Sleep is a very important aspect of our lives. It’s a mechanism of rest and an attempt of restoration of the body status. That said, lack of sleep, also termed “insomnia” isn’t healthy and can generally lead to symptoms like day time tiredness or sleepiness, irritability, depression or anxiety, difficulty paying attention and memory disturbance. To relieve this, you will need to get good sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene as briefly highlighted below:
- Stick to a sleep and wake schedule. This is important because the body “gets used” to these times. In fact, hormones which are produced by the body during sleep are done in a timely manner
- Stay active. Regular activity in form of physical exercise helps promote a good night’s sleep. However, avoid strenuous physical activities just before bedtime.
- Limit naps because naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you can’t get by without one, try to limit a nap to no more than 30 minutes and don’t nap after 3 p.m. It’s not surprising that night travelers who don’t wish to sleep at night take naps at daytime!
- Avoid or limit caffeine containing stuff (like coffee, soft beverages) and alcohol intake and don’t use nicotine. All of these can make it harder to sleep, because they are brain stimulants and effects can last for several hours.
- Relieve the pain you’re going through, at least temporarily. If a painful condition bothers you, talk to your doctor about options for pain relievers that are effective enough to control pain while you’re sleeping.
- Avoid large meals and beverages before bed. A light snack is fine and may help avoid heartburn. Drink less liquid before bedtime so that you won’t have to wake up to urinate as often.
- Make your bedroom comfortable for sleep. Keep it dark and quiet, at a comfortable temperature.
- Put of that stress! Worrying and over thinking about a particular situation will only keep you awake and won’t add a second to your life. Find ways to relax. A warm bath or a massage before bedtime can help prepare you for sleep. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as taking a hot bath, reading, soft music, breathing exercises, yoga or prayer.