Are you having a tough time due to the lack of sound sleep at night? It’s high time that you realize the inherent danger associated with it. A longitudinal study conducted among 10,308 British civil servants revealed that those who cut down their sleeping time from seven to five hours or less a night were nearly twice as susceptible to die from all causes – but especially cardiovascular disease. However, being sleep-deprived will soon become a thing of the past. In this article, we introduce you to the top 6 steps to better sleep.
6 Keys To Unlocking Deeper Sleep
1. Follow a sleep schedule
Make sure that you set aside eight hours of sleep every day. Experts recommend a healthy adult to sleep at least seven hours. Follow a schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same time daily, including weekends. In case you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, leave your bedroom and engage in some relaxing activities such as listening to soothing music or reading. Once you feel tired, go back to bed. Repeat as required, but stick to a fixed sleep schedule and wake-up time.
2. Create a peaceful ambience
The room you choose to sleep in should be cool, dark, and quiet. Make use of room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan, or other devices to create a restful environment. Stay away from practices such as watching television, checking your mobile phone, browsing a laptop, etc. just before going to bed. Light-emitting screens can adversely affect your sound sleep. Try to practice calming activities before bedtime. It can be as simple as taking a bath or practicing relaxation techniques that promote better sleep.
3. Be mindful of what you eat and drink
Never make the mistake of going to bed being hungry or on a full stomach. Stay away from having a heavy meal two to three hours before bedtime. It is equally important not to have nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. The nicotine contained in cigarettes and caffeine in chocolates are stimulants and they interfere with your sleep. Alcohol which is also a stimulant has a similar effect. After having a drink, you may feel sleepy at first. However, it can disrupt your sleep later in the night.
4. Limit naps during daytime
Do you have the habit of taking naps during the daytime? Keep in mind that long naps can interfere with your sleep at night. Limit naps to less than one hour and make sure that it is done before 3 PM. It’s simple. Before going to bed, you should feel tired. However, if you work night shifts, take a nap late in the day to compensate for your lost sleep.
5. Make exercise a routine
When you go for a brisk walk in the morning, it not only helps maintain fitness but will also keep you up less often at night. Doing exercise works in such a way that it boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin. However, the timing of your exercise is equally important. Avoid doing exercise too close to your bedtime as it can be stimulating. The benefit of doing workouts in bright daylight is that it will help the natural circadian rhythm.
6. Resolve your worries
Before going to bed, try to resolve all your worries and concerns. Stress is a stimulus and It activates the fight-or-flight hormones that badly affect your sleep. Make a note of what are the pending tasks and keep it for the next day. Learn how to manage stress as it will help enormously. Start with the basics such as being organized, setting priorities, and delegating jobs that you cannot manage on your own. To relax, practice deep breathing exercises. Take a slow and deep breath and then exhale.
Hope you enjoyed reading the top 6 steps to better sleep. If none of the above techniques works out, seek help from your doctor. Though your doctor may prescribe hypnotic sleep medications to get sleep faster and for a longer time, be aware that such medicines have side effects. Thus, it is recommended to take only the lowest possible effective dose.