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How to Sleep at Night

Updated on April 14, 2020
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Natasha Pelati is a published author and freelance writer with an interest in psychology and coaching those who are a bit stuck.

Your Bedroom should be Comfortable

A comfy bedroom will help you unwind
A comfy bedroom will help you unwind | Source

What is the Purpose of Sleep?

If you are having trouble sleeping and you are desperate to learn how to sleep better, than you are going to find the information here useful.

Most people don't realise that they are suffering from sleep deprivation or insomnia and there are a few tips for you to get more sleep and have more energy.

A lack of sleep can finally get you down ,physically and emotionally. I it is not healthy to have broken sleep or worse, none at all!

Sleep is important for our brains and body, without enough sleep our bodies get worn down through time and it effects our mental state.

During sleep, our brain cells shrink to accommodate our glymphatic system, the brain's metabolic waste removal system.

We accumulate toxins and this has to be excreted, it can be done in the day but it works twice as well during sleep.

Too many toxins accumulated in our brains, can cause Alzheimer's.

A lack of sleep can also interfere with our long term and short term memory too.

Insufficient sleep can lead to insulin insensitivity, diabetes and heart disease.

The purpose of sleep is to provide our bodies with energy, it cleanses and rids our bodies of the metabolic waste and it gives us balance.

It is absolutely crucial for both our mental and physical health.

Give your Brain Time to Reboot

A tired brain is an unhealthy brain
A tired brain is an unhealthy brain

How much Sleep do we Need?

Four to six hours of sleep is no good for your body and the amount of sleep that you have determines how you will function in your every day life. A lack of the correct sleep will eventually catch up with you and you will deteriorate slowly.

Our bodies need eight hours of sleep per night to avoid mental and physical deterioration.

We might assume that just a couple of hours is healthy enough because you might feel that you are well rested but your body never catches up and over time you will begin to feel the difference.

For those of us who cut out the sleep hours in order to work or do other things, we might not notice that our performance is slower or ideas might not be as good as they would be if you had given yourself eight hours.

If you are depriving your body of sleep for work purposes, you need to go back and check the work that you have done and you might find that it is not as good as it should be, or you might not even notice but your boss definitely will.

Children and teenagers naturally need more sleep than we do and eight hours for an adult is just enough, children need at least ten to twelve hours to give them a chance at a healthy life.

Get a Good Nights Sleep

Get to cloud nine
Get to cloud nine

In the Bedroom

Warm lighting and a comfortable room will make you feel relaxed

Why can't I Sleep?

Stress or anxiety is usually a big factor when it comes to depriving ourselves of sleep. It can eat at you slowly until it has eaten you alive from the inside. Whether it is stress from work, relationship or financial, it needs an outlet in order for you to get some rest.

Exercise is a good source of releasing energy and stress but it can also prevent you from having a good nights sleep because it drains your energy and often we over do it, especially when it comes to weights, which will deprive you of a good sleep.

Diet can also affect sleep as our bodies are built to burn up the right foods quickly and when you eat the wrong foods; fatty foods late at night, it is difficult to burn it up which will give you a very restless night.

Good foods can also affect your sleep especially if you eat it late at night, fruits and big portions should be prevented as well as caffeine and nicotine.

Screen time is a big factor when it comes to depriving yourself of sleep.

Your brain is activated and you are wired up which will make it extremely difficult to fall asleep. It needs time to switch off and reset before bed.

Avoiding your cell phone or laptop at least an hour or two before bed will give you a chance at a fairly decent nights sleep.

For a good nights sleep you need to prepare yourself for bed before the time and ensure that you have eaten and switched off your networks so that your body can prepare for relaxation mode.

Other reasons for why you cannot sleep could be a refreshing shower just before bed, chocolate, coffee, anxiety, excitement and perhaps too many liquid drinks.

Lighting in your room could also be a factor, it needs to be warm and relaxing. Check that your curtains are closed properly and that they don't let too much light in either.

A clean and fresh room with fresh sheets and a warm feel will also give you the wind down time before you sleep.

The time that you wake up could also effect your sleep at night because there is such a thing as being overtired.

Pushing your body to stay awake and fighting sleep will inevitably make your sleep patterns inconsistent, which will lead to a lack of sleep.

Find a Balance

Leave work at work and find a balance between home life and work life. This is imperative and it will even help you perform better at work

How do I Sleep at Night?

I am sure that you would love to find a way to fall asleep at night and it would be great if you could get a decent amount of sleep, unbroken, so that you can feel well rested and ready to take on any challenge.

The first step to sleeping well is checking that you have everything you need to have a good nights sleep.

In the Bedroom

  1. A comfortable bed with a decent mattress
  2. Clean and fresh room
  3. Soft lighting that is warm and cosy
  4. Curtains that block out the light
  5. Air that can circulate and a room temperature that is comfortable.

Your room should feel relaxing when you walk into it and comfortable enough for you to feel like falling asleep.

