After a long stressful day, all that you need is to relax and sleep well to wake up fresh again. Sleeplessness has become a common problem today due to various reasons. Inadequate sleep can affect your health badly and diminish your energy levels. A sound sleep is very important for physical or mental health. Our bodies are designed to sleep throughout the night and there are some expert recommended things you can do to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.
1. Adjust light and temperature:
Ideally you should sleep in dark rooms. Make your bedroom your sleep sanctuary by reducing as much noise and light in the room as possible. Even a little bit of light can throw off your sleep cycle — even blue light from a digital clock or even a gloomy light through the under door gap. Try wearing a sleep mask and keep your room at a comfortable temperature.
2. Keep away electronics, why?
Turn off all the electronic devices at least one hour before you go to bed. Our internal circadian biological clocks regulates the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day. The circadian rhythm lowers and rises at different times of the day. The blue light emissions of the electronic devices are highly responsible for modern day sleep deprivation. These emissions suppresses the melatonin production of the body and shifts the circadian rhythm to a later time. You need to switch off the TV, laptops, mobile phones or other devices at least one hour before your bed time, to allow time for the body to produce melatonin and make you fall asleep.
Our body craves for a routine. By creating a pre-sleep ritual, you can establish a connectivity between a habit and sleep. For instance, if you develop a habit of reading before going to bed, your body knows that reading at night signals sleep time. If you take a warm bath daily before bed, your body recognizes that it’s time to slow down and relax. This pre-sleep routine should start at least 30 minutes before your sleep time.
4. Use your bedroom only for sleep:
You need to keep the bed and room completely clutter free. Keep the bed and the sheets extremely tidy and the room very clear devoid of unnecessary things. Use your room only for sleep but not for work, texting, watching tv or any such activities. Yet things associated to your pre-sleep habits are allowed, such as a book etc.
Thoughts filled in your mind make you sleepless. This is actually a most prevalent cause of sleep deprivation. Your brain is racing with thoughts and surrounded with worries, stopping you to fall asleep. If you are able to distract yourself from these thoughts, you can sleep well. A mental exercise helps your brain focus away from your worries. It can be as simple as thinking of fruits and vegetables with a certain letter, focusing on the details of a particular object, such as its color, shape, size and what it’s used for, solve a puzzle from a book or you can recite lyrics from your favorite song.
6. Be Positive:
While you are going to bed every night, keep focusing on some positive events such as good memories and happy moments. Being positive can relax your mind and make you fall asleep.
7. Keep a regular schedule:
The greatest promoter of being able to sleep is being in sync with your internal clock. Getting up and going to bed at the same time daily is the key to good sleep. Whether you actually had a good night sleep or you spent tossing and turning over your bed being sleepless, the key to long-term sleep-success is to maintain regular schedule.
Another kind of thoughts disturbing you from falling asleep are the things you have to do the next day. Instead of thinking of your plans on bed, make it a habit to list out the thing-to-do hours before you go to bed. Take some time in the evenings and make lists to do tomorrow clear your mind from the stuff you have to think about.
9. Practice breathing techniques:
While you’re lying in bed, exhale completely through your mouth; then, close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for seven counts and exhale again for eight counts. Repeat three more times. This 4-7-8 breathing exercise is nothing but the most popular Pranayama yoga that can relax your body and mind and makes you fall asleep quickly.
Alcohol and caffeine may make you feel drowsy initially but they actually affect the sleep patterns. What you have to do is avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol at least two hours before your sleep time. Like wise you should also avoid any strenuous activity for two hours before you go to bed.
11. Have a light dinner:
Recipes made of whole wheat or brown rice contain nutrients like carbohydrates that create serotonin and relax you. Include fresh veggies or lean meat to satisfy your tummy without bloating. Stuffed stomach or indigestion can interfere into your sleep patterns, so it is better to keep your dinner light. Eating as early as possible and having a snack or warm milk an hour before bed keeps your body calm and ensures a good night sleep.