It’s estimated that an average 80 year old man sleeps 25 years, just under one third of his life. There is no satisfying answer to why the human organism needs to disconnect from reality during sleep, but one thing’s for sure: it’s one of the most important stages of our lives, often neglected, and responsable directly for your quality of life. Many people still don’t understand and appreciate the benefits of sleeping and ignore the hazards of losing sleep. If you want to find out more about it, read this. Here are some tips that if respected, will make you sleep better, rejuvenate and feel better every single day.
Do the same sleep ritual every time.
There is still much left to understand about the human brain, but scientists pointed out that it prefers working after the same general scheme. Any significant change in the scenario turns into a minor brain alarm that sends out stress signals throughout the body, possibly leading to insomnia. Do the same thing on weekends too.
Go to sleep and wake up at approximately the same time
Of course, the odds are life will put out obstacles in your way and it won’t allow you to stick to your program on some days. The point is not to lose your balance and keep going with your waking hour. Also, when you go to bed, don’t try to force yourself to sleep.
Make the right conditions in the bedroom.
Each of us have our own preferences when it comes to our room. If your a very tidy person having a cluttered room may be keeping you from going to sleep, despite the fact that you may not even realize this. But for most people, having your room clean is not a must. The colour of your walls does have a big impact on you. While having a bright orange will help your creativity, it won’t be so good when trying to sleep, so you really should use some soothing colours such as a light blue or sage green. Your bedroom should be anything but hot, and it should also be quiet and dark. Your bed and pillow should be very comfortable and large enough for you. Also, according to some recent studies, if you do errands on the bed (such as writing or studying), your brain associates it with something else than rest, and you may have problems going to sleep. The room has to be ventilated properly.
Don’t ignore the morning routine.
I’ve written a whole lot about this topic here, you really should check it out.
Don’t eat or drink large amounts before sleeping.
If you have a light dinner, it can be up to 2-3 hours before going to bed. However, if you eat more at dinner (which is not a good thing in itself) it should be 4 hours earlier. You should also be careful what you eat, don’t make it something that will upset your stomach.
Give up unhealthy habits.
Drinking coffee or soda or alcoholic beverages. The drinks are all stimulants (even alcohol) and they require quite a while to get out of your system; and about smoking… I’m not even gonna go into that. Quit smoking!! It’s really not that hard.
Exercising does wonders for you in a whole number of ways, and let’s be honest, it’s not that hard to do. Whether you go to your local gym, go out for a jog or a swim, a few hours a week is a small price to pay when it comes down to your health. It also makes your sleep more restful but you have to be careful not to exercise for three hours (some say six hours) before going to bed, otherwise it could mess with your body.
Short naps are good, long ones are not.
We did a more detailed post about napping here, so check out the details there, but keep in mind that if you sleep a lot during the day, you’ll find it harder and harder to sleep early at night.
Use pills only as a last resort.
Unfortunately, it’s getting easier and easier to get some sleeping pills, and many people abuse that. If you find it hard to sleep, you first need to think positive, and don’t get the ‘I have insomnia’ idea in your head, because it will be hard to take out from there. If you can’t sleep for more than half an hour, you become pretty stressed about not being able to sleep so it’s better if you do something relaxing, read or listen to some calm music. Think positive thoughts; you’ve worked for a whole day and still have energy and can’t go to sleep, I’ll just compensate tomorrow and stick to a schedule.
Let go of your stress and worries.
I have my own ritual: almost everytime I go to sleep, I ponder of the day that has passed, with the good and the bad, thinking what I could have done differently, understand how I can do better, but I don’t let it affect me. After I do that, it’s much easier to go to sleep, having found peace with myself and letting go of all the stress. Find your inner balance and let go of your thoughts after that.
I can’t stress the issue of proper sleep enough, but hopefully by now, you’re beginning to understand just what a big mistake neglecting it is and the major consequences it can have. Just following these small steps can have a huge benefic impact on you, and they require a minimum of effort, if any at all.