How To Improve Your Sleep – 6 Easy Sleeping Hacks

October 12, 2017 Mona No comments exist
improve your sleep
Photo by Jonathan Fink on Unsplash

Getting quality sleep is easier said than done. If you are one of those people who are on their feet since 6 am until 11 pm you know how easy it is to fall asleep. When you lay down you don’t even have the energy to think about the problems or things that worry you, you just surrender to tiredness.

 

However, you may also be a person that spends all day on their feet, working hard, stressing yet still tossing and turning during sleep.

 

Sleep is crucial for physical and mental health, as well as emotional well-being. Wait, let me correct myself – quality sleep is crucial. Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of weight gain and heart disease. It is linked to depression and can affect our ability to interact socially.

 

On the other hand, quality sleep helps your brain work properly. Getting enough sleep improves your learning abilities, makes you more alert, helps control emotions and make decisions. It helps control your appetite, heals and repairs cardiovascular system and keeps the immune system healthy.

 

If you’re struggling to fall asleep or you keep waking up during night, here is how you can improve your sleep.

 

 

Improve Your Sleep By Following These Easy Steps


 

Relax, take it easy.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The meaning of ‘relaxing’ differs from person to person. For example, you could take a bath before going to bed, do yoga, or have a cup of tea and read a book.

 

Evening or early night should be your time – time to unwind, so get the most of it. Chances are you had a stressful day at work or school, maybe even some problems at home and there’s a lot you’re thinking about.

 

Take half an hour or an hour to yourself. To do something, anything that will make you calm and relaxed. And for those super busy nights, remember that even 10 minutes of doing something you love goes a long way!

 

I know it’s easier said than done, but leave your troubles behind when you’re going to bed. If you’re really struggling to get your mind at peace, here’s a little tip! Write down everything that’s troubling you at that certain moment. Visualisation helps realise the problems and create solutions.

 

After you’re done writing your troubles, close the notebook and leave them there. Accept that the day is at its end and what’s done is done. Tomorrow is a new day, a new start so just relax and have a good night’s sleep. You need it and deserve it.

 

 

Avoid naps if you have trouble sleeping.

If you’re feeling tired, exhausted, sleep deprived or just want to relax for a bit you’re probably thinking about napping. Power naps can be very beneficial but they’re also not for everyone.

 

While napping might help you get through the day it can also cause sleep inertia and interfere with your night-time sleep. Late-day naps (after 5 p.m.) decrease sleep drive, therefore, you might have trouble falling asleep later at night.

 

If you absolutely must take a nap then preferably do it between 2 and 3 pm. Make sure your naps are short, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes.

 

 

Do not look at the clock.

alarm clock
“Staring at the clock can increase stress. “

At least once in your life you looked at the clock before bed and said: “ah great, I have exactly 5 hours and 42 minutes of sleep if I fall asleep this second.“ Sure, you haven’t said it in those exact words, hours and minutes but you get the point.

 

Looking at the clock will only get your brain working and keep you awake. How? Staring at the clock can increase stress. You’ll begin to worry about the next day, become anxious and having a good night’s sleep is out the window. Spare yourself the trouble and turn your clock’s face away from you!

 

 

Have a consistent sleep schedule.

Have you ever noticed how you feel energised and tired around the same time every day? This is related to something called circadian rhythm. In layman’s terms this is due to your sleep/wake cycle.

 

Circadian rhythm acts like a 24-hour internal clock that cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help improve your sleep as well as your energy.

 

If you stick to your sleep/wake schedule you’ll feel much more refreshed, energised and concentrated throughout the day. Do your best to avoid late nights and sleeping in on weekends to avoid the jetlag-like feels on Monday morning.

 

 

Dark & unplugged.

Photo by Ludovic Toinel on Unsplash

Light plays a big role in your sleep/wake cycle. Exposure to light stimulates the body and mind. If you wake up before the sunrise you know how hard it is to become fully alert and awake while it’s still dark outside.

 

But as soon as daylight peaks through the windows you’re more energised, focused and your mood improves. This is due to the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycle.

 

Since light affects the production of melatonin you’ll feel more tired when it gets dark because that’s when melatonin levels are at peak. However, the use of artificial light is inevitable nowadays and it can interfere with your circadian rhythm.

 

Out of all the lights, blue light emitted from your smartphone/tablet/iPad seems to have the strongest impact on slowing down the production of melatonin.

 

To maximise the chances of a good sleep and avoid waking up during night do the following:

  • Put away electronics 60 minutes before going to bed
  • Don’t have your phone close to you
  • Create complete darkness in your bedroom (blackout shades, heavy curtains)
  • Use eye mask if no other option

 

Develop healthy lifestyle habits.

healthy lifestyle habits

The healthier you are the better you’ll sleep. Here I’m talking about three basic healthy habits that do wonders for you and your body. Those are the following: exercising, eating healthy and drinking plenty of water.

 

Taking care of yourself shouldn’t feel like a chore so do your best to develop these healthy habits.

 

Amongst multiple benefits, exercise promotes restful sleep, helps ease insomnia symptoms and increases the amount of time spent in deep sleep. Intense workouts are to be finished at least two to three hours before bedtime. However, light stretches, yoga and meditation can be done just before bed for better sleep.

 

As for eating healthy, stick to unprocessed foods, such as:

  • Veggies and fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • Whole grain rice and pasta
  • Eggs and lean meats

 

Things to avoid few hours before bedtime:

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol
  • Big, heavy meals
  • Too much water
  • Intense workouts/exercise

 

 

Let me know in the comments below if there’s something else you do that helps you sleep like a baby 😉

 

Sweet dreams,

M, xo

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