Are you sleepless? Or you find yourself dozing off in a lecture? Or you found yourself nodding away during that presentation at work? Then, you need better sleep. The truth is how you feel during your waking hours is hinged on how well you sleep at night. To overcome being sleepless and to feel rested and energetic during the day, you might need to change your daily routine and make changes to your lifestyle choices. Let’s examine the top tips that will enable you to stop being sleepless and therefore enjoy a more productive day.
- Set your Body Clock: Many do not know that the body has a “clock”. This “clock” is actually known as the circadian rhythm otherwise known as the sleep/wake cycle or the body clock. This is a natural, internal system that’s designed to regulate feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over a 24-hour period. Setting your body clock means establishing a particular time of sleeping and waking up – even on weekends and on holidays. By sticking to this sleep-wake schedule, you will set your body clock to sleep at a particular time and that will ensure you stay asleep for the night.
- Have a Bedtime Ritual: Decide on a relaxing, routine activity that you do right before sleep. This separates your sleep time from activities that cause excitements and stress. These rituals could be activities like reading a book by a soft light, taking a warm bath, do some easy stretches or listening to soft music.
- Turn your Bedroom around: Make sure the temperature in your room is cool (between 18 to 20 degree celsius). Also, reduce the noise in your bedroom. You can also keep away noise from the external environment by using earplugs. Furthermore, keep away lights. Switch off the bulbs and use curtains to block outside lights. The dark environment induces the brain to sleep. Moreover, make sure your bed and pillow is comfortable. Ensure the mattress is firm enough. If you have to, use a foam topper. It will also help to take work out out of your bedroom. Leave your laptop and work materials outside of the bedroom. This will help you brain to associate the bedroom with sleep.
- Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise helps you sleep better and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep restorative stages of sleep. However, it’s best to exercise at least three hours before bedtime. This is because exercises speeds up metabolism, elevates body temperature and produces cortisol-a hormone that is meant to keep you alert.
- Avoid Stimulants: Stimulants such as caffeine (found in coffee, cola, chocolate and tea) and nicotine (in tobacco) disrupts sleep. If you must take them, do so at least four to six hours before bedtime.
- Reduce sleeping in the Day: If you have had trouble sleeping at night, it may seem logical to take an afternoon nap. This may be rather counterproductive as late-day napping decreases the sleep drive. In the afternoons, a cat nap is advised and it should be before 5pm.
- Keep your phone away: If you must read before going to bed, avoid using a smartphone or a tablet or any other light-emitting e-readers. Research has shown that all light slows down the production of melatonin, the hormone that stimulates us to sleep.
However, blue light from screens are the worst culprits. Studies have shown that people who use these devices at bedtime find it hard to fall asleep and have the sleep-wake schedule disrupted.
These tips when followed through will definitely help you have a better sleep. Ensure you commit to a few of the above and you will see the difference (and thank me later). Sweet Dreams!
What do you think is causing you to have sleepless nights? Share in the comment section below.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask here.