Sleep is critical for our well-being. But an increasing number of people struggle with getting proper sleep. Either they are unable to get enough sleep or the quality of sleep is not good. Here are five things you can do to improve sleep:
1. Switch off – Overstimulation and information overload are some key disrupters of sleep. It is important to learn to switch off and unplug. As the day draws to a close dim the lights, amp down the music, disconnect from the Internet, and switch off the TV. Use your smart phone’s “Do not disturb” settings so that the phone does not buzz, ping, beep, or ring at night. If you have sleep issues then you have to go off all stimulants: tea, coffee, alcohol, spicy food, and drugs. If you have to have your tea or coffee then make sure this is consumed no later than early afternoon.
2. Get the sun – Getting enough light during the day is vital for better sleep. When direct sun hits our skin it produces various hormones that regulate our biorhythm. Not only do these improve our mood, they also ensure that we get good sleep at night.
3. Cool off the bedroom – As we enter the deep sleep phase of our sleep cycle, our body temperature drops. If the bedroom temperature is too high or you are too hot inside your blanket then this may interfere with your sleep. Also make sure that there is no TV, laptop, or other distraction in the bedroom and all lights are switched off.
4. Relax – Watching a tense movie or TV show just before going off to bed is not a great idea. Nor is running on the treadmill for 30 minutes just before bedtime. Ideally the evening meal should be light and relaxing, and you should wait for at least an hour after your meal before going to bed. It is a great idea to do relaxing yoga in the evening. Meditating and/or doing breathing exercises that elongate the breath are some activities that can be done with great benefit in the evening.
5. Regular cycle – Our bodies have a biorhythm. We must learn to respect this rhythm. This means it is important to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day of the week. Sleeping late during Friday or Saturday night should be avoided as it disrupts the biorhythm. Sleeping in for an extra hour on Saturday morning or Sunday morning is a good idea but getting up too late may not be a good idea.
Our body performs many vital functions during sleep. This is why lack of enough sleep can shorten your life and also cause weight gain. We find it hard to focus or think clearly if we are not well rested. Both our mood and our memory suffer due to lack of sleep. So it is vital that we take sleep seriously and the tips provided here should help you on the way for some well-deserved restful sleep.