Why is a Good Night’s Sleep Important?
In the earlier part of the 20th century, people slept for an average of 9 hours every night. These days the average adult sleeps less than 7 hours a night. It is imperative to get sufficient sleep as it helps maintain optimal health in a human being. As a comparison, driving while sleepy causes more accidents than drunk driving according to US researchers. This is how adverse a lack of sleep can be.
Furthermore, good sleep is as important as having a balanced diet and exercising regularly. A good night’s sleep improves our ability to fight disease and develops immunity. Lack of adequate sleep increases the risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, poor mental health, and even premature death. Chronic sleep deprivation can also result in psychological issues and it is even possible to suffer hallucinations.
But the fast-paced society we live in today doesn't always make it easy to get adequate sleep. At times we may even be guilty of cutting back on our sleep to catch up with our socialising.
If you are looking for some best tips to fall asleep, look no further. In this article, we have detailed some steps which you can use as tips for good sleep.
Tips for Good Sleep
Tips for good sleep #1: Keep in sync with a routine sleep-wake cycle
Identifying the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm is an important strategy and is one of the better tips for good sleep. Sticking to a regular sleep-wake schedule will leave you feeling much more refreshed and energised than if you sleep the same number of hours at intervals, and it is considered the best way to sleep.
One of the tips to fall asleep quickly is heading to bed when you feel tired so that tossing and turning is avoided. This is also suggested as the best way to sleep. The body’s biological clock will wake you up if you’re getting enough sleep. If an alarm clock is needed, then you should move up your bedtime.
One of the best tips to fall asleep is to avoid sleeping in, even if it’s the weekend. This would be one of the best ways to sleep better at night, as the more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, you’re bound to experience worse sleep patterns.
Another best way to sleep is to have a healthy breakfast. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast will tell your biological clock that it’s time for your body to wake up and get going. Skipping breakfast, however, will lower your energy and increase your stress. These factors may disrupt your sleep.
Tips for good sleep #2: Control your exposure to light
There is a naturally occurring hormone called Melatonin that helps to regulate your sleep cycle. This hormone is controlled by light exposure. The brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, which induces sleep. The reverse happens when it’s bright, making you alert.
Certain aspects of modern life can alter the body’s melatonin production and affect the circadian rhythm. Some ways to control your exposure to light are:
It is an excellent way to expose yourself to bright sunlight when the day starts. Having your coffee or breakfast in a sunny spot, such as a window facing the sun or in a gazebo if you have one, will make you alert faster can also be said as the best way to sleep.
The blue light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., will disrupt your sleep patterns. The impact of these devices can be minimised by toning down the brightness or using the comfort viewing mode that most devices have. The best way to sleep at night would be to, as a rule, avoid screens up to 2 hours before bedtime.
Avoiding late-night television viewing would be the best way to sleep early and wake up refreshed the next day. As the light from a TV suppresses melatonin, most programs can be stimulating rather than relaxing. Listening to music or audiobooks can also help to get sleep.
Avoid reading books on backlit devices just before bedtime. This would ensure that your circadian rhythm isn’t disturbed and is suggested as another best way to sleep early, and this also helps to ensure that you are at your most productive.
One of the better tips to fall asleep is to make sure that the room is near total darkness when it’s time to sleep. Using heavy curtains to block light from windows or wearing a sleep mask will aid you in sleeping better.
Consider installing dim lighting alongside your primary lighting in the house so that if you get up during the night and need to move around, you can do so safely. Using dim lighting at night will make it easier to fall back asleep.
Tips for good sleep #3: Get some exercise during the day
Exercising regularly is one of the best tips to fall asleep better at night. Regularly exercising reduces insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep stages of sleep.
The more vigorous the exercise, the better the sleep benefits that you will derive from the exercise. Even light to moderate exercise can help you sleep better and is one of the better tips to fall asleep.
