#3 – Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine
Undergo some activities that can relax you a bit at least one hour before bedtime. You can shower, watch the Tv, read a book, or exercise. Do not partake in strenuous activities or getting into any emotional issues.
Activities that are psychologically and physically stressful can lead the body into emitting a stress hormone called cortisol, well known for increasing alertness. If you plan on sleeping with your worries, why not just share them with a trusted person or write them somewhere and put them aside.
#4 – Get some Sleep When You are Tired
You will only end up frustrating yourself if you struggle to fall asleep. After 20 minutes of trying, if you still don’t feel sleepy, just leave your bed and get into another room and engage yourself with anything that can relax you like music, or reading until you feel so tired and fall asleep.
#5 – Don’t Be a Nighttime Clock-Watcher
Looking at your bedroom clock at night and finding it so difficult to sleep can be so annoying. Just turn the clock away from your eyes and dim the lights. In no time your eyelids should be drooping and you can now sleep easily.
#6 – Use Light to Your Advantage
Natural lights like the sun help to keep your internal clock’s sleep-wake cycle healthy. SO it is best for you to open your blinds in the morning to pave way for light. You can also leave the office during the day for a sun break.
#7 – Keep Your Internal Clock Set with a Consistent Sleep Schedule
If you have a specific time for sleeping and waking up always, your body’s internal clock automatically sets itself to get ready for sleep at that particular time every night. Ensure you stick to your normal sleeping routine during the weekends so that you wouldn’t have to suffer a sleep hangover on a Monday morning. There is no other way to set your body’s internal clock other than to sleep and wake up every day at the same time. To find out why it is very important to synchronize the clock, simply visit The Drive to Sleep and Our Internal Clock.
#8 – Nap Early – Or Not at All
A lot of people take naps very seriously. If you are finding it so difficult to sleep at night, trust me napping during the day could be the problem. It is simply because having a late nap can easily decrease your sleep drive. If napping is so important to you, ensure you do it before 5 p.m and don’t nap for so long.
#9 – Lighten Up on Evening Meals
Do you love having a pepperoni pizza at 10 p.m? You might just be having a recipe for insomnia. Have your dinner early enough, at least few hours before bed time and stay away from foods that can cause you indigestion. If in any way you wake up at night feeling hungry, you can have snacks like carbohydrates, and dairy foods.
#10 – Balance Fluid Intake
Take a lot of water or fluid during the night so as to avoid waking up thirsty in the mornings. However, ensure you are not over drinking water or drinking it close enough to bedtime so that you won’t be frequently waking up at night to use the bathroom.
#11 – Exercise Early
Taking your exercise seriously can help you sleep well and even faster, in as much as you are exercising at the proper time. By exercising you are stimulating the body to emit cortisol which is known as a stress hormone. The cortisol assists in keeping the brain’s alert mechanism active. It is therefore recommended that you exercise early in the day or finish up your exercise routine before 3 hours to your sleeping time.