Countdown to Sleep Time

If you are preparing for bed then two hours before you go to sleep you need to unwind and get into a relaxing state.

Find some music that will put you into the alpha state. Music that can do this for you is certain classical music and if you look on the internet you will find a lot f relaxation music. Try and find one that makes you feel relaxed.

A good meditation will also get you into a relaxed state and for those who want to run at the sound of meditation....don't because any attempt to get you to fall asleep is worth it.

Avoid caffeine and chocolate, sugars and heavy foods at least four hours before you go to bed.

Exercise should be done before dinner time because it gives your body the chance to relax too.

Put your phone on silent when you get into the room and instead of social networking all night long, just listen to some soft and relaxing sounds.

Shower or bath way before bed because this can often refresh you and do the complete opposite for sleep time, especially depending on the soaps you choose to use.

Reading is a good way to relax but you have to ensure that the lighting is good for you because if it is not then your eyes will strain and that will lead to a restless night.

The brain is like a computer, it needs to be logged off and then switched off in order to reboot and start again.

Your brain needs to slow down and unwind before you get to sleep so that it is able to reboot and be ready for the next day.

If you are a constant thinker and you have all sorts of thoughts running through your head at night, you need to find a way to stop the thought process so that you can concentrate solely on how to sleep.

A good way to do this is to practice the art of good breathing and this can be done just before you get into bed.

Naturally you should also avoid drinking too much, so that your bladder is empty and you don't have to wake up to go to the bathroom all night long.

For a good nights sleep you need to have a balance in your life. A routine to stick to and this will lead to a sleep pattern that will give you a good rest.

  • Start your day early
  • get in some exercise
  • Eat a healthy breakfast
  • Drink enough water
  • Concentrate at work and take a break when you can
  • Eat a healthy lunch and have your snacks in between
  • Avoid sugars, fatty foods and alcohol, caffeine and nicotine at least 4 to 5 hours before bed
  • Don't overdo it at the gym and give your muscles time to relax afterwards. Jump into the sauna or do some stretches before you head on home
  • Leave work at work. This is a difficult one but it has to be done at least three times a week so that you can switch off and concentrate on home life, hobbies and kids.
  • Eat dinner early and if you are watching television have a cut off time and a cut off time for snacks and drinks too.
  • Shower or bath fairly early
  • Avoid exercise at night
  • Meditate
  • Yoga is good for you to unwind
  • Breathing exercises are extremely good for your body to unwind and relax
  • Have a cut off time for internet usage because this stimulates the brain and it can take hours to get unwired

Meditation for Sleep

Meditation can help you sleep and relieve stress
Meditation can help you sleep and relieve stress

Sleep Deprivation

What is the biggest reason for a lack of sleep?

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Sleep for Productivity

Many people think that working at home after hours is a good way to be productive but it does the complete opposite and you might think that the work that you are doing is good but it is not your best work.

For you to be productive, sleep is needed because it not only gives your brain a reboot, it also helps you with memory both long term and short term.

Late night working is using a tired tool that is pushing itself to work hard but the productivity and quality of the work is less than average and is not half as good as what it would be if you were fresh.

You would be better off going to sleep early and waking up earlier, as this would start you off with an energised and rebooted brain, ready to give you some fresh ideas.

The one thing that you also need to understand is that no problem is big enough to have you depriving yourself of sleep. Without the correct amount of sleep, you would be making everything seem worse than it actually is.

Worries, worries and more worries will do nothing but keep you awake. You have to think of it this way; there are problems whether they are financial or social and you cannot solve them by worrying about it all night long.

When you get into your bedroom for the sake of your wellbeing and the health of your relationship, you need to switch off from outside influences so that all you have to do in your room is relax and communicate about good things.

Your bedroom is your sanctuary and it should be just that. There is no room in your bed for worry and stress because there is nothing that you can do about anything at night when the world is sleeping.

Tomorrow when you are fresh and well rested, you will have a solution to your problems because things will be seen clearer after a good nights sleep.

Health problems like heart disease and blood pressure can be prevented with a decent amount of sleep.

Avoid Sleeping Tablets and Alcohol

You might think that this is a quick fix for your sleep deprivation but in the long run it is actually not doing your body and your mind any justice.

Sleeping tablets are not good for your heart and you will find that eventually they are just not doing the trick anymore.

Alcohol might get you to fall asleep but it is also bad for your heart, your blood pressure and your brain and it gives you broken sleep which is pointless.

Herbal remedies are also no good for you in the sleeping tablet range.

A cup of warm milk with a drop of honey could make you relax and this has more of an effect than alcohol does.

Relaxation Therapy

Relaxation therapy consists of meditation and relaxation music which can get you into the alpha state that will put you into a deep sleep once you are actually ready for bed.

Put all of your worries in a worry box and leave it outside your room. Do not walk into your room with problem solving thoughts because it is not fair to your body to do so.

Have a look on your search engine (during the day) for some breathing exercises which will help you fall asleep.

Breathing for Sleep

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Natasha Pelati


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