With age, one can encounter normal changes in sleeping patterns like waking up early, sleeping less, having a less deep and sound sleep. Although these changes are normal, disturbed intermittent sleep or waking up tired are signs of insufficient amount of sleep.
Sufficient amount of good sleep ensures the proper functioning of mind and body. Sleeping well improves your focus and concentration, strengthens your immune system, and repairs cell damage. In many cases, it is possible to enhance the quality of your sleep by adopting healthy habits, addressing emotional problems, and changing bedroom environment.
1. Turn off Electronics Gadgets
For good sleep, turn off all the electronic gadgets like television or mobile phones and tablets. These devices emit blue light, which decrease the level of melatonin and increases alertness. Melatonin is a hormone that induces sleep.
2. Avoid Alcohol
Avoid consumption of alcoholic drinks as it can disrupt essential brain and body functions such as memory consolidation that occurs during sleep. It can result in negative sleep cycle where you depend on stimulants like caffeine to stay awake and sedatives for good sleep.
3. Wake Up Early
”Early to bed and early to rise” is the best advice that our forefathers have passed down to us. Waking up early and exposing yourself to sunlight allows your body to acknowledge when it’s time to be awake and when not. Also, avoid sleeping during the day for more than 20 minutes as it can turn you groggy.
4. Ditch the Stress
Forget your worries and ditch stress and challenges of the day when you go to bed as they can hinder initiation of sleep. Indulge in meditation, prayers, a light read or warm shower, to calm your mind and relax your body for sleeping well.
Whether you like swimming, yoga, gyming, or running, any regular exercise can facilitate quality sleep. But take care that you indulge in exercise at least six hours before your bedtime. Vigorous physical activities right before sleeping can lead to wakefulness as it stimulates the nervous system.
6. Avoid Heavy Meals
Your body is not supposed to digest the food while you sleep. If you can’t skip late-night meals, then opt for a lighter menu consisting of fruits and salads. A protein-rich food is hard to digest.
7. Have a Warm Drink
Having a warm, non-alcoholic beverage is another great way to relax and get ready for sleep. You can have your favorite warm milky hot drink half an hour before you hit the bed. Avoid chocolate, coffee, or any kind of fizzy drinks. Restrict yourself to small quantities as it can result in frequent bathroom breaks.
8. Listen to Music
Calm, soothing music can have a calming effect on the mind and brain. Soft new age music, sleep-related podcasts, gospel rhymes can help you to drift off to sound sleep. Avoid loud rock and roll or heavy metal songs as they can have the opposite effect.
9. Avoid Alarm Snooze
Allow yourself at least 6 to 7 hours of proper sleep. If you set the alarm before you complete your necessary sleep requirement, you will end up snoozing your alarm and still waking up tired. Setting the alarm for later and skipping snooze can have significant benefits.
10. Keep Your Bedroom Dark and Cool
Keep the lights low or opt for a comfy eye mask as even a slight glow of the digital clock can disrupt your sleep. Room temperature that is too hot or cold can also have adverse effects on your sleep. Maintain room temperature between 60 to 67 degree Fahrenheit for a calm and peaceful sleep.
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