Losing sleep is certainly not something to be taken lightly. Continued patterns of tossing and turning at night can cause disastrous effects including fatigue, disorientation or mild irritation and hot tempers.
Good sleep strategies are essential and required for deep, restorative sleep you can count on night after night. By learning to avoid common enemies of sleep you can discover your personal prescription to a good night’s rest.
The first step to improving the quality of your rest is finding out how much sleep you need. Sleep requirements may vary slightly from person to person, but most healthy adults need at least 6 hours of sleep each night to function at their best. Let us look at some few sleep strategies to help you get better sleep.
Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends. By consistently doing this, you condition your body to follow a regular pattern of sleep. This allows your body’s natural clock to help initiate and maintain sleep. Also avoid napping. While taking a nap is a great way to recharge, especially for older adults, it can make insomnia worse. If you must nap, do it in the early afternoon, and limit it to thirty minutes or less.
Develop sleep rituals before bedtime. These allow you to unwind and mentally prepare for going to sleep. They should include quiet activities such as reading, listening to relaxing music, or even taking a nice bath.
Another strategy you can use to get better sleep is creating the right bedroom environment. Get your body and mind in the habit of using your bedroom for sleeping. Equip your room with soft lighting, comfortable bedding, and relaxing music. Also make your room as dark as possible. Exposure to light during the time you're supposed to be sleeping can disrupt your body's internal cycles. Remove all electronic devices from your room or wear a sleep mask.
Another thing you can do is limit food and beverage intake before bed. Say no to stimulants (caffeine and nicotine), which raise blood pressure and energy levels. Stop eating at least three hours before your scheduled bedtime. If you must snack on something, keep it light, and avoid high-fat foods, which take longer to digest. There are certain foods however, that will help to improve your chances of sleeping well. This is because they contain tryptophan – a natural sleep agent found in milk, oats, bananas and almonds.
Something else to consider is exercise. Regular exercise can help you get better sleep. The timing and intensity of exercise seems to play a key role in its effects on sleep. Regular exercise in the morning can even help relieve insomnia, according to medical studies. However, avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
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