We all have those nights when we toss and turn around in bed and pray for sweet slumber to come to us. Sleeping, after all, is the most important thing we do all day. It is extremely important to get a good night’s sleep every day in order to maintain one’s overall health and well being, both physical and mental. Macbeth’s guilt manifests itself in his lack of sleep which torments him as he yells ‘Macbeth shall sleep no more.’ To ensure your sound sleep, however, the simple points mentioned below should help a lot –
10.Take a Bath
Nothing like a soothing warm bath to help your body relax. In order to sleep well and easily, it is imperative that you relax your mind and body before going to bed. A warm bath helps to do exactly that, so take a bath one or two hours before sleeping. It raises your body temperature by a couple of degrees and consequently the drop in body temperature before going to bed helps induce sleep. Adding a pinch bath salts or some Epsom salt to the bath water also aids in the process of relaxation. A shower can also help in this but a soak in a bathtub is more effective.
9- Physical Exercise
The right amount of physical activity during the day goes a long way in helping you sleep peacefully at night. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 study describes how exercisers sleep better as compared to people who don’t exercise on a regular basis. Vigorous exercisers are also less likely to suffer from sleep related disorders. The recent study also showed a positive correlation between non-exercisers and sleep apnea. However, the timing of the physical exercise you undertake is important. Physical activity is best done during the day. Exercising too close to bed time can energize your body and make it difficult to sleep. It also raises your body temperature, making your body think it is not yet time to sleep. It is therefore thought best to refrain from engaging in strenuous physical activity for at least four hours before sleep time.
8- Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine
The consumption of caffeine right before bedtime is a strict no no. Caffeine is a stimulant that helps to keep a person active and alert and its effects may last up to ten to twelve hours. Drinking coffee, tea, soda or other caffeine-rich drinks before turning in will only keep you up longer and not allow your mind to relax. Chocolate and some drugs also contain caffeine. A 2007 study proved that even decaffeinated drinks across coffee chains contained up to 32 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Nicotine, similarly, is a stimulant. Much like caffeine, it makes one feel awake and attentive. A study showed that chain smokers took longer to fall asleep, a condition known as sleep latency. The desire for more nicotine also disrupts sleep patterns.
7- Keep Away the Electronics
In this age of technology, not too many of us can keep away from our cell phones and laptops for longer than five minutes. The distracting influence of these gadgets can however disturb our sleep. Melatonin is a hormone whose production is dependent upon light exposure. It controls our sleep cycle. In daytime, the sunlight suppresses the melatonin production and darkness increases it. The light from television sets and computers can decrease the melatonin production and trick our bodies into thinking it is not yet time for bed. If you are in the habit of reading before going to bed, try to use an external light source instead of devices that have a backlight (like ebook readers) In order to sleep peacefully, it is best that one keeps one’s iPhones, laptops, TVs, cell phones and blackberries at a distance.
Research proves that just 40 minutes of listening to soothing music can help you fall asleep. The research found that listening to music induced physical changes – lower heart beat rate and respiration- which in turn helped in the process of falling asleep. The quality of sleep for people who listen to music before dozing off is remarkably better, and includes shorter sleep latency, longer sleep duration and lesser disturbance. It is, of course, best to avoid loud music. Soft beats, jazz, ambient music etc can help improve sleep. This is the reason mothers sing lullabies to their babies to make them sleep. We strongly recommend music as an effective alternative to sleeping pills.
5- The Right Diet
They were not wrong when they said ‘eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a Pauper.’ In order to maintain a healthy sleep cycle, try to avoid heavy meals right before going to bed. Fatty foods may take time to digest in your stomach and keep you up. For some people, eating before going to bed might lead to indigestion and disturb the sleep cycle. Don’t go to bed starving or completely stuffed, but consume a light, nutritious meal a couple of hours before going to sleep. If hungry before sleeping, a light snack of turkey sandwich is recommended since turkey is rich in tryptophan, which is a natural sleep inducer. Milk and other dairy products are also rich in tryptophan, which is why a glass of warm milk is good to consume if you have trouble going to sleep
4- Get Comfortable
The key to getting a good night’s sleep is to get comfortable in your bed. There are various ways in which you can do that. Getting comfortable depends upon a lot of factors such as position, temperature of the room, light etc. A hot room can be highly uncomfortable. It is best to sleep in a cool room, along with covers or blankets if you tend to feel cold. For most people, the ideal room temperature to sleep in is 18° C. Try to eliminate loud, neighborhood voices or street noise by shutting the windows. If your bed is uncomfortable, chances are that you won’t sleep well. Find a pillow and mattress that suits you. Cotton sheets or sateen ones (not satin) are considered good.
3- Turn Off the Lights
As mentioned earlier, the melatonin production in our body depends upon light exposure. The best way to induce sleep is to dim the lights before going to sleep. The increase in melatonin production as a result facilitates sleep. The darker your surroundings are, the better you will sleep. Sitting in a dimly lit room right before turning in assists in creating the mindset for going to sleep. Use low wattage bulbs instead of bright lights if you cannot sleep in complete darkness. Increase light exposure during the day, instead, to regulate your sleep schedule. To do the same, keep your curtains open to let the sunlight in, take walks outside when you can and try to avoid spending long hours inside. Use natural sunlight to regulate your biological clock- go out and face the sun every morning for ten minutes when you wake up.
2- Relaxation Techniques
One important factor in going to sleep without tossing and turning around in the covers is relaxing your mind and body. Some simple steps and techniques can help you do exactly that Progressive muscle relaxation tightly clench and unclench the muscles of your body, starting from the toes and working your way up. Visualize something peaceful and happy. Imagining a tranquil and calm scenario can go a long way in relaxing your mind. When your mother told you as a kid to close your eyes and think restful landscapes, she wasn’t kidding around. It actually works.
Deep breathing- try taking deep, even breaths to relax your body.
Empty your mind of all worrisome thoughts. We all know how all terrible thoughts find their way into our mind as soon as our head hits the pillow. But consciously thinking happy thoughts and leaving the worrying to later on helps a lot. Try counting sheep if nothing else works Get a massage to soothe jagged nerves
1- Regular Sleep Cycle
One of the most important steps towards sleeping quickly and easily is maintaining a regular sleeping schedule. It is easy in today’s fast paced world to disrupt the natural body clock. Doing that, however, can upset a person’s sleep schedule as well. In order to maintain the natural body clock, you should have a regular bed time and stick to it. Going to bed at different times every night will lead to irregular sleep patterns. Try not to break this routine. In fact, try to sleep at the time you have set even on weekends. Wake up at the same time every day. If the regular sleep pattern is maintained, it is easy for you to wake up at the same time each morning even without an alarm clock. Waking up on time will also help you to get to sleep on time each night without too much tossing and turning around nap sensibly. If for some reason you have had to stay up late or wake up earlier than you usually do, compensate for the lost sleep time by taking an afternoon siesta or a nap. Try not to make the nap too long though, for that will