10 Tips To Help You Sleep Better At Night
Sleep is a normal mental and physical inactivity that is characterized by a marked reduction in the awareness and responsiveness to one’s environment. You need sleep to be able to maintain a balanced physical and emotional state and recall recent memories. Poor sleep will interfere with your daily activities and make you less productive so the need for good sleep cannot be overemphasized. Your body’s need for sleep is determined by the amount of prior sleep you’ve had, your normal sleeping pattern(body clock), and the process during sleep that organizes sleep into different stages. Alteration in any of these factors can cause you to have problems sleeping. Problems with sleep include inadequate sleep (insomnia), excessive daytime sleep (hypersomnia), and abnormal behaviours and events during sleep such as sleepwalking and nightmares (parasomnias).
If you find it difficult to initiate sleep or maintaining sleep such that you are either unable to sleep at all or you find yourself waking up several times at night, you may be dealing with a sleep disorder. This will often cause headaches, poor concentration, and difficulty remembering recent events during the day.
Sleep disorders may be caused by:
- sedative drugs or the sudden withdrawal of sedative drugs
- stimulants such as amphetamine, caffeine
- psychiatric disorders
- medical conditions such as hypertension
- the noisy environment from generators or loud music
Sometimes, there may not be an identifiable cause but whatever the situation is, good sleep hygiene will improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
Here are 10 tips to help you sleep better at night naturally:
- Use your bedroom for sleep and sex ONLY
Tip: Don’t study in the bedroom. Books and documents should be cleared from your bedside table. Seeing them may remind you of the amount of work still left to be done and prevent you from having good sleep.
- Make your sleep environment very comfortable
Tip: Make sure the bed is laid and do so with clean beddings. The temperature in the room can also interfere with good sleep. If it’s too hot, open the windows wide or turn on the fan.
- Avoid day time napping
Tip: Sleep during the day may prevent you from sleeping well at night. If you feel sleepy during the day, take a walk or play a game. If you must nap, make it a short one (15-20 minutes).
- Don’t use bright light in your bedroom
Tip: Bright light gets into your eyes even when they are shut. Use low voltage lamps or turn the lights off when you go to bed.
- Have a sleep pattern
Tip: Have a regular time for sleeping and waking. The routine will help your body have a healthy sleep rhythm.
- Avoid the use of tobacco or caffeine late in the day or close to bedtime
Tip: Your brain needs to be put to rest from the day’s work and not stimulated. Avoid stimulants.
- Don’t engage in exciting or emotionally upsetting activities close to bedtime
Tip: Don’t talk on the phone, watch television, or engage in arguments close to bed time.
- Don’t eat heavy meals at night
Tip: Cut down on your meals at night. The body does a lot of work to digest food. The more the food, the more the work and the more difficult it is to sleep.
Tip: A sedentary lifestyle does not promote good sleep. Be active during the day. If you are too busy to take time out to exercise, do other activities like parking your car a distance from your office so you get to walk.
- Watch what you drink
Tip: Avoid alcohol at night. Beverage is a better promoter of good sleep.
It is important to know that problems with sleep may be a pointer to a more serious health condition. These steps are only to help promote good sleep but they do not eliminate the cause. You should see your doctor if problems with sleep persist.