5 Healthy Sleeping Tips in Your Life
Getting a good night’s sleep sometimes feels like a full-time job unto itself. You toss, turn, wake up and feel worse than when you laid down. Sleep hygiene is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, while sleep deprivation can be not only unproductive in the short term but physically and mentally unhealthy. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to help get better, more restful sleep more often. Here are five tips to promote healthy sleeping patterns!
1. Set a routine and stick to it.
Sometimes we have to train our bodies to understand that a certain time of day means it’s bedtime. Not everyone’s on a 9 to 5 schedule, but anyone can get on a healthy sleep regimen. About three hours before bed, start your “nightly” routine: Turn off the TV, read a book, take a shower, brush your teeth, drink a cup of chamomile tea and then go to bed. Once you’re in bed, feel free to have sex, but after that, you should close your eyes and try to sleep. Over time, your body will recognize the routine and adjust to it.
2. Block out distractions.
Turn off the lights and radio. Shut out all light coming into the room, using blackout drapes or even aluminum foil if necessary. If you need to, get an eye cover for sleeping. This next one is probably not a good idea for parents with young children, but you might try using earplugs to block out noise.
3. Avoid alcohol, food or caffeine.
Alcohol, food and caffeine consumption before bed can interfere with your body’s ability to secrete the chemicals that allow the brain to switch off. Although alcohol is a depressant, it can slow or halt serotonin production. Caffeine is a blood thinner and stimulant which can cause increased heart rate, adrenaline production and wakefulness. Eating immediately before bed can lead to indigestion and weight gain, which can in turn inhibit healthy sleeping patterns. For this reason, you should stay clear of alcoholic beverages or coffee with dessert if you’re within three to four hours of your regular bedtime.
4. Leave the past in the past.
This may be one of the hardest to do. Try not thinking about a pink elephant for sixty seconds! However, bedtime is not the time to think about work, financial stresses, relationship problems or how you’re going to make the next car payment. When you go to bed, you should be relaxed and concerned only with getting to sleep. If you need to, make a to-do list for tomorrow or a “worry list” about the day or week past. Once you’ve done that, give yourself something else to focus on for a while. Your brain will eventually train itself not to give you disturbing thoughts just before you go to sleep.
5. Get plenty of exercise.
Whether it’s a brisk walk after dinner, a jog in the afternoon or an athletic bedroom romp with your partner, exercise helps aid digestion and tire out the body. It’s entirely possible to be mentally exhausted and physically ready for a full day of work, so exercising regularly can help you sleep better at night. In addition, you get all the other health benefits of exercise, such as lower blood pressure, weight loss and a more relaxed mind!
By following these simple tips and incorporating them into your daily routines, you’ll find that not only do you look and feel better, but you’ll sleep better at night. This means you’ll wake up more rested and ready to take on the day in better health!