Did you know that sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise in boosting our immunity(the body’s natural ability to fight diseases)? And yet, the majority of us fail to get adequate, quality sleep every night. Lack of sufficient sleep inhibits our body’s ability to function effectively.
Sleep is the vital elixir that refuels our bodies and minds, allowing us to wake up feeling productive, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the day’s challenges. Work, stress, depression, and numerous other factors can adversely impact our sleep cycles. Sometimes you may find it difficult to sleep for even an hour, or sometimes you may oversleep for 10-12 hours at a stretch. Both have the same consequences like irritability, grumpiness, and lethargy. Balanced sleep is what the body requires. Not too little, not too much, but just the ideal amount of quality sleep.
So, if you’re having trouble sleeping (oversleeping or sleeplessness), this article is just for you. Try these tips to ensure a good night’s sleep every single day, no matter how much physical and mental anguish overruns you throughout the day.
1. Food: The secret sleep disruptor lurking in plain sight.
Keep an eye on what you put into your body. Nothing is more uncomfortable than sleeping on a full stomach. You can be sure that you won’t get any good sleep. So be mindful not to overeat right before bedtime.
Highly caffeinated beverages, overly sugary, spicy or salty foods, alcoholic beverages, and heavily processed foods should be all avoided. They tend to keep you awake and disrupt your sleep at night.
2. Establish a fixed bedtime.
Do you always go to bed at random hours every night, lying on the bed, aimlessly scrolling through social media, waiting to fall asleep? Well, this could be the cause of your sleeplessness. It is critical for our physical and mental well-being to go to bed and wake up at consistent times each day. It aids in the regulation of our body’s internal clock, allowing us to be more active and energetic throughout the day.
Make a sleep schedule for yourself now and stick to it. If you decide to go to bed at 10:00 PM, that’s what you’re adhering to every single day. Not a minute late. Wind up all your activities and be in your bed by 10.00 PM, even during weekends! Once you make it a habit to sleep and wake up at fixed times, your internal clock is programmed in such a manner to fall asleep by that set time, and your body will naturally become drowsy at that scheduled bedtime.
3. Keep all electronic gadgets away from your bed.
I’m sure we’re all guilty of this. Taking our phones to bed, binge-watching a series, and then finding ourselves awake at 3:00 AM, red-eyed and exhausted!
It never happens that you stop after watching just one episode. The urge to watch the next episode overweighs your willpower to sleep! The same may be said about scrolling endlessly through social media to see how your high school friend is scuba diving in the Maldives or how your college roommate recently got engaged! Social media deceives you into thinking that everyone has a beautiful life, leading to unhappiness and insomnia.
So it is best to keep tech devices at bay. Excellent if you could keep them out of the bedroom. They not only distract you from sleeping when you should but the radiation emitted by these devices has been found to disrupt sleep and cause harmful diseases.
Set your alarm and leave your phone at maximum volume if you use your phone to wake up early. You’ll not only avoid hazardous EMF radiations, but you’ll also be sure to stick to your clock because you’ll have to get out of bed to turn it off. You may assume that battery-operated alarm clocks do not emit EMFs, but this is not true. Radiation is emitted by them as well. It’s best to leave your alarm devices outside. Be it your phone or a traditional alarm clock.
4. Avoid napping during the day.
While a 15-minute power nap is okay, napping for longer durations during the day is not recommended. They make you feel cranky and sluggish, causing more harm than good. You end up sleepless during the night. So as far as possible, it is best to avoid sleeping during the day.
5. Make physical activity a daily habit.
We often underestimate the importance that physical activity has on our sleep cycles. Humans have been used to strenuous physical activity as a means of livelihood from prehistoric times, which left them exhausted by the end of the day, assuring a good night’s sleep. However, almost everyone nowadays spends a considerable portion of their day sedentary.
