How to get Better Sleep?

April 28, 2008

Are you experiencing problems in sleeping like – not able to sleep or wakeup at the desired time or frequently waking up at night? The best reason might be that you are not following the basic guidelines for healthy sleep. Here, we explain you basic healthy sleep tips. These tips are for typical adults who are facing difficulty in sleeping. In case of children or those suffering from certain sleep disorders we suggest consulting sleep experts to get treated properly.

Maintain Regular Sleep Schedule

The sleep and wake cycle is regulated by ‘circadian clock’ in the brain. Maintaining a regular waking time strengthens this circadian clock, and helps get sleep at proper time in night. So, maintain a regular sleeping schedule, even during weekends when there is a temptation to sleep more.

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Relax Before Going to Bed

It is important that you go to bed with a relaxed and stress-free mind. Avoid stressful activities like playing video games and working with your PC, right before going to bed. Instead, develop relaxing routines like listening to soothing music and reading an interesting book before going to bed. You can learn relaxation therapy from a professional, and practice it before going to sleep. Make sure there is no bright light in your bedroom as it can signal your neurons that it is time to be awake not to sleep.

Create Sleep-Friendly Environment

Make sure that your bedroom has sleep-friendly environment – slightly cool temperature, dark, noise-free and comfortable. You can also take help of earplugs, eye shades, air conditioner, and other devices.

Finish Dinner Early

Eating or drinking too much before going to bed may disturb your sleep. Avoid taking a heavy meal too close to bedtime. Don’t eat spicy foods as they can cause heartburn, and make it difficult falling asleep. Don’t take fluids close to bedtime as it can cause nighttime awakenings to go to the toilet. Drinking milk or herbal, non-caffeinated teas can be part of a healthy bedtime routine.

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Exercise Regularly

Exercising regularly helps you get sound sleep. However, exercising before your bedtime is not helpful. When you exercise your body temperature increases, and it takes few hours for the body temperature to come to normal levels enabling sleep onset. Finish your exercise routine at least three hours before our bedtime. Exercising during late afternoon is best.

Avoid Caffeine Products Close to Bedtime

When you take caffeine products like coffee, tea, chocolate and colas, the effect of caffeine in it remain for 3 to 5 hours. In case of some the effects will be up to 12 hours later. Avoid taking caffeine products before 6-8 hours of bedtime, to improve sleep quality.

Stop Smoking and Drinking

Nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant. When one smokes before sleep he suffers from various nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Smoking can cause irregular sleep routines and nightmares. Many people think that alcohol acts as sedative and helps get good night sleep. In fact, alcohol causes restless sleep. Avoid alcohol consumption. Take the help of a de-addiction professional if you find it difficult.

Maintain a Sleep Diary

If you are suffering from any sleep disorders, you are suggested to maintain a sleep diary and note down your sleeping routines. This helps your sleep expert understand your sleeping patterns, make a proper diagnosis and suggest the right solutions.

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