- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How To Get Good Sleep: 15 Tips To Help You Sleep Better
Do you crave for a good night's sleep? Are you frustrated with your apparent inability to sleep well? If you are one of those people, who sleep poorly, you need to read on and find out the ways in which you can improve upon your sleep and feel better rested. Far too many of us take sleep for granted. We expect to sleep well. It is almost as if we expect a button to be pressed and sleep to follow. Well, things don't work that way. In exasperation, a lot of us just pop in a pill to address the situation. Not a good solution. Sleep is a natural process and solutions to inadequate sleep should be natural as well! Read on to learn 15 tips and solutions to address poor sleep. These should help you get a good night's sleep.
Sleep Strategies And Solutions To Help You Sleep Better
Things you can do to get a good night's sleep!
Have a Regular Sleep Routine
Maintain a regular sleep schedule. It helps to go to bed at the same time every day, or at least try to conscientiously and work towards it. Your body gets used to the pattern. You'd find yourself getting sleepy around your normal sleep time that way every day. If you have pending work that you need to get done, plan it out in such a way that you either do it earlier during the day or in the early mornings before going to work.
Say No To Stimulants
Reduce on stimulants: Not a good idea at all to consume stimulants such as caffeine around the evening time. It keeps you awake longer. If you must have a drink, try non-caffeinated teas.
Be in Tune With Your Body
Listen to your body: When you feel sleepy the first time, listen to your body and switch off the lights. Do not fight your body and stay awake. It is much harder to fall asleep later. This may be difficult for you to do if you are working late and trying to finish, for example, an office project or studying for an exam. However, there is an easy solution to this that can ensure that you get a good night's sleep as well as get your work done. Just set your alarm so you get up earlier than usual and you can then complete your pending work in the morning.
Sleep Environment Matters
Create a sleep-conducive environment: Make sure you have an environment that encourages sleep. A quiet, peaceful room is the way to go. Also, make sure you don't have interruptions from loud noises. If you do, try to fix it so you can look forward to a period of uninterrupted sleep.
Smoking Won't Help
No smoking please: Smokers apparently have trouble falling asleep more than normal people. They also are thought to awaken much more in between sleep. This is because nicotine is a stimulant, and when you are trying to sleep, you should certainly not be putting any stimulant into your bloodstream. So, if you are a smoker, here's another good reason to quit.
Alcohol Doesn't Help Either
Alcohol doesn't help at all, even though it may seem to on the face of it. Although, alcohol can help make you fall asleep faster, usually the quality of sleep is poorer because your body is actually trying to metabolize and clear your body of the alcohol you've consumed - while you are sleeping. You may wake up in between consequently and you might end up getting fragmented sleep at best, certainly not the kind of good quality sleep you deserve.
Avoid a Heavy Meal Close to Bedtime
A heavy meal close to bedtime interferes with sleep. If you have eaten early and are feeling hungry, eat a light snack. Milk has also been shown to help promote sleep, especially because of the amino acid L-tryptophan contained in it.
Stress / Worries and Sleep Don't Go Well Together
Stress is perhaps one of the most prominent obstacles to getting a good night's sleep. You may be worried about your exams, a deadline at work that you didn't meet and have to answer to the next day, or be having marital conflicts. If only there were a magical button that you could push and turn off these stresses in an instant. Unfortunately, there is no such magic cure and often you'd find yourself lying in bed replaying stressful thoughts over and over in your head and thus occupying your mind and not be able to relax. What can help you keep these stressful thoughts away is to not let your mind idle and instead read a book for example. Doing so should engage your mind and help you doze off reading. I can't remember how many times I've dozed off reading a book, so it should certainly help.
Avoid Prolonged Day Naps
Prolonged naps during the day may not help you sleep early or better at night. Hence, if you do need to take a day nap, take a quick nap, no more than probably 30 minutes. If you find that even napping 30 minutes during the day is affecting your night sleep, then try to avoid taking day naps totally.
Sleeping With Pets May Not be a Good Idea
While we may have emotional reasons for wanting to have our pets sleep with us, from a sleep perspective, this is not desirable. Pets may have their own sleep routine and awaken in the middle of the nights and would awaken you as well. Of course, if you are allergic to pets, this may cause additional problems and would certainly interfere with the quality of sleep you get.
Dimly Lit Rooms Help
I have both bright and dim lights in my bedroom. Dim lights are soothing and sleep promoting. I turn them on close to my sleep time and use the bright lights only if I really require them, but in general, the last hour or two before I sleep, I just have the dim lights on in my room and it really does help.
Watch What You Sleep On
Ideally, you should be sleeping on a good, comfortable mattress. It should not be too soft or too hard. Something in between should be the way to go. The pillow you sleep on makes a lot of difference as well. The wrong pillow, apart from affecting your sleep, may also result in you suffering from neck and shoulder pain among other related health conditions. Pillows aren't designed to be used for an eternity either. Experts say that you should change over to a new pillow every 12-18 months at least to prevent issues such as dust mites, mold, fungus that find a haven in your old pillow.
Drink Less for a Good Night's Sleep
About an hour or so before your anticipated sleep time, limit your fluid intake so you don't awaken in the middle of the night to have to urinate. You may find it difficult to fall asleep again if you are awakened just because of the urge to go to the bathroom. Limiting your pre-sleep fluid intake should therefore help.
Respect Your Sleep Space
Let your bed be your bed. Don't make your bed a mess with foodstuff lying around, work papers, files, etc. Don't work on your bed or eat on your bed. Let your bed be a warm, inviting, welcoming place that allows you to relax and sleep. Your bed should just be your bed and not your mini-dining room or mini-office. Imagine a warm, comforting, dimly-lit room with soft pillows and then imagine a room filled with office papers, bright lights, food stuff lying around. It is obvious which room would help you sleep better!
Leave As Much Technology Out of The Bedroom as Possible
While we love our TVs and our mobile phones, unfortunately these don't do our sleep any good. These are extremely distracting and don't help you get a good night's sleep at all. If possible, don't have your television in your bedroom and keep your mobile on silent mode. The last thing you need when dozing off to sleep or when asleep is having your phone go off and wake you up.
Sleep is not something you would want to compromise on. Sleeping well is important for your body and mind. Lack of sleep can result in decreased productiveness at work, short temper, increased stress, as well as be a risk factor for serious health conditions.
Long-term sleep deprivation has been linked with heart attacks and strokes. Of course, deprived sleep can't be the only reasons for heart attacks or strokes, but they are thought to certainly contribute to the risk.So, follow the simple tips listed above and sleep well. Your body and mind require the rest they deserve.
© 2009 Shil1978