Do you get the most of your shut-eye? Most of us don’t sleep enough, and our waking lives suffer as a result. Even when we do sleep plenty of hours, it’s often not as regenerative as it could be. What can we do? Here’s all you need to know about getting the best rest possible.
Side effects of poor sleep in addition to just feeling tired:
- Finding it harder to concentrate
- Increased appetite
- Getting stressed out/irritated more easily and more often
- More forgetful than usual
- Feeling more depressed than usual
- Decreased sex drive
Many people suffer from the above symptoms, but it’s very rare that we make the connection between our overall health and the amount of sleep we’re getting.
How To Fall Asleep?
Engrained anxieties and poor daytime habits can combine to create a difficult environment – both physically and mentally – in which to drift off. Here are some ways you can help yourself fall asleep more quickly:
1. Set a routine. Go to bed at the same time every night.
2. Set the alarm at the same time every morning.
3. Nap during the day.
4. Let more sun in during the day, or spend more time outside.
5. Stop all daytime activity an hour before you go to bed.
6. Read a book or a magazine in bed by a soft light.
7. Take a warm bath before climbing under the covers
8. Listen to soft music or audiobooks
9. Do some light, easy stretching in the evening.
Create the Perfect Sleep Environment
Make sure your bed and mattress are comfortable
Keep it quiet in there! A quiet environment will help you sleep.
Make sure you’ve aired your room out before going to sleep.
Keep your room cool.
Low lighting will help you sleep, so make sure the room is dark when you turn off the lights.
Calm Your Mind
Turn off your TV well before bedtime.
Don’t read on a backlit device or use gadgets in bed. The stimulation keeps you awake and signals to your body that it should still be active.
Try some self-control and relaxation techniques (deep breathing, meditation, etc.) just before getting into bed or while in bed.
Eat Well and Exercise Often
A healthy diet and regular exercise help keep your body functioning optimally and will assist in sleep.
Don’t go to sleep on a completely empty stomach. Avoid heavy meals before sleeping. If you must eat, aim for foods high in carbohydrates that will help induce sleep.
Avoid heavy exercise 1-2 hours before bedtime. Stick to easy stretching, yoga, or a light walk.
Avoid alcohol – it might put you to sleep quicker but disrupts your sleep cycle and will cause you to wake up later in the night.
Cut down on caffeine. Even the early afternoon drink can create ripple effects that will keep you awake at night.
Quit smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant and smoking can keep you up well past bedtime.
How to Wake up Properly
Making sure you have a healthy morning ritual is essential to ensuring lasting energy throughout the day.
No more snoozing!
Get into the habit of waking up to your alarm, on the first try.
A good breakfast provides your body with the nutrients and fuel it needs to have a fully functional first half of the day.
Wake up at the same time every day.
Our self-regulating circadian rhythms will kick in and help us sleep optimal amounts, but they need to be preset by you.
As we close, here’s a list of the benefits we could obtain just by getting enough of sleep.
Better Sleep provides:
- Better memory
- Longer life expectancy
- Better concentration and focus
- Higher self-esteem
- More control over your eating habits
Sleep is even more crucial to your overall well-being and happiness than you may realize. Here’s a reminder of just a few of the benefits of not just healthy living, but also a healthy sleep. Let them serve as motivation!