Just like a vehicle has to be driven regularly to keep it from rusting, we need physical activity to keep our bodies up and running without illness, stiffness, and other diseases. So, make it a point to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, preferably in the mornings. Workouts are better done much earlier before sleep since you usually feel fresh and energetic after a workout. So be sure to keep a small gap between exercise and bedtime, at least an hour.
However, 5-10 minutes of gentle stretches right before bedtime can help you decompress, relax your muscles, and aids you to sleep better. Definitely, something that you should try today.
6. Minutes of Meditation.
According to research, meditation can help with insomnia, promote relaxation, and improve sleep quality by reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
So, before going to bed, set aside 10 minutes to sit in solitude and meditate. If you’re new to meditation and don’t know where to begin, this post will show you everything you need to know for your first-ever meditation session.
7. Herbal Tea for a Restful Night’s Sleep.
Herbal teas have been used for centuries to help people relax and relieve stress. It has the potential to reduce fatigue and promote relaxation. Consuming herbal teas instead of your typical caffeinated beverages will improve your overall health and help you sleep better! They have a calming impact on the body, which allows you to fall asleep more quickly.
Chamomile and lavender tea are two classic herbal teas that are fantastic for inducing sleep. Chamomile is my personal favorite. A warm cup of chamomile tea at night ensures that I sleep like a baby. Oh, and did I mention? Chamomile tea does wonders for your skin as well? So it’s a win-win situation all around!
8. Compose the room’s ambiance.
If your room is overly bright lighted, if there’s a strong room freshener diffused, or if there are glaring television screens, falling asleep is nearly impossible. Make an effort to create a relaxing environment where you can sleep comfortably.
Use dark curtains to block light out from the window. If you’re used to sleeping with a light on, pick a softly lit bulb rather than one that’s too bright. Instead of using chemical-laden room fresheners, use only mild and natural essential oil diffusers to guarantee that the ambiance is conducive to peaceful sleep.
No one enjoys sleeping in a cluttered room, am I right? So, what is that pile of clothes doing on your bed then? Now is the time to declutter your bedroom! A relaxing environment is usually clean, minimal, and surely not cluttered!
9. Keep your troubles out of the bedroom.
If you’ve decided to be worried, there are millions of things to worry about every day. Silly thoughts like why did my friend’s tone seem different when texting. Profound worries, such as what am I doing with my life? Which career should I pursue? And so forth. There is never a scarcity of things to worry about daily.
It is, nevertheless, best for you to leave all of your troubles outside the bedroom door. Decide that once you’ve completed your activities for the day and are ready to rest, you’ll only think happy thoughts. You could even help yourself think happy thoughts by doing a few simple things. For instance, before going to bed, listen to some positive affirmations and write in your gratitude journal about stuff for which you are thankful. You’ll be astonished at what a happy mind can do for your sleep!
10. The Pillow Talk.
Find the perfect pillow for you. It’s unpleasant and dreadful to wake up with an achy and stiff neck in the morning. Even worse to roll around in bed at night because your neck aches, and you don’t find the optimal sleeping position no matter how hard you try. So, be choosy while buying pillows because they can have a massive effect on your sleep.
If you’re one of those folks that prefer to sleep without a pillow, consider yourself lucky. You don’t need to be worried about pillows!
11. Get that Shower Running.
Studies suggest that showering just before going to bed has a soothing effect on both the body and mind. It helps you de-stress by relaxing your tense and tired muscles. You also would fall asleep much faster after a warm bath, which is a scientifically credible fact.
12. When should you contact your doctor?
Everyone probably feels sleepless occasionally. However, if this is a recurring problem and you’ve been feeling sleepless for months, it is best you see a doctor. They will be able to identify the root cause of your issue and treat you better suitably. Do not hesitate to tell your doctor if you are experiencing any anxieties or worries. So that, if the problem is psychological, your doctor can refer you to a qualified psychologist or therapist for appropriate support and guidance.
All of this talking about sleep is certainly making me feel drowsy. 🥱 😛
Please give these ideas a go and let me know how they worked for you in the comments section.