It doesn’t take a lot to get a good night’s rest. Follow these extremely doable snooze tips and you’ll be off to la-la land in no time.
You may think that you can function on little sleep but you are probably ruining your health. Even if it does not show now, your accumulated sleep debt will be back to bite you. So if you are having trouble getting enough sleep, these 11 sleep tips will help.
1. Move your body
Exercise can help you to fall asleep faster. It will also help you stay alert and focused during the day. A study published in the international journal Mental Health and Physical Activity found that people who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activities a week had better sleep quality and felt less sluggish during the day.
2. Download each day
Make it a point to pen down the day’s events each evening. It doesn’t have to be long journal entries – scribbling your thoughts or making quick notes work too. This helps to clear your mind so that you can go to sleep and wake up on a clean slate.
3. Let the sun in
Natural light that seeps through your window in the day will stop the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. This will help wake you up more easily and prevent you from snoozing too much.
4. Steer clear of social media
Don’t worry, your social media activities don’t have to halt completely. Just spending 30 minutes every day away from your phone is good enough. Take the time to go offline before you go to bed, and you will see how much you can declutter your mind.
5. Know your caffeine limits
If you often find yourself having trouble falling asleep even though you’ve had your coffee fix during the day, you may be more sensitive to caffeine than you think. Opt for tea if you really need a beverage to get you through the day. Tea will not cause you to get that caffeine high you get from coffee. Caffeine in tea reacts with the amino acid L-theanine such that your body relaxes when it hits your brain. Before bedtime, try taking caffeine-free tea such as chamomile, which helps to induce sleep.
6. Stay away from your phone
The default blue light from your phone may hinder the production of melatonin, affecting your sleep-wake cycle. The best is to abstain from using your phone before you sleep. Alternatively, most smartphones allow you to switch from blue to amber light. iPhone users can find the ‘Night Shift’ mode in the ‘Display & Brightness’ section under settings. So if you really have to use your phone at night, switch to amber light after 8pm.
7. Take a chill pill
Instead of checking your phone and email the moment you wake up, practise taking deep breaths to kickstart your day. Avoid rushing into your day as it will trigger stress and affect your sleep at night.
8. Choose comfort
If there is one thing you need to invest in, it’s sleep. Find a good mattress, pillow and blanket. Make your bedroom the most comfy place in your home. After all, you should be spending at least eight hours in there every night. That’s one-third of your lifetime.
9. Don’t fret
It is not every day you can fall asleep immediately or quickly. Tossing and turning won’t do you any good. If you can’t fall asleep, do not get anxious. Instead, engage in a relaxing activity like reading or meditation to ease your mind and body.
10. Have a fixed sleep cycle
If you have been waking up early on weekdays for work or school, keep to it during the weekends. Sleeping in will not help you clear your sleep debt and may even make you feel groggier. Take the time during the weekends to sleep earlier and wake up at your usual time fresher and more rejuvenated.
11. Eat right
What you put into your body will affect your quality of sleep. It’s best to avoid sugary and oily foods near your bedtime. Instead, have a cup of caffeine-free tea or foods that will trigger the production of melatonin. Here are eight foods you can eat before bedtime.