Getting peaceful and satisfying sleep should not be an impossible dream because like a well-balanced diet and exercise, it is necessary to achieve a healthy body. While some may find it difficult, having sound sleep can be managed as long as you follow these tips:
- Avoid Chemicals that Hinder Sleep. Intake of chemicals that interfere with sleep is the most common causes of insomnia, or the condition that prevents slumber. And yes, this includes caffeine that can be found in every cup of your favorite drinks such as tea, chocolate, cola, and coffee as well as in some pain relievers. Aside from that, you should also steer clear of nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products. You should also be aware of how alcohol works in your body. While it may act as a depressant at first, it acts as a stimulant after a couple of hours.
- Sleep in a Room that Promotes Rest. There are several factors you should consider when doing this, but sound and light are the main things you should prioritize. Keep the light dim to zero because it stimulates wakefulness while the only sound you should hear during bedtime are those considered “white noise.” If you leave in the environment where noise that is far from white, make sure to take precautions like using earplugs or even soundproof your bedroom. If you have a pet who has a tendency to wake you up several times at night, you should consider letting him sleep in another room.
- Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine. Like children, adults also need certain “cues” from routine activities to suggest to the brain that it is time for sleep. This may be in the form of taking a bath, reading a book, meditating or watching television. If you are fond of working before bed then it may be high time you re-think your priorities. This is because work as well as other physical and mental activities that promote stress can hinder sleep as the body tends to secrete more of the stress hormone called cortisol when you undergo such activities.
- Sleep Only When Tired. Forcing sleep is no way to go because struggling and striving to do so would only lead to frustration which, then results to stress. Remember: the bottom line is that stress hinders sleep and anything, including trying hard to rest, may bear an opposite result.
- Take Advantage of Natural Light. The body clock, or the so-called circadian rhythm, can be adjusted by using light. In the same way, natural sleep and wakefulness can be achieved if you make use of the natural light entering your room. This means that though pulling down the drapes to keep the light out at night may be a good habit to cultivate before going to sleep, you should still leave enough opening in the windows or other openings in your room to allow the natural light of daybreak in. This would make waking easier and sleeping the following night less of a hassle.
- Do not Sleep or Nap after Dinner. Many people tend to feel drowsy after getting their stomachs full at dinner. While it may be tempting, make sure you do not give in because after-dinner nap may prevent you from falling asleep during bedtime. If you plan to sleep straight right after eating, think again because in most cases, people who sleep after dining experience more nighttime waking.
- Stay Consistent in your Sleep Cycle. Even if it’s the weekend, make sure you sleep at the exact same time as you do during weekdays. This is because staying up late during this work-free days can actually damage your established “body clock” and would make waking up on Mondays even more difficult.