Monday, 28 July 2014

How to Sleep Better

Sleep is an important part of life for everyone. Lack of sleep may cause irritability, moodiness and lack of concentration for even the simplest of tasks. Here are some guidelines on how to improve the quality and length of sleep.

Healthy bodies thrive on a sleep routine. Going to bed and rising at a regular time each day will programme the body to sleep and be awake at certain times. Even after a late night it is important to get out of bed at the usual time the next day.

Exercise is a great way to physically tire the body. Aerobic exercise is better but going for a brisk walk for 30 minutes or more each day will encourage sleep in the evening too. Don’t leave the exercise until too late in the day as this will energise the body and mind, making it more difficult to wind down for bedtime.

Avoid stimulants in the evening such as coffee, alcohol and cigarettes. These substances wake up the mind and interfere with sleep patterns.

Heavy meals late in the evening will sit in the stomach and cause sleep difficulties. Eating three or four hours before bedtime is a better idea. It’s also not a good idea to be hungry before bed, so a light snack in the evening may be a good idea.

Avoid napping at all times. A nap may recharge but it will also make it harder to fall asleep later on.
Start a bedtime ritual so mind and body know it’s time for sleep. Perhaps try reading a book or taking a hot bath or shower.

Don’t try too hard to fall asleep. If sleep isn’t happening within half an hour, get up and do something relaxing for a little while before returning to bed.

Listen to soothing music. Having a recording which shuts off after 30 minutes is a wonderful idea.
Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on pillows and sheets. Lavender is a natural relaxant and encourages sleep.

Drink a relaxing herbal tea in the evening. Chamomile tea is an excellent remedy for sleep problems. Don’t drink it just before retiring to bed as this may have you up in the night for the bathroom.

Using the bedroom for non sleep activities does not promote a good night’s sleep.  Don’t use the bedroom for catching up on work or watching TV.

Following these simple tips can encourage a better night’s sleep. If symptoms persist, consult a medical professional.

Pic source: KB's Room

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