Lifestyle and Sleep – having a hard time falling asleep?
If your sleep problem is primarily falling asleep or staying asleep through the night, improving your sleep hygiene could make a big difference. Before you consider prescription sleep drugs or even over-the-counter medicines, it is best to examine your lifestyle and make the necessary changes before you pop those pills.
On this article we will guide you through and give some of the best sleep tips there is on the internet.
Lifestyle and Sleep – factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep
Think about all the factors that can interfere with your good night’s sleep, starting from the time you wake up until your bedtime, from work stress, family responsibilities to unexpected challenges such as illnesses. It is to no surprise that quality sleep is sometime elusive with just the smallest change on your daily routine.
While there are some uncontrollable factors that interfere with your sleep, you can certainly adopt some habits that will encourage better sleep. Start with these simple tips;
Lifestyle and sleep tips
Lifestyle and sleep tip #1 Limit your bedroom activities
If you are suffering from insomnia, your bedroom should only be used for 2 things SLEEP and SEX. According to a PhD director of the Sleep Research Project at The University of Alabama Kenneth Lichstein, “People should condition to know that bedroom is a place for sleeping, not for other activities.” That means, that you should make some interior arrangements and move any distractions out of the bedroom, such as your TV, computer, exercise equipment, unopened mails and other things that might keep you awake.
Lifestyle and sleep tip #2 Stick to your sleep-wake schedule
Keep a habit of sleeping not more than 8 hours; the recommended amount of sleep for a health adult is at least 7 hours. Most people do not need more than eight hours in bed. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on week nights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Lifestyle and sleep tip #3 Pay attention to your diet
Never go to bed hungry or full. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime, your discomfort might keep you up. Avoid these things before bedtime;
- Sweets of any kind
Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol deserve caution too. The stimulating effect of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. Alcohol might make you feel sleepy but it will disrupt sleep later in the night.
Lifestyle and sleep – what else should you do to get a good night’s sleep?
Create a room just for sleeping
Most people do a lot of things inside their bedroom, and have too much clutter or have unnecessary noises that will interrupt sleep. An ideal room for sleeping is usually, cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep, prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime might keep you awake or active, consider these sleep hygiene to keep yourself asleep throughout the night.
- Use room-darkening shades
- Get a pair of earplugs
- Set the right room temperature for you
You may also try to do some calming activities before bed such as;
- Warm bath
- Listen to sleep music
- Drink calming tea such as Chamomile
- Read a book but not in the bedroom
You may also try natural sleep aids and sleep gadgets to help you with your sleep quality.
Lifestyle and sleep – Limit your daytime naps
Long daytime naps will ruin your sleep cycle and interfere with night-time sleep. If you choose to nap a good 30-minute nap is the best although you should avoid doing so in the late afternoon. A powernap as such will make you feel refreshed and active again, 30 minutes deep sleep is better than 1 hour or longer where you feel groggy and tired instead of refreshed.
Lifestyle and sleep – Include exercise in your daily routine
Regular physical activity in your daily routine will promote better sleep. However, avoid being active too close to bedtime. Ideally, exercise is done in the morning.
Lifestyle and sleep – know when to contact your physician
Lifestyle and sleep is a challenge almost for everyone, however, if you are having trouble sleeping for a long time now, you should contact your doctor to assess the underlying issues of your interrupted sleep. Again, only a doctor can prescribe you the right medicine, it is not ideal to take the advice of others on what sleep medicines are effective.