Do you struggle to go into the land of nod, no matter how tired you are? Or, do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours and watch the clock ticking away? When you go to bed, it is expected that you will have at least six hours of undisturbed sleep. If you are unable to sleep well at night, it sure looks like you are suffering from insomnia, a sleep disorder where you have difficulty falling asleep or getting up without getting your regular quota of sleep.
Well, now the question is how to get good sleep? But, before we come to that, let us find out why is it important to sleep well at night.
This is because insomnia, the sleep disorder leaves you feeling groggy, un-refreshed, and irritable. Not able to sleep well, takes a toll on your energy levels, mood, health, and ability to function properly during the day. Insomnia not only saps your energy but also has a tremendous effect on your performance, quality of life, and lifestyle.
Insomnia can affect anyone – be it a 30 year old office worker or a 65 year old retired pensioner, but it mostly affects the elderly. It can be categorized into short term insomnia lasting up to 3 weeks, and long term insomnia which persists over 3-4 weeks. While short term insomnia may not affect you much; long term insomnia can lead to memory problems, depression, two-wheeler or four-wheeler related accidents, and heart disorders.
Poor sleep, lack of sleep, or interrupted sleep can give rise to a number of health issues, some of which are:
- Weakening of the immune system
- Accelerated tumor growth
- Increase in hunger – making you a compulsive eater resulting in overweight problems
- Memory impairment
- Impacts your ability to think clearly, concentrate, or think coherently
- Markedly decreases your problem-solving ability
- Heart disorders
- Blood Pressure
But don’t worry anymore my friend, because I am here to offer tips on how to sleep well naturally. This will definitely ensure that you get a good night’s sleep every day. Furthermore, I will also be telling you about the ideal foods to eat that will assure you of good sleep.
Best Tips for Good Sleep
Here are some effective sleeping tips to help you have a good sound sleep at night.
1. Go To Sleep Only When You Are Feeling Sleepy
Lying down on the bed does not mean that you will fall asleep instantly. You should lie down only when you feel sleepy. When you go to bed early, you spend more time lying awake looking at the ceiling or tossing and turning rather than sleeping. And, you get the feeling that you have been sleeping a long time, when you really were not. So, if you aren’t sleepy, do some physical or mental work which will help you get tired and eventually get a good sleep.
2. Give Yourself A Deadline of Only 20-minutes
A 20 minute-deadline is more than enough to determine whether you are sleepy or not. So if you have been lying on your bed for 20 minutes and you are not able to fall asleep then you should not try sleeping but get up immediately. Simply lying down on the bed makes you irritable and frustrated. This is the time when you can do those things that you hate doing the most such as doing some data entries, checking the warranty of your refrigerator or cleaning out the table drawer. Read something – reading is something that can make you go to sleep fast
3. Avoid Day-Time Naps
If you take a long nap in the day, it is unlikely that you will be able to sleep well at night. This happens mostly with housewives who like to take a long nap after completing their daily chores. As for the elderly, they do tend to take a nap in the afternoons as their age demands it. It is alright if you rest but do not sleep; you can take a small nap or even a power nap. For more on this, read my previous article “Say good bye to Yawning by taking a Power Nap.”
4. Fix Your Sleeping Time
Fix your sleeping time and follow it strictly, even on weekends without any excuses. The time to go to bed or to wake up should not vary – except for half an hour this side or that – or your day can become disastrous. Once your body is set in to that routine, you are bound to get a good sleep automatically on your set timings.
5. Maintain A Gap of Four Hours Between Exercise and Sleep
Have you ever wondered if exercise makes you tired, should it not be the best remedy to make you fall asleep? This is the reason why many people prefer to go the gym at night – in the hope that it will make them sleep well. However, when you exercise just before going to bed your muscles are not relaxed and you are unable to get sound sleep. After exercising, your muscles need 4 hours to recover and relax.
6. Let’s Prepare for Sleep
Prepare your mind for sleeping. Listen to some soothing and relaxing music, or listen to some good stories. You can even listen to bedtime stories.
7. Take a Hot Bath
Take a hot shower about 90 minutes before going to bed. Though this will initially raise your body temperature, your body temperature will come back to normal within 90 minutes. This drop in body temperature will make you feel sleepy and have a good sleep at night.
Foods that Promote Good Sleep
All health problems are due to one major reason that is, the food you eat is incorrect or lack of essential nutrients in your diet. Following a well-balanced and healthy diet will automatically solve most of your health problems, skin problems, hair problems or sleeping problems, etc. So, now let’s concentrate on Food – Food that will help you sleep well at night naturally.
1. A glass of warm milk
Milk contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps in the production of sleep-inducing serotonin and melatonin hormones. Hence, having a glass of warm milk one hour before going to bed will help you fall into a sound sleep quickly.
Banana is a rich source of magnesium and potassium which act as a muscle relaxant. It also contains tryptophan that helps in the production of serotonin which promotes relaxation, and melatonin which promotes sleepiness. However, you should remember that it takes an hour or so for tryptophan to reach the brain and hence you should eat your banana at least an hour before bedtime.
3. High Protein Snack
A high protein snack like a slice of cheese or a hard boiled egg prevents acid reflux. Many a times, acidity can be a major cause of disturbed sleep, and hence eating a high protein snack an hour before going to sleep will prevent you suffering from any stomach problems.
It is said that cherries are the only natural source of melatonin- the sleep inducing hormone. I completely agree that fresh cherries will not be available in all seasons, hence you can consume dried ones too.
5. Green Tea
Green tea contains L- theanine, an amino acid that promote sleep. Consume a cup of decaffeinated tea before going to bed to ensure good sleep.
Eating the right food for good sleep is very important. Hogging onto unhealthy food or not eating well can lead to your staying awake the whole night. This in turn may lead to severe health and medical complications. You must also make it a point to consume dietary supplements every day along with your food to fulfill your requirement of essential nutrients. You can take Multivitamin and Minerals tablets, 1 tab a day before going to bed to overcome your sleeplessness.
INLIFE’s Multivitamin and Mineral supplement contains all the essential vitamins and minerals along with magnesium which helps your muscles to relax while it also aids in proper sleep. It is a safe and effective combination of essential vitamins and minerals to stay fit and healthy. This product is a mirror of a healthy balanced diet that is extremely essential to our lives. It is formulated with 12 vitamins and other synergistic nutrients that enhance absorption and utilization. INLIFE Multivitamin and Minerals also contains vitamin D which is vitally important for your body, as its deficiency often leads to sleep deprivation.
I hope that I have been effective in conveying all information about the importance of sleep and the best ways to get good sleep naturally and overcome insomnia.
Are Sleeping Pills Advisable to Sleep Well at Night
Millions of people all over the world, who have trouble going to sleep, resort to sleeping pills which can be effective only when taken occasionally. But, unfortunately people get addicted to them and need to take them every day. But, do you think taking sleeping pills is a right way to get good sleep? Sleeping pills is an effective remedy for your short term sleep problems but they are not meant for your long term problems. People who take sleeping pills do not realize the repercussions that sleeping pills have on their health.
Take a look at some of the side effects of sleeping pills:
- Burning and tingling sensation in the hands, arms, feet or legs
- Sudden increase or decrease in appetite
- Severe constipation
- Prolonged and severe diarrhoea
- Difficulty in maintaining body balance
- Dryness in the mouth and throat
- Feeling of dizziness and drowsiness the whole day
- Parasomnias – being in a state of partial sleep the whole day
- Brain damage
So, say goodbye to sleeping pills and follow these simple and effective sleeping tips mentioned above. Do not forget to share your experiences with me. I will be awaiting your feedback and queries, which you can post in the box below.