Quality over quantity is what matters in your sleep. Your body may need six to eight hours of sleep nightly. You may be able to fulfill this number of hours of sleep and yet wake up feeling tired and drained. Your sleeping hours should be restful and relaxing to let you get the vitality and efficiency you will need for the day upon waking up.
Here are a few simple and practical tips to get the best from your sleep.
Go with your body’s natural rhythms.
Keep a regular sleep schedule of going to bed and waking up at the same time each and every day. Consistency in your sleep-wake will lead your body to a healthy pattern of work and rest and a sets your body’s internal clock to an optimized program. Studies show that just an hour or two of shift in your sleep time can negatively affect the quality of your sleep even if you spend the same amount of time sleeping. It is strongly advised that you strive to stick to your established regular sleeping and waking time even if you have extra hours to spend in bed like during weekends.
Avoid exposure to lights.
When it is sleep time for you, make sure the room is dark. Lights trick your mind to think that it is waking time still and will not be induced to sleep. Avoid sources of bright lights like television, computer screen, and smart phone. If you need a light, like if you have to go to the bathroom anytime after you sleep, do not switch on your main light. Use a dim light or flashlight or the light from the bathroom.
Do regular physical exercise.
Doing regular exercise in the daytime can enhance your sleep every night. The more vigorous the exercise is, the better quality sleep you will have. Do it hours before you go to bed. If for example exercising three hours before bedtime keeps your mind alert and awake for a longer time before falling to sleep, adjust your exercise earlier. Studies show that it may take your body up to six hours to settle and cool down to a state more conducive for sleep. If you are unable to perform a routine exercise, walking 10 minutes a day will be more beneficial in getting quality sleep compared to being inactive or worse, sedentary during the day.
Watch what you eat and drink.
Avoid coffee, alcohol, too much food and water just before you go to sleep. The caffeine in coffee will stimulate your mind and keep you awake longer than you desire. While the effect of alcohol may put you to sleep faster, it will disrupt your normal sleeping pattern. Big meals at night especially when it is fatty will make your digestive system work harder and may keep you up. Also, spicy and acidic foods may cause stomach trouble at night. Drinking too much water or liquid before sleeping will let you wake up for the urinal often and disrupt your sleep.
Relax and clear your mind of stress.
Stress, worry, negative feelings like anger and bitterness may keep you awake all night if you do not put them away from your thoughts before going to bed. Instead of harboring these feelings and negative thoughts, make restful sleep your goal every night. Relax and think of more positive things that will lull you to sleep.
By learning how to manage your activities, your time and your thoughts effectively, you can have every night a better quality sleep – restful, calm and productive.