With a hectic schedule, your career, your kids, household chores and many other things that always demand your attention, who has the time to sleep? And if you manage to get some sleep, you are tossing and turning, you are thinking a lot and you just lie awake. This sounds familiar?
According to experts, lots of people unintentionally establish “bad sleeping practices” as part of their day to day routine, and a few of these habits do keep sleep away.
Several things can come between you and a good quality sleep. However, you can start practicing better routines in order to achieve a good night’s sleep. Here are some tips:
Familiarize Your Hours of Sleep
Before anything else, know how many hours of sleep per night can make you feel refreshed during daytime. When you don’t feel sleepy throughout the day, this is a sign that you had an ample sleep at night. The majority of the adults needs about 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
Do Not Make it Up
If you are not achieving the needed hours of sleep, you cannot make up by oversleeping during the weekends. Once it is gone, it is gone. Sleeping for a long period of time on certain nights or napping regularly will only impede your ability to have a good night’s sleep for the following night.
Making up sleep only results to interrupting your chances of getting a consistent good night’s rest.
Set on a Schedule and Stick to it
Staying up late during weekends is just as damaging as making up on sleep during weekends. Our body requires a schedule, a regular routine. Try going to bed and getting up on about the same time for each day, which allows the amount rest you calculated, even during weekends.
If you go to sleep at 10pm during weekdays, stick with the same time on weekends.
Do Not Misuse Your Bed
Your bed should only have two purposes: sleep and sex!
If you constantly use your bed for other things that aren’t conducive for sleep, such as watching television, eating or reading, you might be tempted to reach for the remote or a book instead of going to sleep.
Relax Your Mind
Stress and constant worrying are sometimes the reasons of not getting enough sleep. Oftentimes, your thoughts are racing and it appears impossible to “turn your mind off” long enough for you to fall asleep. Relaxation methods, when practiced regularly can help.
Try making it a habit to relax before hitting the bed. Some effective techniques are: listening to relaxing music, a hot bath, meditation and prayer.
Form a Comfortable Environment
Comfort is a vital factor for a good night’s sleep. Unnecessary noises and light may interfere with sleep. During sleeping hours, it is recommended to make your room dark. Lower the level of noise as much as possible.
If you have noisy neighbors or if traffic noises are present, you can cancel out jarring and distracting sounds by going for a bedtime alarm with “white noise” capability such as bird sounds, rain, waves or any background noise that is relaxing to you.
Sound machines can make you ease to sleep through the white noise. Make sure that your room is not too hot and not too cold. Having a comfy mattress and bedding also greatly help.
Any beverage that contains caffeine like coffee, tea and soft drinks should be avoided starting late in the afternoon until bedtime.
Caffeine can get you going all day with its energy boosting properties, however, if taken late in the afternoon or in the evening; it may keep you up at night and makes you restless.
Steer Clear from Alcohol and Nicotine
Having a glass of wine might make you sleepy and can get you to bed fast. On the other hand, alcohol can sometimes wake you up after an hour or two of sleep, the same with smoking.
Although smokers may feel that it can calm them down, nicotine is still a stimulant.
Do Not Eat or Drink Before Bedtime
Food and drink are the body’s source of energy, so naturally eating or drinking when you should be relaxing for the night may hinder your sleep. Especially, tomato products, high-sugar snacks and spicy foods are identified to cause sleeping difficulties.
Exercise is very important to maintain good health, but exercising after tucking the kids to bed may result to sleeping difficulties. Any physical activity that increases the heart rate provides us rejuvenation and energy, which during the day is great, but not that good during bedtimes.
Exercising during bedtime may result to sleeping problems.