Even though sleeping is incredibly important for our health and well-being, many of us are just too busy to enjoy a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. As such, sleeping well and sleeping often has become a luxury of sorts, but there are a few things that you can do to improve your sleeping patterns and improve your lifestyle. Moreover, resting improves productivity and concentration, which means that you can do better at just about everything you put your mind to. Never underestimate a good sleeping schedule, as it has the potential to change your life.
Better sleep makes for a better you and here is how you can achieve it.
1. Avoid stimulants.
To make sure you’re not consuming something that will interfere with good sleep you should avoid things like nicotine, caffeine, alcohol and other similar products. Anytime you consume something with caffeine it will decrease the amount of deep sleep you get. We all know that coffee is a stimulant but we also need to remember that products such as cola, tea, and even chocolate are also stimulates.
It’s important that smokers also try to cut back on smoking when it’s getting close to their bedtime. Dr. Lawrence Epstein has videos that demonstrate exactly how and why caffeine can lessen the quality of sleep you get at night. Alcohol may seem to make you sleepy but it also increases how many times you will awake in the night and that in turn reduces the overall quality of that sleep. You should reduce the amount of alcohol you drink in order to improve how much rest you get during the night.
2. The environment is key.
Improve the environment of the room you sleep in. The darker and quieter your surroundings the better your sleep quality will be. This is why animals like bats use dark caves to sleep in. If you have a lot of outside noise you should try using earplugs or an appliance that creates white noise. You can also use blackout shades or heavy curtains to block any incoming light. The purpose of this is because the light is a cue to the brain that it’s time to awaken.
The temperature should be between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit as this is considered the ideal temperature range. You will also want to use a comfortable mattress that is neither too hard or too soft and appropriate pillows. It’s important to remember that the lifespan of an average mattress is 10 years and after that amount of time it should be replaced. This Sit and Sleep mattress is a good choice.
If you’re having problems sleeping and your pet wakes you up then it might be necessary to prevent them from being able to come into your bedroom. Many people find that if they use the bedroom only for sleeping and for intimacy and no other activities that this also promotes a better night’s sleep.
3. Keep things constant.
Come up with a routine that helps put you in a calm state before trying to go to sleep. Sometimes activities like reading help put you in a good state of mind for sleeping. Anything that helps you relax just before going to bed will usually be good. This might include a soothing bath, watching television, or even doing deep breathing exercises or meditation.
If you’re doing any type of physically stressful or emotional activities it could cause your body to produce cortisol which is a hormone that raises alertness. If you’re often finding yourself thinking about your problems then try the habit of writing them down and then leaving them alone to another time.
4. Sleep only when you have to.
You should only go to sleep when you’re actually tired. Trying to force yourself to go to sleep before you’re ready to do so can lead to frustration. If you have to lay there for more than 20 minutes you should get out of the bed and walk to another room. Once their try doing something that can relax you whether it’s listening to relaxing music, reading, or any other activity that helps you to relax.
5. Forget about the clock.
Develop the habit of not looking at the clock too often. Some studies suggest that looking at the clock too often when trying to go to sleep, or even when you wake up at night, can bring about stress and keep you awake. Some people find it helpful to turn the face of the clock away from them.
If despite everything you do you wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep for more than 20 minutes, then you will want to exit the room and go somewhere and do a relaxing activity. Whatever it is that you find relaxing is something you should do to put yourself in a good condition for going back to sleep. While doing this you should keep the lights as dim as possible and you should not pay attention to any internal clock. Once you feel your eyes become heavy you should go back to bed.
6. Natural light helps too.
Once you understand how light affects your sleep cycle you can use it to your advantage. Making good use of natural light helps to balance your internal clock and produce healthy sleep. To do this create a situation in your room where you will get the light in the morning and take time in the middle of the day to leave the office and go outside for some sunshine.