A Quick Primer on How to Sleep Well at Night Naturally
The importance of sleep in today’s fast-paced world cannot be overstated, really. Your productivity, mood, zeal and levels of general wellness, all hinge on the amount and quality of sleep that you get each time your head hits the pillow at night. Nonetheless, there is no other time in the history of humankind that we have struggled with sleep-related disorders like the last two decades. More and more people are finding it harder to catch forty winks despite working equally strenuous jobs and running impossible schedules. And the omnipresent smartphone culture does not make things any easier either.
Fortunately, however, you can reset back your distorted default sleep-wake cycle and enjoy at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted deep slumber every night using the following crucial tips. Here’s a quick primer on how to sleep well at night naturally.
1. Create a Relaxed, Calm, Serene and Peaceful Sleep Environment
The best way to dull your active brain to sleep is by de-cluttering your bedroom and transforming it into a restful and tranquil place. Your room should be not only cool but also dark and quiet enough to ebb the day’s stress away and give way to some quality sleep. Make sure that it is sufficiently noise proof to shut off distractive noise from traffic, neighbors’ banter, animals, construction sites, etc. If you cannot sound proof it, mask the din using a fan or a good sound machine. In extreme cases, earplugs should be considered.
Your bed should be super-comfortable. In fact, your beddings should not just be clean and crisp but also loose enough for you to stretch/turn as comfortably as possible. Get rid of any electronics, phones, music systems, laptops, etc. to make it easier for you to fall asleep effortlessly.
2. Clear your Head Before Getting in Bed
If you often find yourself only having a fitful sleep at night – regardless of how tired you’re – then maybe the problem could be that you don’t make time to relax and unwind before settling between the sheets.
In line with this, one of the easiest ways of calming your nerves is by taking deep, slow and deliberate breaths (with eyes shut) for about 10-15 minutes. This should put you in the right frame of mind to allow a natural, restful slumber. You could also go a step further and initiate progressive and continuous muscle relaxation; starting from the toes all the way to the tense neck muscles. A handheld massager crafted for instant relaxation can come in handy for this.
3. Watch what You Eat or Drink Just before Bed
The few hours before bedtime, contrary to what most people know, play a crucial role in the quality of your sleep. For starters, limit or completely weed out any energy drinks, nicotine and caffeine from your diet regimen until your sleep pattern improves. Steer clear of alcoholic beverages, too. Speaking of which, remember that as much as alcohol might make you feel drowsy, relaxed and tipsy, it leaves you terribly dehydrated and interferes with your natural sleep pattern. That’s partly the reason you will wake up hungover with a jetlag-like feeling after a night out drinking.
As much as meals are concerned, resist the temptation to overeat before bed. A bloating tummy and a series of heartburns can wreck havoc to what would otherwise be a sleepful slumber. Check out these 10 healthy and super easy to prepare recipes.
4. Hit the Gym During the Day
Make sure you break a sweat at least three times every week at your local gym. Studies show that people who are more physically active during the day have an easier time falling asleep than those who lead sedentary lives. Besides, regular vigorous workouts can significantly improve your insomnia symptoms by increasing the time you spend in restorative and deep slumber stages of sleep. It is also linked to the secretion of ‘sleep hormone’ cortisol which is responsible for rejuvenating, relaxing and restful sleep.
What’s more, regular exercise also contributes to your overall health by speeding up your general metabolism and elevating your natural body temperature. That being said, avoid any rigorous exercises at least 5 hours before bed to lessen chances of interfering your regular sleep cycle.
The Bottom line
You don’t have to rely on sleeping pills to enjoy the maximum benefits of a healthy amount of sleep. The best (and arguably the cheapest) way is creating a backdrop that allows you to fall sleep effortlessly, your stress levels notwithstanding. And that sums up all the aforementioned tenets of how to sleep well at night naturally.