Hi everyone, hope you had a restful sleep last night. If you, like me, periodically suffer from insomnia, or if you are a regular sufferer, today’s article will definitely pique your interest. Once again, we have periodic contributor and health consultant Samantha Olivier from Ripped.Me to give us some tips on getting a good night’s rest. Enjoy!
Some of us cannot shut our minds off as soon as our head hits the pillow, while others seem to wake up tired no matter how early they fell asleep the evening before. Certain habits, sleeping included, take finetuning, so that you can finally start reaping all of its benefits. Even when you believe you’re already doing everything by the book, there might be several things you can do to help you sleep better, and thus life a more productive and ultimately, a happier life.
Whether your mind is struggling to filter through all the problems of your day-to-day life, the stress and the emotional turmoil, or you simply need to set some basic ground rules, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep.
One: Listen to your inner clock
Most of us stick to the magic number eight when trying to change our sleeping habits, thinking that the key lies in the amount alone. But the pattern of your sleep is even more relevant when it comes to providing your body with plenty of healthy rest, and this pattern relies on your inner clock, known as the circadian rhythm.
Our body temperature decreases and our body prepares for sleep around nine or ten o’clock in the evening, while the “rise and shine” part of the equation begins around six a.m. And, our sleeping cycles last approximately 90 minutes, making it easier to wake up refreshed at the end of the cycle. So, in order to follow your natural inner clock, craft and stick to a consistent sleeping schedule that accounts for this cycle length, or use sleepyti.me to help, and you’ll quickly improve your sleep quality.
Two: Screen-free before bedtime
Yes, we all love to catch the last GOT episode before bed, or at least check up on what’s happening on Facebook, but the glare from your digital gadgets strains your eyes, and even more importantly, keeps your brain alert when it should be falling asleep. As you spend your time glued to your smartphone or computer, your brain reacts to the blue light by suppressing the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
Screen-time in the hour or two before bedtime can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm, hence the need to unwind without reaching for your tablet or TV. Instead, opt for a book, take a hot shower, prep your meals for the next day or go for a walk – it will do you more good than staring at a screen.
Three: Change your sleeping nook
In addition to your own behavior prior to sleep, your environment also affects the quality of your rest. Think of your bedroom as a sanctuary, reserved only for sex and sleep, and decorate it to help you fall asleep faster and remove all distractions. You should not have a TV in the bedroom – no, it will not help you fall asleep faster.
Keep your room temperature mildly cool in order to fall asleep faster, while refreshing, soothing scents such as lavender can help create the perfect calming atmosphere that promotes sleep. Clean, fresh air is another essential factor, so check out the best air purifier ratings in order to find the one that will keep your bedroom air pollution-free and that will be noiseless.
Four: Soothing strategies
Create your own bedtime ritual that will slow down your rushing brain, help you clear your mind and slowly relax before it’s time to turn in. First of all, tame your munchies, and try to eat dinner at least an hour or two before bed, and make it a low-calorie meal. Science says that carb-rich bites are particularly sleep-friendly, such as a slice of toast or a light oatmeal.
You can also enjoy a brief meditation session to further calm your thoughts, and prepare for sleep. A cup of peppermint or chamomile tea before bed, combined with some soft music playing in the background and a chapter of your favorite book can do wonders to improve your sleep.
Five: Clear your mind and sleep will follow
Anyone, but especially the workaholics among you, can benefit from writing a journal from time to time, in particular just before your time to sleep. That way, you can flush out all those hectic thoughts that have the tendency to keep you up for hours on end, and you can help your mind detox from the tough day you’ve had.
If you live near a park, or a forest, you can make it a habit to enjoy a stroll surrounded by greenery and to immerse yourself in the smells and sounds of nature. We already spend the majority of our time surrounded by concrete and urban pollution, and even a brief escape to nature can help you unwind.
When you are young, you feel you can go days without too much sleep – but these habits can take a toll on your life as time goes by, so make it a priority to always give yourself plenty of time to sleep. Staying up late to finish a task may be a necessity every once in a while, but it should rather be an exception, not a rule. Find a way to organize your day so you can accomplish everything you have planned, and make it to bed on time.
Good tips, aren’t they? Don’t forget to check out Ripped.Me as well as the other resources below. Cheers!
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Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. Mark spends his days helping distressed Uni students through difficult situations. He holds three science degrees and a Diploma of Christian counselling. In his spare time, Mark does freelancing and runs a series of online operations with his business partner Atanas. Connect with Mark @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan