How to: Get a good night’s sleep

When it comes to sleep, quantity is not the only thing that matters. The quality of sleep you have is very important when considering how you feel during the waking hours. We suggest experimenting with the following “how to get a good night’s sleep” tips to find out how to improve your sleep. Baron Insurance wants everyone to feel energetic, productive, and mentally sharp throughout the day.

1.     Natural Rhythms

One of the most important strategies to have a good night’s sleep is to get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake schedule. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule you’ll feel more refreshed and energized.

  • Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day- Choose a bed time when you feel naturally tired and you should wake up naturally without an alarm.
  • Avoid sleeping in on weekends—If you need to make up for a late night, choose to nap instead of sleeping in. This will pay of your sleep debt while still keeping your natural rhythm.
  • Be smart about napping- While napping is good for making up for lost sleep, sometimes it can make things worse. Limit your naps to 20 minutes in the late afternoon.
  • Fight off evening drowsiness- If you start to get tired and drowsy right after dinner, try and fight it off by doing something slightly active. You will sleep better when you do end up going to sleep.

2.      Get Regular Exercise

Active people are known to sleep better and feel less sleepy throughout the day. Getting regular exercise can improve the symptoms of insomnia, sleep apnea, and increase the amount of time you spend in a deep sleep.

  • The more vigorous the exercise the better- However, light exercise like walking for ten minutes can also improve sleep quality.
  • Be patient- It can take several months before your body gets used to the exercise patterns and starts to positively affect your sleep quality. So, be patient and focus on the end result. It also doesn’t hurt to get in shape throughout the process.
  • Timing is important- Make sure to end your exercise about 3 hours before you go to sleep, however if you are still experiencing difficulties move them to earlier in the day.

3.     Be smart about what you eat and drink

Your eating habits are very important and play a big role in how well you sleep.

  • Limit caffeine- Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, and just one cup is able to prompt unwanted effects, like restlessness and sleep problems.
  • Avoid big meals at night- Having dinner at an earlier hour is shown to increase sleep. Avoid heavy, rich, spicy, and acidic foods because they will cause bloating, heart burn, or stomach troubles right before bed.
  • Bedtime Snack- If you require a nighttime snack before going to sleep, try to choose a banana, or a small bowl of low-sugar cereal, or granola with yogurt. These are light and won’t cause indigestion.

4.     Clear your head

Stress, worry, and anger from your day can make it very difficult to sleep at night. Before bed, try to wind down and calm your mind in order to properly prepare for a good night sleep.

  • Read- Take up reading a book or magazine by a soft light.
  • Deep breathing- Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths. Continually make each breath deeper.
  • Dim the lights- In the hours leading up to bedtime, dim your lights. This will help you relax.
  • Muscle relaxation- Tense your muscles as tightly as possible and then completely relax. Start at your toes and work your way up to the top of your head.

5.     Improve environment

Sometimes, a peaceful bedtime routine can be distracting in a crowded or loud environment. Making small changes to your room can make a big difference to your quality of sleep.

  • Lower the noise- Try to eliminate noise from neighbors and traffic with a fan or sound machine. Ear plugs are also useful.
  • Temperature- Keep your room cool (around 18 degrees Celsius) and make sure you have adequate ventilation.
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable- If you tend to wake up with a sore back or neck you may need to experiment with different levels of firmness. Also make sure your covers allow you enough time to stretch and turn comfortably.

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. When you get a good night’s sleep you will feel more energized and productive throughout your day. Remember, it is not all about quantity, the quality of your sleep is very important. Try out a few of these sleep practices on a consistent basis to improve your sleeping habits, and your quality of life.

Sources:

Help Guide (www.helpguide.org)

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