Good sleep is at the center of a happy, long and healthy life. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Check out the infographic below to see 10 easy ways to fall asleep:
“There is only one thing people like that is good for them; a good night's sleep.”
- E.W Howe (American Novelist)
Keep your room well-ventilated, and at your ideal temperature.
Why does your room need to be well-ventilated? For more oxygen to come in, and lower levels of carbon dioxide. Big deal, you say? We get enough oxygen during the day, you say? Yes, but night-time oxygen is different.
In a recent study published in the journal Indoor Air, it was found that lower levels of carbon dioxide resulted in deeper sleep, more efficient sleep and less waking up in between.
Your mattress can help:
Take a hot bath before bedtime.
A dip in the body temperature is what helps us fall asleep. Body temperature dips slightly at 1 pm, and it goes down even more in the evening. This drop-in body temperature contributes to us feeling sleepy. 60 – 90 minutes before bedtime, a hot water bath will raise the body temperature, and quickly drop it, leaving us feeling sleepy.
Always follow a regular sleep routine.
Sleep doesn’t start the moment our heads hit the pillow. It starts about an hour before bedtime. Just like we cool down after a workout, we need to cool down after the activity of the day before we can sleep.
Avoid using the computer, smartphone, etc. right before you sleep.
Electronic devices that we normally use, like smartphones and tablets, commonly generate blue light.
While blue wavelengths are beneficial during the day as they improve reaction times, mood, and attention, attractive as these benefits are during the day; they are not what you want to experience when you are trying to sleep.
Exposure to this light at night reduces melatonin (a natural hormone that regulates the sleep cycle) levels.
Doing anything that’ll help you sleep is what we’re looking for.
Put your electronic devices away to get a good night’s sleep!
Reading a book helps.
This is an easy option if you find yourself lying awake, and you’re surrounded by books. Careful what you choose: e-books are out. Either choose an audiobook or a good old-fashioned paperback. Preferably, choose a book that you’ve already read before, and nothing too exciting. This works better if you actually enjoy reading books. Otherwise, you could try doing the crossword or sudoku.
Do regular exercise, but not within 3 - 4 hours of bedtime.
Exercise has a lot of benefits, and one of them is helping you to get deeper and better sleep. Since it produces cortisol (a hormone that keeps you alert), it’s better to exercise more than 4 hours before bedtime.
Don't have a heavy meal just before you sleep.
Because your body is busy digesting your food after a heavy meal, you won’t get that good quality deep sleep you need.
Since the bedroom is where most of us sleep, it makes sense for us to invest some time and money in making it an ideal environment for us to sleep in. This includes keeping it free of dust, pollen and dirt particles. The cleaner your bedroom is, the better the quality of sleep you’ll have.
Have a regular cleaning schedule in place to ensure that your bedroom is kept clean regularly:
Limit your use of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar from 3:00 pm onwards.
While alcohol seems to help you fall asleep quicker, it can reduce quality sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM).In other words, while it looks like you’re getting a good night’s sleep, it’s actually quite disrupted, and alcohol after 3:00 pm cheating you out of the benefits you should be getting. Not unless your definition of quality sleep includes talking in your sleep, sleepwalking and having a memory like a goldfish.
Take supplements such as melatonin, if necessary:
When the pineal gland in the brain doesn’t produce enough of this hormone naturally, that’s when you need to consider supplements.
A lot of things can keep you from sleeping soundly, as you should: insomnia, jet lag, delayed sleep phase syndrome, stress, problems with your circadian rhythms, excess nighttime exposure to light and a whole lot more.
The release of melatonin in the bloodstream helps your body wind down and gets it ready for sleep. It does its good work within a good 12 hours.
If your body doesn’t produce enough melatonin, and you’ve tried everything else but nothing’s working, a melatonin supplement could help you out.
However, before you pop that pill, you might want to check with a physician to see if melatonin is right for you.
One of them is bound to help you catch your 40 winks.