9 Great Tips to a Good Night Sleep
Do you suffer from insomnia? Do you –like millions of people worldwide- ever spend several hours in complete limbo rolling from one side of the bed to the other at the mercy of crumpled sheets and your anxious mind?
If this sounds familiar, you have most likely tried counting sheep… or rhinos, tigers, poodles, frogs and even dinosaurs until you’re ready to create a little zoo inside your bedroom! And then you realize you’re neither insane nor in-love. It’s just that awful insomnia!
And as the hours seem to pass at the speed of a giant tortoise cruising the grasslands, your stress shoots up as you remember you have an important speech to give tomorrow at 8:00 AM and you’re going to feel sluggish! How are you going to perform and do a good job in spite of your raccoon eyes, half-closed eyelids, delayed reflexes and slowed mental processing? I hear you screaming… HELP!!
Studies show that lack of sleep leads to decreased productivity, poor performance and marked irritability. In fact, we can survive a 3 days without water and about 15 days without food, but without regular and restful sleep, we can experience hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, moodiness, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, and even memory loss. I’ll take sleep over food anytime!
So, if you suffer from sleep deprivation, I suggest you try at least one, and preferably all of the following tips so you can sail gently towards dreamland and enjoy an optimum level of relaxation and functioning on the following day. And I promise you… it has nothing to do with counting sheep.
- Adopt a Regular Sleep Schedule
Not all of us need the same amount of sleep; however, what is important is to doze off at the same time every day for you to get the needed 6 to 8 hours of sleep. Use an alarm clock to wake up and try to do it at the same time every day, weekends included! Try not to oversleep because you will surely feel drowsy or end up with a headache or achy body.
- Drink a Glass of Warm Milk
There’s nothing better to induce sleep and prevent insomnia on a regular basis. Milk contains tryptophan, a standard amino acid and precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your brain that relaxes you. Milk calms the nerves and will eventually induce sleep.
- Let Go of Caffeine and Nicotine
Coffee is known to be a stimulant. Drinking even one cup before bedtime will worsen your insomnia. Additionally, caffeine is a diuretic, which translates into frequent trips to the bathroom. Oh, and beware of sodas and chocolate… they contain caffeine too! Nicotine is also a stimulant, and can keep you awake for hours. Needless to say, quitting both will enhance your health in more than one way.
- Keep Your Room Cool
When we sleep, our internal body temperature drops so it is advisable that your room is kept at a likewise temperature. Use either an electric fan, an air conditioner or, if weather conditions allow, an open window.
- Take a Hot Shower
It is known that hot water is soothing and relaxing. Moreover, several studies suggest that a rise in body temperature followed by a sudden decline of it as you enter the fresh sheets can induce sleepiness and prevent insomnia.
- Avoid Daytime Naps
Naps can disturb your internal natural clock so it’s better to avoid all day time naps; however, if you must lay down for a nap, limit your power naps to a maximum of 20 minutes right after lunch, but not later than that. This will aid in recharging your batteries without making you feel drowsy for the rest of the day.
- Silence is Peace
Skip the news at night. Cut the bad habit of going to sleep with the tube on or with your iPod in your ears. It’s been proven that sleeping in silence allows for the body to relax and rebuild properly. Let the golden silence permeate your room to fully enjoy your zzz’s.
- Skip the Sleeping Aids
Sleeping pills may allow you to sleep for a few hours but they won’t give you the rejuvenated state of mind you need the next morning. Sleeping aids are not a wise long term solution for insomnia.
- Learn to Think of Nothing
It’s vital to learn to completely empty your mind of thoughts before you call it a night. Leave your problems for day time. Concentrate on sleeping and nothing else. Breathe deeply and relax. Put your mind at ease. If it helps, learn to meditate, and try binaural-beats!
Follow this for a good night sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, invigorated and ready to face your new day for peak performance!