Keep at your exercise routine as it would take a while before the benefits of exercise manifest themselves, and you will begin to feel it is a good if not the best way to sleep.
Exercise boosts your metabolism levels and stimulates the release of hormones such as cortisol. This wouldn’t be a problem if you exercise in the morning or even early evening, but it may interfere with your sleep if it happens closer to bedtime. Thus timing and being consistent with your exercise are better tips for good sleep.
Tips for good sleep #4: Be smart about what you eat and drink
Your diet and food habits during the daytime will affect the quality of sleep you will get at night.
A healthy diet should be your primary focus. Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit with limited amounts of red meat will assist you to fall asleep faster and is the best way to sleep for a longer duration.
One of the good tips to fall asleep would be to cut back on foods loaded with sugar and refined carbs. Consuming excess sugar and refined carbs such as white bread, white rice, and pasta during the day can prevent you from getting restful sleep.
Some more best tips to fall asleep would be to cut back on caffeine and nicotine consumption. Caffeine being a stimulant will only keep you up longer than intended if consumed closer to one’s bedtime. Nicotine, in particular, affects your quality of sleep along with causing other health ailments, so it would be better if it were avoided altogether.
Avoiding heavy meals at night can be counted among the tips for good sleep. Try to have your dinner at least four hours before bedtime and avoid rich foods cooked with excess oil. Consuming spicy foods that are acidic in nature can cause indigestion and heartburn. Also try Auric mind rejuvenation drink for better sleep.
Tips for good sleep #5: Have a wind-down routine every night
If you often find yourself unable to sleep at night, stress accrued during the day, and worries and anger can make it difficult to sleep well.
The best way to sleep could include managing your stress levels, and learning not to overthink can make it easier to wind down for the night. Simple activities such as listening to calm music or deep breathing can help the wind-down process and are one of the excellent tips to fall asleep.
Some other tips for good sleep would be taking a warm bath, dimming the lights, avoiding social media etc.
Breathing from your belly instead of your chest can help relax you and help lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels, and this will help you drift off to sleep and is clearly among the tried and tested tips to fall asleep.
Tips for good sleep #6: Improve your sleep environment
A bedtime routine that exudes calm and sends a signal to the brain that you need to wind down and clear your head of the day’s worries is one of the more practical tips to fall asleep that can be used.
Keeping your room cool and quiet is one of the tips for good sleep as well as keeping the noise down. If you find it difficult to eliminate noise in your vicinity, try using earplugs to mask the noise and sleep better.
Among the other tips to fall asleep would be to keep your room cool and ventilated. Most people will find it comfortable to sleep in a room of around 24 degrees Celsius. A bedroom that is either too hot or too cold can hamper your ability to get a good night’s sleep. You should also make sure that your bed and pillows are comfortable.
Tips for good sleep #7: Learn methods on how to get back to sleep
Waking up briefly in the night is quite normal. However, if you aren’t able to get back to sleep, here are some tips for good sleep:
Don’t dwell on what’s gone right or wrong during the day. Doing that will only prevent you from going back to sleep. Keep brainstorming for solutions to the day’s problems when you wake up. If you have an idea you need to work on, write it down and get to it the next time when you will be more productive.
Sleep is vital to mental and physical health. However, sleep disorders are on the rise all over the world. Implementing the suggestions mentioned above may alleviate the lack of sleep.
If the insomniac phase persists, it would be good to seek professional help and inquire about treatment options from the doctor, be it medications or any alternative options that the doctor may suggest.
It is also important to seek medical help if you are facing worsening problems such as excessive sleepiness during the daytime.
For the reasons stated above, many see sleep as something to look forward to after a long day, and a reward for all the hard work put in during the day. The eight hours of sleep is a quantifiable amount of time dedicated to complete relaxation and is vital as it provides for valuable time away from the world.
Authored By : Poorvi Chhajer
About Author : Poorvi is a psychology graduate with a knack for writing and belief in ayurveda.