Years of medical and scientific research has proven what we have always known all along; sleep is extremely important for the body. Lack of adequate sleep has been shown to have lots of unpleasant consequences including fatigue, irritability, sickness and depression. Having a good night’s sleep, typically between 6 and 8 hours is not a luxury but rather a necessity.
That being said, it is not always easy to get quality sleep. Sickness, the environment or life problems can shorten the amount of time we sleep or make sleep a troublesome affair full of shakes and nightmares. The first step to a healthy long life is better sleep; here are five simple tips to achieve it.
1Have the right sleeping environment
The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your house and also in your life. Make sure that it is a place you would enjoy spending time in. Use soft warm colors that are relaxing and avoid bright shades. You also need to check the room temperature. The best temperature for sleep is one that is slight below room temperature. So set your thermostat a bit lower every time you turn in.
Finally, eliminate any distracting noises that might prevent you from getting deep sleep. Different people have different preferences when it comes to the best sleeping sounds. Others prefer deathly quiet, others love quiet music while others go with white noise.
You may not think so but diet affects the quality of your sleep. Some foods will lead to sleep deprivation especially if eaten just before bedtime. These bad foods include energy drinks, coffee and curry (the spices are not good for sleep). Some good foods to eat include sweet potatoes, green tea, walnuts and almonds. An additional tip, do not eat just before going bed. Leave enough time for the food to get digested.
Stress is one of the worst things when it comes to getting quality sleep. All those thoughts and worries in your mind keep you awake preventing any sleep from setting in. Even when you do manage to sleep, you find yourself dreaming bad dreams and waking up frequently at night. Managing your stress levels is therefore an important step to better sleep. Good ways to do it include seeing a therapist, meditating, doing yoga and seeking out positive friends.
4Stick to a rigid sleep schedule
It may be fun to sleep in during the weekend but it is not such a good idea when you hear what sleep experts have to say. Changing your sleep schedule interferes with your body’s natural rhythm and makes it harder to sleep at night. Also bad is the habit of taking long naps during the day. Establish a sleep schedule and stick to eat every single day.
You don’t need to go to the gym or lift any weights; just a 30 minute brisk walk or a 5 mile jog is enough. After exercise you will find it much easier to fall asleep deeply. Just be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime since it can affect how well you sleep.