Healthy sleeping habits can bring about great positive changes in your personal and professional life. Sleep deprivation caused by insomnia and other sleep issues can affect your health, productivity, memory and concentration. There are various unavoidable factors such as work pressure and family responsibilities that interfere with sleep, but these simple sleeping habits can help in stimulating restorative sleep so that you can face every day challenges with greater energy.
Health Conditions Related to Lack of Sleep
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to various health risks. Here we have recorded a few of them.
- Heart Attack
- High Blood Pressure
- Stress and Anxiety
- Reduced Sex Drive
- Chronic Depression
10 Best Healthy Sleeping Habits
Bringing about a few easy changes in your lifestyle and daily routine can help in promoting restful sleep and treat sleep disturbances and insomnia effectively without medicines. Here are a few simple and healthy sleeping habits.
Stick to a Regular Sleep-Wake Schedule
In order to cure sleep disturbances and get restful sleep, it is important to sync the body with its natural sleep-wake cycle which is also known as the circadian rhythm. Falling asleep and rising up at the same time regularly is the best way to set the body’s internal clock so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and strengthened every morning. Try to keep a watch on the time during which you usually feel most tired during night and go to bed at that time. Try not to break this cycle even at weekends and try to get up at the same time on Mondays so that you don’t disrupt the circadian rhythm. Within a few days, this will change into a habit, and you won’t even require setting an alarm for waking up.
Follow a Soothing Pre-sleep Ritual
Developing a relaxing pre-sleep ritual is one of the good sleeping habits that signal the brain that it is time to calm down and distress. Listening to soothing music, reading books, taking a soothing bath, meditating or doing a few light stretching exercises can help you relax and unwind and organize your mind and body for sleep. Try to avoid noises, loud music, and bright lights. Don’t sit in front of the T.V or computer before going to bed and don’t use backlit devices such as iPad and smartphones for reading or chatting before going to sleep. Give your mind and body time to cool down in order to promote restful sleep.
Limit Daytime Naps
Daytime naps have been shown to be effective in increasing alertness and concentration at work. But it is also a major reason most of the people are unable to sleep during the night. Long hours of sleep during the day interferes with the sleep requirements during the night and therefore those who sleep during the day find it tough to fall asleep and stay asleep during night. One of the top natural insomnia cures is to avoid daytime naps. But if you really can’t make it through the day without a couple of hours of dozing then it is ideal to keep it short (for about 30 minutes) and before late afternoon.
Excessive work related stress, anxiety, and tension is one of the leading sleeplessness causes that lead to various sleep issues. The most powerful way to treat stress and anxiety is to sit back and sort it out. Think what has caused the stress and the possible ways to handle the stressful situation. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and shove away unrealistic fears. Practice relaxation methods such as breathing exercises, meditation, tai chi and yoga to stretch and relax tense muscles and indulge in activities that free your mind of worries and makes you happy. Spending more quality time with loved ones like family and friends is also an effective way of relieving stress.
Make your Bedroom Comfortable
One of the best and easiest sleeping problems solutions is to prepare your bedroom for sleep. You must realize that your bedroom is the place where you unwind and re-energize yourself at the end of a hectic day and therefore, it is important to maintain a soothing and relaxing vibe in it. Make sure you have a comfortable bed where you can sleep in a relaxed manner, and there is enough room to turn, stretch your arms and legs. Use soothing colored bed linens, have a comfortable mattress and pillows. Ensure that your bedroom is neither too hot nor too cold and is well ventilated. Don’t use a harsh light in the bedroom. Try to eliminate outside noises from the bedroom by using heavy curtains. You can also use earplugs to get undisturbed sleep.
Your eating and drinking pattern throughout the day has a great impact on your sleeping pattern as well. One of the best ways to help you sleep is to plan out a proper diet that contains nutrient rich foods. It is best to eat a meal low in fats and spices at dinner because fatty foods take more time to break down and digest, thus keeping you awake. Excessive acidic or spicy foods are best avoided because they can lead to heartburn and upset stomach. Alcohol is best avoided before sleep because it reduces sleep quality and might wake you up at the middle of the night. Also try to reduce fluid intake after evening because it might result in frequent urination during the night.
Healthy sleeping habits also include regular exercise. It has been shown that 20 to 30 minutes of dynamic physical activity on a daily basis can improve quality of sleep and reduce sleep disturbances considerably. Go for power walking, cycling, swimming, gardening or dancing – anything you like. But make it a point to exercise early in the day or at least 3 to 4 hours before you hit the bed because exercising close to the sleeping time disrupts sleep by energizing the body and raising body temperature. However, doing stretching exercises and yoga before sleeping is fine.
Eat Light Evening Meals
Yet another healthy sleeping habit is to finish your dinner by 8:00 PM and try to eat a light evening meal. This helps in improving digestion and reduces the pressure on the digestive system so that while you are sleeping, the energy can be utilized to rejuvenate the body cells. Try to consume vegetables and complex carbohydrates and avoid foods high in sugar, salt and fats that will not only help you wake up fresher and energized the following day, but also help in losing weight. If you feel hungry before going to bed then you can have a pre-sleep snack of an apple, banana or half a cup of whole-grain unsweetened cereal.
Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine
Although, there are numerous health benefits of drinking coffee, but it can cause sleeping disorders. Chemicals such as caffeine and nicotine act as stimulants that make people stay awake and may lead to sleep disturbances and inability to fall asleep. Caffeine found in coffee, chocolate, tea and cola can prevent sleep even after 12 hours of its consumption. Therefore, it is best to limit caffeine intake to afternoon. Nicotine present in cigarette smoke also disturbs sleep and causes nicotine withdrawal symptoms during the night making it difficult to fall asleep. It is important to limit caffeine and smoking in order to promote restful sleep.
Go to Sleep When you are Really Tired
Lying down in your bed, and turning and tossing around and waiting for sleep only makes things worse by increasing frustration. Go to bed only when you are feeling really tired and not because it is time for bed. Try to calm your mind and body, make relaxation your priority and not sleep. But if you are not asleep even after 20 minutes, then it is better to get out of bed, go to another room and unwind your mind by reading or listening to soft music and return to bed when you are feeling tired and sleepy.
Increase the quality of your sleep and wake up refreshed and re-energized every morning by incorporating these simple yet effective healthy sleeping habits in your daily routine.
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