Taking the attitude that sleep is something we can just “catch up on” can be dangerous for your health. After all, it’s both a mental and physical necessity, not a luxury.
The advantages that sleep provide affects our lives in almost every way. Our bodies require and manage sleep in the same way that it needs to eat, drink, and breathe. Studies have revealed that sleep is an important part of emotional wellbeing, physical health, and longevity.
Here are five tips to help you improve your sleep.
Maintaining a healthy weight and a balanced diet will positively affect your sleep. One thing to do is to avoid large meals at night. Try to eat your last meal earlier, and avoid rich and heavy food within two hours of going to bed. Your stomach has to work harder to digest fatty foods, which may impede your efforts to fall asleep. You should also exercise caution with regards to acidic or spicy foods at night, as they can result in heartburn and stomach trouble.
Regular exercise helps you to let go of the stresses of the day, which encourages your body to get into the mood for a peaceful sleep. Exercise at least two hours before bedtime. Exercising too close to going to bed stimulates your body, which raises your body temperature. You can do more relaxing exercise before bedtime, like gentle yoga.
You should make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep. Firstly, make sure to have a mattress you feel comfortable lying on. There are tons of great choices for a new mattress and it’s not always easy to choose one. Take a look at MattressAdvisor’s guide for side sleepers if you plan on upgrading.
Secondly, it’s far easier to sleep in a dark room. Try curtains or black-out blinds to avoid being prematurely woken up by the sun. Finally, ensure your bedroom remains at the right temperature. A slightly cool room with sufficient ventilation tends to help. A room that’s either too cold or too hot can impede a good night’s sleep.
Try taking a hot bath or shower before going to bed. This can relax any tense muscles, which encourages your body to feel like sleeping. Try reading a light magazine or book, but avoid reading anything intense or watching TV two hours before bedtime, as it will stimulate you and make it harder for you to fall asleep. Also, turn off any screens two hours before sleeping in order to give your mind a chance to relax.
If you consistently try to relax before bedtime, you will not only sleep more easily, but also deeper.. A relaxing routine before going to bed tells your brain that it’s time to unwind. Try such relaxation techniques as meditation, visualisation, or deep breathing.
Getting back to sleep
If you wake up in the middle of your sleep, you should remain in a relaxed position. Try to avoid stressing out over having woken up and struggling to fall back asleep again, as that stress gives your body another reason to stay awake.
Herbal tea or a light snack might help you relax, but avoid eating so much that your body starts to expect to be fed at that time every day.