A night of good sleep is always good for your health. If you miss it and instead keep tossing yourself in bed, your productivity for the following day would be compromised significantly. This is because your daily performance is dependent on how much relaxed and refreshed your body is when you set out to work for the day. To achieve optimal relaxation, experts recommend that your sleep should take between 7 to 8 hours.
If, for whatever reasons, you’re having a challenge getting a good night sleep, try out the following nine tips.
1. Create a Sleep Ritual
Sleep rituals are those few things you do before retiring to bed. It could be listening to some music or brushing your teeth. Whatever it is, find one that helps you to relax more and make it a habit. Your body will be conditioned that after performing that ritual, you’d be retiring to bed.
2. Learn your Sleep Position
When you are in bed and you are not tired, you may spend time sleeping on your stomach, back, or in another position until you feel like sleeping. As soon as you feel like sleeping, there is a position you will move to that makes you fall asleep faster. That’s your sleep position. Once you know it, just move into it immediately you jump into bed. Relax, take a few deep breaths and you’ll soon find yourself in the dreamland.
3. Don’t Lie in Bed Awake
If you find it really difficult to fall asleep, don’t just lie in bed awake. Instead, get up and do something else. You can listen to music, watch the TV, read a novel, or play a game until you feel tired. Once feel sleepy, hit the sack. The anxiety you feel when you can’t fall asleep may lead to insomnia.
4. Build a Sleep Cocoon
Make your bedroom area as relaxing as possible by creating a “cocoon” of cool darkness and silence that will make falling asleep easier. If there is noise coming from the neighborhood, you can try noise-canceling headphones or earplugs to counteract the noise. A fan, a blackout curtain, and air conditioning can also improve your sleeping environment. Set a room temperature that’s comfortable.
5. Have Clean Bedding
Clean bedding makes you sleep better. Invest in a good mattress, good blanket, and good bed-sheets, and keep them always clean. Everyone likes the feel and smell of clean bedding. Check your pillow too and ensure it’s also clean.
Exercise makes people sleep well. Try to exercise for between 20 to 30 minutes daily. But don’t form the habit of doing it soon before bedtime as this might interfere with your sleep. If possible, you can do it in the morning, or about 5 to 6 hours before bedtime
7. Avoid Caffeine, Smoking (Nicotine), and Alcohol
Drinks that contain caffeine are stimulants, and they can affect you for up to 8 hours after consumption. Just imagine taking a caffeinated drink at 8.00 pm. That’d keep you up to around 4.00 am in the morning. Sources of caffeine include diet drugs, non-herbal teas, soft drinks, chocolates, coffee, and some pain relievers. Alcohol and smoking (nicotine) will also rob you of your sleep. It’s good to avoid all these things some 6-8 hours before going to bed.
8. Maintain a Sleep Schedule
Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. If your life schedule can’t allow that, you can allow a variation of at most one hour. If you schedule your bedtime to be 10 p.m., then once in a while you can go to bed at 9 p.m. or at 11 p.m. If you fix your sleeping time like this, your body will naturally alert you when it’s time to go to bed and when it’s time to wake up.
9. When Tired, Go Directly to Bed
When you feel tired and ready to go to bed, jump straight to bed. Don’t get distracted by other things like answering emails or watching Youtube videos. You may end up watching them until 3 a.m. in the morning. That’d mean you wouldn’t get enough sleep for that night and you’d be unproductive the following day. Keep to your schedule and go to bed at the right time. Let everything else wait until the following day.
Leading a healthy life is also good for your sleep. Eat well and live in a clean environment. If you’ve tried these tips and you still have a sleeping problem, you can see a sleep specialist or a doctor because you’d probably be having a sleep disorder.