After a whole day’s work, our body needs to rest and be reenergized for the toils of the coming day. So it is essential to have an adequate amount of sleep every night. But difficulty falling or staying asleep remains a common problem for most people. According to National Sleep Foundation surveys, about half of Americans reports sleep difficulty at least occasionally. This results to a negative impact on concentration, productivity and mood.
So, read on to learn more about improving your chances of having a successful good night’s sleep.
- Establish a regular routine. Maintain a regular routine that includes going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on days off work and on weekends.
- Go to bed when you are sleepy. If you are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity elsewhere. Try to read a book or watch some TV. Return to bed when – and only when – you are sleepy.
- Avoid stress and worries at bedtime. Certain activities, such as listening to soft music, reading, or taking a warm bath, can help you wind down.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. Avoid doing other activities in bed like watching TV, paying bills, or working only serve to initiate worries and concerns. Let your mind associate the bed with sleeping, relaxing, and pleasure.
- Avoid heavy meals late in the evening. While a light snack before bedtime can help promote sound sleep, avoid large meals.
- Reduce caffeine and nicotine intake. Coffee contains caffeine, as do many teas, chocolate and cola drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it has an alerting or wake-up effect. Avoid those four to six hours before going to sleep.
- Avoid drinking alcohol as well. Alcohol, in contrast, is often thought of as a sedative, a calming drug. However, while alcohol may speed the beginning of sleep, it actually increases the number of times you awaken in the later half of the night.
- Lay off on tomato products and spicy foods. These give many people heartburn (as does eating too fast). Lying down makes heartburn worse, and heartburn itself makes falling asleep more difficult. Heartburn also awakens sleepers with middle-of-the-night discomfort.
- Avoid napping during the daytime. Avoiding naps all together will ensure that you are tired at night. Longer naps disrupt the body’ ability to stay asleep.
- Maintain a dark, quiet and cool room to sleep in. Most sleep scientists believe that a slightly cool room contributes to good sleep. That’s because it matches what occurs deep inside the body, when the body’s internal temperature drops during the night to its lowest level. Also, keep your bedroom dark. Light – strong light, like sunlight – is the most powerful regulator of our biological clock. The biological clock influences when we feel sleepy and when we are alert.