Do you know that 11 days of sleeplessness can make you sleep FOREVER? Don’t worry! Before this happens we will help you out with your sleeping problems. We have some tips that you can follow to get a good night’s sleep.
As we grow old “restless nights” and “weary mornings” become a common problem. Dr. Karen Carlson says, “Later in life there tends to be a decrease in the number of hours slept.” Dr. Karen is an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School; she is also the director of Women’s Health Association at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Why good night sleep is so important? Every day we face so many challenges in our lives, at our jobs and in our homes. Meeting the deadlines, looking after the kids and taking other family pressures 24/7 is the lifestyle followed by many of us. To meet all these challenges your body needs a fresh start every day, fully revitalized and loaded with energy. Lack of sleep not only makes you restless and stressed out but it can cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
To solve your sleep problems, here are some simple steps that can put you to sleep:
Keep a Sleep Schedule
Always sleep and wake up at a fixed time, even on holidays and on weekends. Setting up a sleep-wake schedule helps you to enjoy a better sleep. Once the routine is set your mind will automatically tell you when to sleep and when to wake up, without using any alarm clock.
We know, for some it might not be as easy as it sounds. If you can’t go to sleep within 15 minutes, it’s better to get out of the bed and do something that could relax your body. Return to your bed when you finally feel tired.
Keep a check on what you Eat and Drink
Do not go to your bed empty stomach as hunger will trouble you to fall asleep. Even being over stuffed might keep you up for the night. Also drink adequate amount of fluids, too little fluids will disrupt your sleep and too much fluid can increase the frequency of your trips to the toilet. Avoid taking caffeinated drinks at night as they can trouble you to fall asleep. Even alcohol is not an ideal drink to be taken before going to bed; it can make you feel sleepy right away, but later in the middle of the night it can disrupt your sleep.
Practice the Bedtime Ritual
Indulge yourself in the bedtime ritual. Start by telling your body that it is time to sleep. Take a warm relaxing bath, wear loose clothes, read a book or just listen to a soothing music and don’t forget to keep the lights dim.
Throw the TV set out of your bed room
Recent studies reveal that the presence of television sets in the bed room can interfere with your sleep as it can stimulate the brain even when it is off. Same is the case with other devices such as telephones and computers.
Dr. Karen Carlson suggests reserving the bedroom only for sex and sleep. This is what she says, “The bed needs to be a stimulus for sleeping, not for wakefulness.”
Always choose a comfortable mattress and pillow for a better sleep. If you share your bed always make sure there is enough room for two.
Another important factor for a quality sleep is the ambience of your room. Dr. Carlson suggests, “Make sure your bedroom is as comfortable as possible. Ideally you want a quiet, dark, cool environment. All of these things promote sleep onset.”
Avoid Long, Daytime Naps
Avoid taking long hour naps during the day as it can interfere with your night sleep. If you wish to take a nap during the day do not sleep more than 10 to 30 minutes, preferable in the afternoon. If you work at night then you can make an exception of sleep during the day. Fix a time for your sleep during the day and also sleep in a dark room.
Do you know that exercise can help you get quality sleep? Studies reveal that taking regular exercise can boost your sleep hormones like melatonin. Another study conducted on postmenopausal women revealed that those who exercised for 3 to 4 hours in a week enjoyed a quality sleep compared to women who were in active.
Avoid taking exercise close to sleeping hours as it can make you too active to fall asleep. Dr. Carlson suggests, “Exposing yourself to bright daylight first thing in the morning will help the natural circadian rhythm.”
Stay Away from Stress
It’s an old saying, “Don’t take your problems to bed”. The same rule applies if you want a quality sleep. There is nothing you can do about the problem at bedtime, so it’s better that you write them down on a piece of paper and sort them out in the morning.
Stay away from stress as much as possible. A simple way to manage stress is by being more organized, delegating tasks and setting priorities.
Time to See a Doctor
Occasional sleeplessness is nothing to worry about but if you are having trouble falling asleep quiet often, then it’s time to see a doctor. Other symptoms that can disrupt your sleep are sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.