Having a good night’s sleep has a direct effect on not just your physical health but also your mental health. If you don’t get enough sleep it will cause serious damage to your energy, productivity, emotional balance as well as your weight. It can also cause you a lot of unwarranted pain and you might end up at orthopedic clinics or hospitals.
Many of us are used to tossing and turning at night, trying to get some sleep. If you’re wide awake at 3 A.M. you probably think this is what life’s going to be like, but that is not the case. You have more control over your sleep than you know. Just like you need a good night’s sleep to have an amazing day, similarly, you need to change your daytime habits to have a good night’s sleep.
Here are some of the things you can do to enjoy better quality sleep and boost your health and improve how you feel and work all day.
FOLLOW THE NATURAL SLEEP-WAKE CYCLE
Your body has an internal clock which controls the daily ups and downs of your biology including, but not limited to, body temperature, blood pressure, and the release of hormones. This clock is also responsible for your sleep patterns. Syncing all your activities to this clock is imperative for a good night’s sleep. You will feel a whole lot more energized and refreshed if you follow this clock and go to sleep when you feel sleepy. Don’t fight it.
LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE TO LIGHT
Your body secretes a hormone called Melatonin. This hormone is controlled by light exposure. The more light, the less it is secreted and the less light the more it is produced. Melatonin production is what makes you feel sleepy. The problem arises with some of the modern practices that we have picked up like spending too much time in front of the screen. Too little time spent outside.
During the day you should expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible. Have your morning coffee outside or by the window. Take your work breaks outside.
At night, avoid exposure to screens at all costs at least 1-2 hours before going to bed. The blue light emitted by the screen disrupts the production of Melatonin and causes sleeplessness. If you have to read, get an e-reader instead of a mobile phone or a tablet.
IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
Our entire body works on routines. The more peaceful your routine, the better. Once it becomes a habit, it will be easier for you to just let go and sleep. There are a lot of small changes that you can make to your environment to give yourself a peaceful night’s sleep.
Keep the noise level down. The more noise you have, the more your sleep will be disturbed. If you can’t keep the noise level down, like a busy street or the neighbor’s barking dog, invest in a white noise machine, or get some earplugs.
Ensure that the room temperature is neither too cold nor too hot. Ventilation is also important.
Make sure that you have a firm mattress on your bed and a good pillow. A lot of times the major reason for a sleepless night or waking up with pain in the neck or the lower back is bad posture. Visit any one of the good orthopedic clinics and they will help you with the pain as well as guide you in purchasing a good mattress and a pillow.
Help your brain make the association that the bed is for sleeping only. How to do that? Don’t do any other activity in bed like watching TV or using your laptop. This way when you go to bed, your brain will get the signal and it will start the sleep process.
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
A lot of the times our sleeplessness is due to our own thoughts. Worrying about tomorrow’s meeting or stressing about your co-worker’s attitude towards you can definitely lead to sleep deprivation. Stress, worry, and anger can make it really difficult for you. Learn how you can clear your head when you go to sleep. Count sheep if you can’t think of anything else to do. It’s a better alternative.
Manage your time. Doing things at the eleventh hour can cause a lot of stress and pain. With a better time management plan, you will easily make sure that your sleep time is for sleep only. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or visualize a tranquil and peaceful place when you go to sleep. It will have a calming effect on your brain and it will be easier for it to wind down.
If an amazing idea about work or an anxious thought is keeping you awake, write it down and postpone it till morning. Don’t worry. It’ll still be there when you wake up.
Carry out these tricks and watch as your day takes on a new light and your nights become calm and serene.