As kids, we hated sleeping early and taking afternoon naps, but now as adults, we can’t seem to have enough of it. The older we get, the more we sacrifice getting a good night’s rest in favor of getting more work done, or in students’ experiences, staying up late to brush up on lessons. In other cases, some people find it hard to even relax for sleep due to anxious thoughts or stressful environments.
As a result, we become physically and mentally drained the morning after. Medical experts have even warned that sleep deprivation could lead to more severe consequences, such as developing cognitive (thinking) issues, having weakened immune systems, or becoming more prone to accidents. When it’s keeping ourselves healthy, there is no other solution but to finding ways of getting enough sleep at night.
Here are some tips to increase those chances of getting that much-needed shut-eye to help keep our minds and bodies healthy.
- Develop a routine and follow it
An excellent way to break out of unhealthy sleeping patterns is by creating and following a sleeping schedule. Allot a specific time for waking up in the morning, taking a nap or a quick break during the day, and for falling asleep at night. Setting up an alarm for the week can help ensure that you wake up, but instead of hitting that snooze button, get up, and start your day with a healthy breakfast or a light exercise. It can also be beneficial to commit to a working schedule where you accomplish all tasks within the day, which leaves you enough rest time after.
Sleeping at irregular schedules can confuse your inner body clock and will make it a struggle to fall asleep at night and wake in the morning. But by following a strict plan, your body will naturally get used to the new routine. After several weeks, you will find that you may not even need an alarm to get up.
- Avoid doing tasks on your bed
As comfy and relaxing your bed may be, it is not the most conducive place to get work done. Treating your place of rest as a workstation will condition your mind into thinking that the bed is a place for stress or stimulation, which might affect your ability to fall asleep comfortably. Train yourself to work on a desk and leave the bed for sleeping.
It is important to remember that you keep your home, or your bed at least, as a place of comfort and relaxation.
- Stay active and eat healthily
Developing healthy habits such as exercising and eating healthier food trains the body into becoming more active. This keeps you energized during the day, and lets your body slowly relax and naturally get tired at night.
There is no one fits all workout regime, but exercising during the day and at night around your work schedule can aid in developing a routine that gets your body used to being active and tired at appropriate times of the day. Plus, introducing physical activities in your routine keeps the mind and body healthy.
- Lessen the intake of unhealthy food before bedtime
Coffee is great in the morning to give you the extra boost that you need. But limit your intake of caffeinated beverages and salty junk food to a minimum and only within the day. When night time comes, do not force your body to stay awake by drowning in cups of coffee or munching on chips or sweets that keep your sugar levels up.
Aside from it unnecessarily keeping you up at night, it is also unhealthy to your body and ruins your appetite for other meals.
- Make use of sleeping and relaxation apps
If you find yourself in bed ready to sleep but can’t seem to relax your body for the night, a couple of sleeping applications might help.
There is a variation of apps available on the Google and Apple stores that target helping you either fall asleep or wake up. For sleeping apps, try relaxing or ambiance music playing apps that calm down the body and ease the mind. There are also meditation apps, nighttime audiobooks, and even podcasts that can lull listeners to a restful sleep.
As for apps to help you wake up, there are alarms surely up to the task. These range from deafening alarm tones, to ones requiring you to finish a mental or physical activity to turn it off. There are even alarms for the most delicate of sleepers that slowly ease you into waking up.
Meanwhile, some apps help monitor your sleeping patterns by recording your sleeping and waking hours. They can even help in reminding you of your bedtime to ensure enough sleep during the night.
- Improve your sleeping environment
If your room is unconducive for rest or merely messy, this can affect you from sleeping well at night. The first step in creating a relaxing sleeping environment is by keeping your room or sleeping quarters clean. Avoid leaving clothing scattered around your room, try not to bring food in or avoid eating in your bed at all, and also prevent yourself from lying in bed before taking a bath. Keeping a tidy area, no matter how small, is relaxing to the mind and prepares the body for rest.
For those with extra money to splurge, you can invest in a set of comfy sheets, an aroma diffuser, or an extra soft memory pillow. Adding these spa-like bedroom items can help create a more calming and relaxing atmosphere after a day of work.
There is no better feeling than waking up feeling refreshed and energized after a good night’s rest. It prepares you better for the work you are about to face, and it keeps you focused, productive, and in a good mood throughout the day. So make sure to get that sleep that you deserve and need!