When you are awake at 4:00 am, falling asleep for the next four hours might seem impossible. Sleepless nights are way too familiar an issue amidst young Indians today.
Researchers and doctors have identified a few practices that might be causing hindrance in your good night’s sleep. By following a few healthy patterns and habits, also known as Sleep Hygiene, you can increase your sleeping hours even if you are having problems like insomnia, jet lag or shift work.
How to Get a Good Sleep?
1. Relax your Mind, Body & Soul
If you have issues with getting a sound deep sleep at night, it can be because you aren’t giving your mind and body enough relaxing time to fall into deep asleep. Your mind needs to be at ease to fall asleep. There are multiple ways in which you can relax your body and mind including taking a hot bath, reading a book, or listening to soft music or audiobook.
Tip to how to get good sleep: You can create your list of soft music to listen to every day or choose a set of books that can make you fall asleep without much effort. Do not choose a thriller and exciting novel to read as it can steal your sleep instead of providing you with one.
2. Consistent Sleeping Time
Your circadian rhythm functions in a set loop of Sunrise and Sunset, however, if you aren’t sleeping according to it your body will eventually get confused leading to insomnia.
People who sleep late at night and get up early find it hard to avoid health problems like obesity, excessive hunger, insomnia, and cardiovascular issues. According to a study, irregular sleep patterns can amend your sleep patterns as well as the level of melatonin. Hence, if sleeping is an enormous task for you, try and go to bed at the right time every day and you will notice that your body and brain have begun accepting the new change.
Tip to how to get good sleep: Make it a habit to lie down in bed at a particular time daily and set an alarm for the morning. At first, you’ll find yourself tossing and turning in bed, but eventually, your brain will get in a habit to shut down at the right time.
3. Avoid Chemicals that Interfere with your Sleep
Chemicals like caffeine and nicotine are known to reduce your sleeping hours affecting your general health. Coffee lovers are well-aware of the fact that caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you awake for the next few hours. During office hours, coffee is the best beverage for people as it reduces sleep and ensures you are awake the entire time. However, having coffee, tea, cola, and chocolates late at night might interfere with your sleeping hours giving you dark circles and deteriorating health.
When it comes to nicotine and alcohol, it again relaxes your body and eventually reduces sleep for most nicotine addicts.
Tip to how to get good sleep: Reduce your intake of alcohol, cigarettes, Tabacco, coffee, tea, cola and chocolates to allow your body to come back to its original state. Gradually reducing the intake will allow your body to accept the change and give you a good sleeping cycle.
4. Choose the Right Mattress
A bad or worn-out mattress can cause discomfort to your body leading to restless nights. Your deep sleep is important for you to feel refreshed in the morning, however, bad mattress quality can give you back, shoulder and neck pain forcing you to toss and turn the entire night to fall asleep.
Tip to how to get good sleep: A good quality mattress can lead to a sound deep sleep for you. Mattress made with high foam, denser foam, thicker coils, or natural latex can seamlessly accommodate the weight of an individual and rebound it to its original shape. It helps your body to feel comfortable and well in place when sleeping in any position. Hence, choose the right quality mattress to ensure there are n body aches eventually.
5. Regular Exercise Boosts Sleeping Ability
Young individuals and older adults find it hard to fall asleep due to less energy utilisation and chronic insomnia, respectively. In order to overcome sleep issues like this, one can try exercising. Exercise not only helps in utilising your energy but also improves the quality of life and fulfils bodily needs.
Studies have shown that people with chronic insomnia if exercised regularly, can fall asleep up to 13 minutes faster, and can remain in deep sleep for 18 minutes more. Hence, if you try exercising little by little every day you can improve your sleep-wake cycle.
Tip to how to get good sleep: You can try Aerobic, Yoga, or walking to start your day to ensure you stay energetic the entire day but have a sound sleep at night. Do not exercise before sleeping as it can confuse your body’s everyday routine.
6. Stop Doomscrolling
Doomscrolling is an act of spending an excessive amount of time in front of the screen absorbing negative news. Today’s generation is staying awake past 11:00 pm – Social media scrolling and late night working hours being the core reason for it – leading to restless and sleepless nights.
It has become a problem for the young generation to scroll before bedtime hour losing their sleep for the rest of the night. The blue light emitted from the phone and laptop screen affects the production of the hormone, Melatonin – A hormone responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle. The sleepless night makes it difficult for people to focus on their work and studies the next day leading to health issues including diabetes, cardiovascular problems, cancer and many more to add to the list.
Tip to how to get good sleep: Keep your electronic devices aside two hours before your sleeping time to ensure you are not exposed to blue light. Your body will eventually accept the new change and reduce the restless nights.
7. Put a Stop to Daytime Naps
A 15 to 20 minutes daytime nap between work can enhance your brain function, however, a daytime nap of more than 30 minutes can decrease your night’s sleep drastically.
Daytime naps for longer than 30 minutes can confuse your body’s sleep-wake cycle leaving you tossing and turning at night. This can lead to multiple disorders including heart attack, obesity and PCOS in women.
Tip to how to get good sleep: Take 15 -20 minutes of sleep during the day to enhance your brain’s functional capacity, but do not make it a habit to sleep in the afternoon as it can reduce your sleep at the night. For this, you can take a walk out with your colleague, talk to an old friend for 10-15 minutes or have a hot beverage to ensure you do not sleep in while working.
8. Make a Restful Room Environment
Your room plays a significant role in ensuring you have a sound sleep throughout the night. If you have a distraction in your room that is interfering with your sleep, you might as well remove it as it’s giving you sleepless nights.
Noise from outside, additional bright light in your room or maybe an unwanted smell can hinder your midnight sleep. You need to recognise how you can improve your sleep by eliminating one thing in your room that is indeed affecting your sleep-wake cycle.
Tip to how to get good sleep: If there is a bright light coming from outside, you can hang dark-coloured curtains, use earbuds to cancel out noise and an eye mask to ensure there is no light entering your eyes.
9. Early to Eat, Early to Bed
People who have a habit to eat late due to their everyday routine or late office work hours find it hard to get a sound sleep at night. When you eat late, the muscles that are responsible for metabolising your food stay active when they should be resting. This interferes with your early sleep cycle as well as cause obesity.
Tip to how to get good sleep: Have your dinner by 7:00 pm to ensure your body is getting enough time to digest the food in the stomach.
10. Reduce Liquid Intake
Intake of water between morning 6:00 am to 7:00 pm is required to keep your body hydrated the entire day and remove unwanted toxins from the body. However, having a large amount of water before going to bed can lead to Nocturia or excessive urination during the night.
Tip to how to get good sleep: Try and avoid drinking or eating anything 4 hours prior to going to bed to ensure your body muscles are at ease while you are sleeping.
There are several ways to get your sleep-wake cycle in order to ensure you are at rest the entire night. You need to ensure that you are living a healthy lifestyle to manage stress, tension and an exhausting timetable while having a sound deep sleep.
The question here is whether you are following a healthy lifestyle.