Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Have you ever had to painfully watch the hours crawling slowly by at night after a long day? Perhaps you thought you could fall asleep as soon as you hit the bed because you were pretty worn out. But alas, dreamland just seemed so far away. That’s what you’ve probably battled for months now: insufficient sleep.
Getting sufficient sleep of about 6-7 hours daily is essential for optimal health. So what can you do to ensure you get better sleep?
1. Stick to a sleeping schedule
Our body system is like clockwork. If you eat your first meal every day by noon, your body will learn not to feel too hungry until that time. And when you sleep around a specific time daily, you’d likely feel sleepy as that hour approaches. It’s called the circadian rhythm.
Have a specific time to turn it, and your body system and hormones would acclimatize to that sleeping schedule. It will help if you complete all the tasks you have to do before that time so you can sleep fulfilled at the end of the day.
2. Sleep in a comfortable environment
One effective way to get better sleep is to make your sleeping place as comfortable and possible. Your room should be cool, dark, and quiet, and you should use the night mode feature on your phone and laptops. Buying a Tempurpedic mattress is also a wise investment to achieve better sleep. A Tempurpedic mattress will conform to your sleeping body shape, reducing pain and pressure points that interfere with sleep.
If there’s noise outdoors, consider using earplugs or soundproofing your walls.
3. Reduce the length of your siesta
While siestas are great, they reduce your chances of sleeping early at night. Say, you napped at 3 pm till past 4 pm. You may not feel sleepy at night until past midnight. And if you have a business to attend to next morning, it means your alarm will go off early, never minding whether you’ve had up to 6 hours of sleep.
If you must have a siesta, ensure it doesn’t exceed 30 minutes and avoid having it late in the day.
4. Get physically active by day
Regular daytime activity promotes better sleep. If you expel a considerable amount of energy walking or going about your business, chances are you’ll feel weary and sleepy quickly at night.
5. Manage stress and anxiety
Being anxious at night prevents you from falling asleep. Perhaps there’s an upcoming task you’re worried about. Stress and anxiety management techniques such as mindfulness meditation can help you sleep better. Jot down your to-dos, prioritize them, stay organized, and you’ll feel more in control.
6. Mind what you eat and drink at night
Studies show that caffeinated food and beverages, high-fat foods, and refined carbs cause poor quality sleep. So if you’re a fan of coffee or energy drinks after dinner, it’s about time you stopped if you desire better sleep.
Contrary to what you might think, alcohol leads to poor quality sleep because it increases your need to urinate at night, thereby disrupting your sleep pattern. Alcohol can also cause snoring and sleep apnea.
Many natural aspects of our lives are within our control, including how we sleep. It comes in the little things you do during the day and just before bedtime.