Sleep is key to a long and healthy life. Just like a good diet and regular exercise, it can help you keep your energy levels up, strengthen your heart and other vital organs, boost your brain function, promote sexual and reproductive health, build strong and healthy bones and muscles, and increase stamina, endurance, and flexibility.
According to health professionals, a person spends about a third of his life sleeping. This makes sense, as the human body needs time to rest and recharge after a long and busy day. During sleep, the cells, tissues, muscles, and organs undergo the necessary repairs so that they can be at their best the next day and you wake up energized and rejuvenated.
Unfortunately, there are people who have a hard time sleeping well at night. They spend hours and hours staring at the ceiling or tossing and turning in bed, waiting for sleep to hit them. If you experience this and want to know what you can do to be able to fall asleep without so much trouble, below are some tips for you:
You should have an established sleep and wake up schedule
What time do you usually go to bed? How early do you wake up in the morning? Do you tend to sleep later on weekends? Are you one of those that love to sleep in until the afternoon on your free days?
To not mess up your body’s internal clock, you should strive to set sleeping and waking up schedules that stays consistent whether weekdays or weekends. For example, if you go to bed at around 10 pm and wake up at 6 am on the days you have to go to work, you should also tuck in and get up at around the same time on days that you do not have to go to work. Do not make it a habit to stay up and wake up late on your days off.
Take short naps early in the day
Do you love to nap? Have you noticed how refreshed and energized you feel after a quick 15-minute nap break around lunchtime?
Napping is a good way to recharge your mind and body in the middle of the day. Many people make use of their break times at work or in school as their nap times. However, taking a nap should not be done late in the afternoon, and it has to be no longer than 30 minutes, as it can ruin your body clock and leave you unable to sleep at night.
Take a bath or shower before going to bed
Don’t you feel icky with all the sweat and dust that have accumulated on your skin after a hectic day at work? Are you often too exhausted and just jump straight into bed? Do you not even change into clean clothes?
Going to bed dirty can make sleeping difficult. All the dirt, grease, oil, and other impurities on your body and clothes may cause some itchiness, foul odor, and other things that can keep you restless and awake. You have to clean yourself up by taking a hot bath or shower, which should get rid of these and induce sleepiness.
You should have a clean and quiet bedroom
Are there piles and piles of clothes and other things scattered on your bed and on the floor? Do you live in an apartment building and can hear every sound that your neighbor makes? Is your window situated right by a street lamppost?
Having a bedroom that is tidy and noise-free is crucial when it comes to sleep. For good quality and uninterrupted slumber, you have to work on how to prevent the clutter, loud noises, bright and flashing lights, and other disturbances from getting to you. You should make sure to clean your room at least once a week, soundproof your walls, and use blackout window curtains.
Avoid certain foods before bedtime
How much coffee do you drink in a day? Do you usually drink a cup or two late in the afternoon? Do you like to pair your meat with alcohol or soda for dinner?
Coffee, alcohol, and soda are just a few examples of foods that contain ingredients that can make it hard for sleep to come. The caffeine in coffee, for instance, has an energy-boosting effect that can cause your brain to run thousands of miles per hour and your body to want to move around so much, and these effects take many hours to wear off. To prevent this, you should not consume coffee and other similar foods late in the afternoon.
Be more physically active
Do you work a desk job and barely exercise? Are your weekends spent playing video games or binge-watching television series? Do you think a sedentary lifestyle suits you and do not want to change that?
Regular exercise offers plenty of health benefits. It is good for building strong bones and muscles, strengthening the heart and the lungs, and for weight loss. It can also lower your risk of heart disease and other health problems. Many studies have found that it is key to a good night’s sleep too.
Keep your gadgets away
Do you like to check your social media right before sleeping? Have you tracked how much time you spend on your device while in bed? Do you have a deadline to beat at work and think that working with your laptop in bed is the best way to get things done?
Your brain should be in a relaxed mode once you are about to go to sleep. So, if you are liking posts on Instagram or uploading photos and videos on Facebook once you are in bed and about to go to sleep, your brain is kept active and on the go, making falling asleep difficult. You have to leave your phone, laptop, and other devices on your bedside table and allow your brain to slow down so that you can get into sleep mode.