Sleeping is the best healer for the human body, it refreshes the mind and gives the body the time it needs to get back to full capacity. A good night’s rest can work as an amazing refresher for the brain. It reduces stress and energizes you. One of the most important activities of the human body happens during sleep – piecing together memories of the day. This consolidation of thoughts, impressions and memories is essential to create the knowledge bank we call our mind.
It is, however, of no surprise that in this fast moving world, where there are more screens than faces in our life, getting a good night’s sleep is rare. The constant bout of activity that begins with the break of dawn lasts all the way till the late hours of the night. This high octane activity, while fun and productive, can burn you down faster than ever if you do not supplement it with enough sleep. Getting one’s sleep cycle sorted is the first step towards becoming a healthier individual.
There are some very basic habits which, when inculcated, allow you to have the sound sleep you want and need.
Here are some of them:
Cut the caffeine
Tea and coffee have become a staple in our lives. We find ourselves reaching for a mug of coffee or a steaming cuppa simply because it is an instinct to fend off sleep. These doses build up to leave you completely amped up with nothing to do come nightfall. Be it chocolates, cold drinks, energy drinks or any other product with caffeine in it, do not ingest any after the workday is done. Keep on feeding yourself caffeinated products all day and sleep will be far from your mind, but the fatigue won’t.
Set a routine
Like most things in the human body, repetition and routine is something the body loves, especially for healthy activities like sleeping. Establishing a fixed pre-sleep routine can help you automatically get in the zone for bed and allows you to fall asleep faster. Some people love a hot shower right before bed, some prefer their favourite book, while some prefer soothing music to lull them to sleep. Find a routine that works well for you, and stick to it. Do not include work or any other high pressure, or high emotionally charged activities during this time. Any emotional high can stop you from falling asleep.
No midnight snacks
Contrary to popular perception, a heavy dinner is anathema to sleep and health and so are midnight snacks. Eating really heavy meals later in the night, after 9 pm, can leave you feeling bloated and too full to sleep. Give yourself at least 3 hours after a meal so as to allow the food to settle. Midnight snacks, while tempting, are something that can always drive sleep away. Starchy and high sugar foods will leave you feeling too energetic for sleep and effectively ruin your sleep cycle. A warm glass of milk or green tea work far better instead.
Cut out those naps
Taking small naps is a part of many a routines in our professional environment. But these naps can accumulate into leaving you restless when it is actually the time for sleep. Find alternate activities to napping so as to give you the energy you need to tackle your day. Taking a walk or talking to a friend can work as great substitutes to help you ward off the nasty bouts of sleep during the workday. Cutting out these naps will allow you to fall asleep faster. If you feel you can’t cut them out completely, limit them to 10-15 minutes and only once or twice a day.
These are just a few things that can help you sleep better at night. Having a dark room, spending more time in the daylight as well as having enough exercise through the day also work wonderfully in helping you sleep better at night.