In today’s busy, fast-paced world, it is easy to take sleep for granted. It’s normal to see a number of young professionals rush to the office so early in the morning and come home during the wee hours at night. It is also common to see work being done during those few hours before going to bed just to try to catch up with the never-ending tight deadlines and busy workdays. However, it might be useful to take a break, contemplate on why sleep is essential, and remember the need to get more restful sleep.
First, sleep can make you feel better. Getting enough restful sleep puts you in a better mood and definitely banishes those dark under eye circles.
Second, in a deeper sense, when people get more restful sleep, the heart and mind will be healthier, too. It will help the mind stay active and make learning easier. Studies also show that people who get more restful sleep appear to have more organized and structured thoughts that may result in more creativity as well. Both children and adults have shown improved productivity when enough sleep is obtained.
But how can one really sleep well? Here are some tips to get more restful sleep.
9 Things You Need To Do To Get More Restful Sleep
1. Set a regular sleeping schedule
Try to go to bed and get up at the same time to set your biological clock. By doing this, you will develop a regular sleeping habit that will therefore help you get more rest during the night. A developed regular sleep routine is good in preventing insomnia.
2. Keep notes
While you are in the process of developing your sleeping routine, take note of the time you went to bed, what time you woke up, the temperature of the room before you tucked yourself in, etc. Try to list activities you did before going to bed.
Keeping notes will help you know what triggers activity in the brain and will assist you in developing a better bedtime preparation for a more restful sleep.
3. Quit smoking
To get more restful sleep you must avoid all forms of stimulants. Nicotine is a stimulant and therefore you must quit smoking if you wish to sleep better.
4. Take time to calm the body down
One of the factors why people do not get a restful sleep is due to hyperactivity a few hours before sleeping time. So do note that you should allot time to relax before bedtime. You can try winding down by listening to soft music.
5. Practice relaxation exercises
By practicing relaxation exercises you will switch your body and mind into calm mode. This will help you to get more restful sleep. Here is one simple yet effective relaxation exercise you can try.
For more relaxation exercises check out Good Relaxation Video Courses.
6. Drink milk
This is an age-old technique but is still very effective. Warm milk is very effective in calming the body and the calcium intake can relax aching muscles. It has been said that for those people who often experience leg cramps during the night, a glass of warm milk can help prevent cramps from recurring in the future.
7. Check the temperature
To achieve a relaxed body, it is essential to have the right sleeping environment. A room that is too hot or too cold will make your body uneasy and make sleep an impossibility. Taking a warm bath before going to bed will temporarily warm you up and when you slip under a cool sheet, this will trigger a cooler temperature for your body. The shift will induce sleep. Make sure the room has enough ventilation to ensure quality sleeping time.
8. Fill your room with a relaxing scent
The body reacts to smell so an essential oil may be helpful in this area. Room and bed linen sprays have become very popular lately. Look for lavender or chamomile scent, as these two scents can add to the R&R mood.
9. Consult with your doctor
If all the suggested tips are ineffective, you may have a sleep disorder that may require professional advice. Consider consulting with a doctor if you have the following symptoms:
- Sleepiness during the day
- Difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep
- Loud snoring
- Pauses in breathing
- An exhausted feeling in the morning
- Inability to move when waking up
- Physically acting out dreams
So now that you know which things you need to do to get more restful sleep, check out the things you shouldn’t do.
7 Things You Shouldn’t Do
1. Don’t exercise four hours before bedtime
Exercising will stimulate the body and as discussed earlier, stimulants should be avoided. Thirty minutes of exercise will inhibit the body from relaxing and therefore hinder the mood for sleep.
2. The last coffee cup should be taken before 2 p.m.
Consume coffee only until noon to avoid having caffeine in the body when it is time for bed.
3. You shouldn’t let yourself get used to a sleeping position that flexes the neck or raises it
This uncomfortable position will not only prevent you from sleeping well but will also give you a stiff neck in the morning.
4. Avoid big dinners
Digesting heavy meals, especially those with lots of fatty foods, will keep the digestive system working and will hinder you from sleeping.
5. Resist after-dinner napping
A full stomach after a long day is the perfect condition for napping. If you are feeling sleepy after eating and it is still a few hours before bedtime, stand up and do some mild activities like walking, washing the dishes, or calling a friend.
6. Do not watch television before sleeping
Watching may stimulate your brain and will wake you up instead of relaxing you. Try listening to soft music instead — it will be more soothing and will condition your mind to get ready for sleep.
7. Avoid drinking alcohol
Though drinking may make you feel sleepy, it will wake you up in the middle of the night. Even if you fall asleep immediately, it will not be a restful one.
If you think that sleep is a waste of your time, remember that even while you are sleeping, a lot of things are getting accomplished. Aside from a healthier mind and body, sleep can improve your physical appearance. It is one of the best and most effective beauty treatments. A good, restful sleep can leave your skin looking fresh and beautiful — your morning glow will definitely be a good reason to get more restful sleep. Remember, sleeping is essential for a healthier you.
Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões