Every individual has a different set of priorities depending on the type of work they do and the things they like.
However, one must make sure that a good sleep health should be right up above with whatever other priorities that a person has.
Faling to achieve a quality sleep on a consistent basis can give rise to conditions like anxiety, obesity, heart risks, and even serious sleep disorders like nighttime insomnia. But such conditions can easily be prevented by following some easy tips to manage your sleep which we have carefully compiled in a handy list.
#1 Tightly follow your sleep schedule
Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule takes a great amount of discipline and clarity of thought on your part. Try to retire to bed everyday around the same time so that the mind learns to make you fall asleep naturally when you hit the bed. Following a routine with strictness can also help you ditch the alarm clock and wake up by yourself every day.
Lack of a good sleep schedule can affect the different stages of your sleep and make it harder for you to make sound decisions. This is the reason why some people may end up prioritizing a late-night movie or partying over your regular bedtime, thus further deteriorating your sleep quality.
Make sure that you do not carry any electronics that emit blue light such as smartphones or laptops into your bed. Not only does the engagement with such devices consume your sleep time but also make it harder for you to fall asleep due to the melatonin blocking quality of blue light.
#2 Know When to Exercise
Your regular dose of exercise is tremendously beneficial for your physical and mental health. Studies suggest that even a small amount of exercise can help regulate your body temperature, provide stimulation, reduce stress and boost your natural sleep hormones.
Make sure that you place your workout sessions early in the day so that your body can benefit from the natural sunlight. Activities like light cycling and jogging in the morning can do wonders for the body’s circadian rhythm that controls your sleep/wake cycle. Avoid exercising later in the day or close to bedtime as the added stimulation and body heat can make it harder for you to fall sleep.
#3 Mind the Food and Drinks
A crucial step towards managing your sleep health is monitoring the food and drink that goes into your body. Infuse food items that are rich in components which promote sleep such as melatonin, manganese, potassium, tryptophan amino acids, etc., such as bananas, kiwis, tart cherries, eggs, oats, etc. Avoid consuming food that is rich in oil and fat too close to bedtime to prevent indigestion that can lead to wakefulness.
Give your body a solid amount of water in the daytime so that you do not end up getting dehydrated but lower the amount gradually as you reach bedtime to prevent sleep interruptions. Similarly, avoid taking caffeinated products like tea and coffee after lunch because the stimulating effect of such drinks can suppress the regulation of melatonin.
It is also important to stop taking alcohol before retiring to bed as it has been proven to affect the later part of your sleep which is associated with memory consolidation and dreaming. Alcohol is also a natural diuretic which can make you get up several times in the night to empty your bladder.
#04 Take a Small Nap
While many advise against daytime napping because of beliefs that it increases tiredness, studies have shown in the past that a little amount of napping can be in fact beneficial for your health. Naps lasting no more than 30 to 40 minutes can help boost your concentration, reduce chances of fatigue, and elevate mood and productivity at work.
Naps are also good at combating daytime drowsiness, thus reducing your chances of meeting with an accident. Carry noise cancelling earplugs and a good sleep mask with you so that you can sneak a small nap in your lunch hours at work. Equip your room with curtains that block external light so that you can have a peaceful nap while at home.
#5 Ease Yourself
Most human beings find themselves so tangled up with work and family responsibilities that they hardly manage to take some time out of their everyday schedule to unwind their mind.
The stress build-up due to the day’s toil can make it very hard for someone to fall asleep. It is therefore crucial that you follow a bedtime ritual as these are known as the best sleep and stress management techniques.
Soothing activities like a warm shower, listening to peaceful music, reading a printed book and doing bedtime yoga can help prepare your mind for the restful sleep ahead.
#6 Get yourself a Good Mattress
A lot of people do not realize this but getting a good mattress for yourself is one of the best sleep management solutions. Unlike other steps to improve sleep quality, getting a good mattress doesn’t require a consistent effort and strictness.
Realize early on if the mattress you are using is uncomfortable or simply too old to sustain a good sleep.
Go for a mattress that is soft and plush to provide ample comfort and is firm enough to support the body’s skeletal framework.
The Marpac Yogabed for example comes with four layers of gel memory foam that prevents the formation of pressure points and supports all sleeping positions. This type of mattress is particularly good for heavier individuals. Read more about the mattress from this source.
In this fast-paced modern world, it becomes hard to balance your lifestyle habits and also achieve total sleep management. We therefore encourage people to keep following the tips mentioned above and prioritize your sleep along with exercising and a good diet.
Sleep-deprived people however should never hesitate to seek professional help if things seem to be getting out of hand.