Sleep problems are very common. You are not the only one who tosses in bed all night or wakes up at 3 am when you should really be waking up at 7 am. Sleep problems affect people of all ages. However, they are more prevalent in elderly people, mostly due to reduced activity, medical conditions, and medications.
Now when it comes to sleep, sometimes it’s not always about quantity- it’s about quality. It’s possible to wake up feeling extremely fatigued after sleeping for more than 8 hours. On the other hand, it’s very possible to wake up feeling refreshed after sleeping for only 6 hours. The quality is what’s important.
Getting Quality Sleep Every Day
Getting a good night’s sleep is all about following correct sleeping habits. For example, drinking coffee before bedtime will definitely keep you awake all night. Save the coffee for the morning.
Adopting good sleeping habits will help you to not only maximize the hours you spend sleeping, but also help your body relax and feel refreshed come morning.
Here are some of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep every day for the rest of your life.
• Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, or Nicotine Before Bedtime
If you are an avid coffee lover, then you must know that it can keep you awake until the caffeine wears off. So if you don’t want to toss in bed all night, at least avoid coffee or any other drink containing caffeine about 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
Alcohol is another powerful stimulant that increases the number of awakenings, which as a result decreases sleep quality. The same goes for nicotine.
• Stick to a Sleep Schedule
Do you get to bed at different hours every day, say at 9 pm on Wednesday and 11 pm on Thursday and so forth? Well, you are doing it wrong. That’s why you sleep quality is being compromised.
To get a get some good night’s sleep, you need to plan a sleep schedule and stick to it. You should always go to bed and wake up exactly at the same time, even on weekends, holidays, and your days off. Be consistent as this will improve your body’s natural sleep cycle. Your body will eventually adapt the changes, helping you sleep soundly at night.
• Create a Bedtime Ritual
If you haven’t yet created a bedtime ritual, now is the time to do so because the rituals really help promote better sleep.
For example, you can make a habit of taking a warm bath or shower just a few minutes before bedtime, listen to some soothing music, or read a book. Such relaxing activities will certainly help you fall into deep sleep faster.
• Avoid TV or Other Electronic Devices
Avoid watching TV or using your phone or tablet shortly before bedtime. They will only distract you from sleeping on time and also affect your eyes and brain. Moreso, avoid using these gadgets in the bedroom.
• Avoid Overeating Before Bedtime
Overeating is one of the worst sleep habits you can adopt. The heavier the meal, the longer it will take your stomach to fully digest. This means that your stomach will not settle doesn’t until the load is reduced, which will as a result disrupt your sleep.
Take light means during dinner. Eat at least 3 hours before bedtime.
• Avoid Drinking Water or Other Fluids Shortly Before Bedtime
Do not drink water one hour before your bedtime. You don’t want to keep going back and forth to the bathroom throughout the night, which will of course disrupt your sleep.
• Do not go to Bed on an Empty Stomach. Just like with overeating, sleeping on an empty stomach will surely disrupt your sleep. Actually, it’s hard to fall asleep when the stomach is grumbling.
• Turn off the Lights. Bright light disrupts your sleep. This is because light generally disrupts your body’s internal clock, that is, light signals your body that it’s wake up time while darkness signals sleep time. Eliminate all sources of light in your bedroom. This includes closing window curtains or blinds, turning off the lights, and any other device with lights.
• Exercise Early
If performed early enough, say 3 to 4 hours before bedtime, exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep soundly all night long. Exercise basically stimulates your body to secrete the stress hormone, cortisol, which activates the alerting mechanism in the brain. Be sure to finish exercising earlier for better sleep.
• Keep the Bedroom Clean and Organized
It’s hard to catch sleep when the bed and the entire room is a mess. Imagine sleeping on a pile of clothes or a smelly room. You need to make your bedroom as comfortable as possible because that’s the only way you will get your body to relax.
• Change Mattress and Pillows. If you always wake up feeling tired, it could be that your mattress and pillows are not the right fit. Good beddings actually contribute to better sleep. Purchase a new mattress and pillows if need be.
• Avoid Taking a Nap at Daytime. If you are fond of taking naps in the afternoon, your sleeping problem could be caused by habit. This is because daytime naps basically decrease your sleep drive.
If you have to, make your naps short, at least 30 minutes.
• Paint Your Bedroom Tranquil
Relaxing shades such as yellow or blue are great for the bedroom, especially if you always have trouble falling asleep.
• Keep a Sleep Diary. Keeping a sleep diary might help you discover some day-to-day lifestyle habits that contribute to your insomnia. Record things like your sleeping times, how many times you wake up at night, how long it takes you to sleep, including others.
Lack of quality sleep or sleep problems can lead to various complications. It’s therefore important to adopt the right sleeping habits to be on the safe side. It’s all a matter of being consistent and dedicated.