Many people have trouble sleeping. There can be a lot of reasons for this: physical passivity, mental problems, bad habits, an inactive lifestyle, and so on. As a rule, if you are having difficulty falling asleep, and the next morning you feel overwhelmed, there is some reason, and most likely even several.
We’re not used to paying attention to getting ready for bed. A night’s rest is considered to be something that you need to go through, and then get back to your business and work. We forget that the quality of sleep greatly affects our psyche: it either puts it in order or destroys it.
Imagine a person (perhaps even you) who went to bed at three in the morning on Sunday. He has to wake up at seven in the morning to get to work. Of course, there can be no question of a proper breakfast: what can be cooked in a minute will be eaten. In the office, he feels overwhelmed, and the brain does not function well. Sleepy person makes many mistakes and snaps when communicating with others. Arriving home at eight in the evening, he goes to bed and wakes up two hours later, and then falls asleep again at three in the morning, like on Sunday.
It’s a vicious circle or groundhog day, whatever you like. Our society is so frivolous about sleep (after all, it is, as you know, for weaklings) that sometimes it does not at all understand where nervous breakdowns, conflicts at work, negative emotions and destructive thoughts come from. And they can simply be born in a sleepy brain.
In this article, we will offer you tips to improve your sleep. Depending on your daily routine and the availability of free time, you can adopt what is right for you.
What to do during the day to get a good night’s sleep
What you do during the day is just as important as what happens an hour before bed. The right habits will not only help you get good sleep, but also get tired less. Here are some good tips.
If you, for the most part, sit at the computer, then exercise is necessary for you and just in order to maintain your health.
The quality of sleep also depends on them. If during the day you have been active a lot, then in the evening you will fall asleep very quickly and have a good sleep, because the body will not have a special desire and energy to chew on obsessive thoughts and remember past failures.
It is important to try both standard exercises such as running, cycling or swimming, as well as exotic ones, such as Tibetan yoga and Tai Chi, which have a positive effect on the body.
Warning: Do not exercise three hours before bed. This can be detrimental to your health.
Spend time in the sun
Because of all this talk about skin cancer, many people try to avoid sun exposure as much as possible, not realizing that the sun is very important to our health.
If possible, stay in the sun for about two hours a day – this will allow you to adjust your natural biorhythm in the right way. Do not forget to use sunscreen in the summer.
Keep a journal
Write down everything related to sleep:
- Behavior patterns;
We have already said that people often enter a vicious circle: if they go to bed once at three in the morning and do not get enough sleep, a whole week will be ruined. Keeping a journal can help you find patterns of behavior, find out what prevents you from falling asleep, what thoughts accompany you, and what habits are worth ending up with.
Take a nap
During the day, the level of our energy jumps like crazy: it decreases to a minimum level, then rises to a maximum. Therefore, as soon as you feel that you are mentally exhausted, take a nap, if possible. This, by the way, concerns not only work, but also leisure. After all, you are not used to naps on weekends, are you?
How to sleep well at night: basic rules
We are not listing the basic rules for good sleep in order of importance, so this does not mean that the first is more important than the tenth. However, the more advice you listen to, the better your chances of getting a good night’s sleep and feeling great throughout the day.
1. Take a shower and prepare fresh linens
Before going to bed, it is very important that you wash off all the dirt and other people’s energy that you have collected during the day. In addition to physiological reasons, the soul also carries a ritual meaning, as if telling your body: “I washed myself – I prepared for sleep.”
Eventually, you will feel better. You just need to understand that the morning shower should be colder than the evening one.
And, of course, bed linen should also match.
2. Sleep in total darkness
Think of a cave, a prehistoric night hideout. Our body is adapted to modern conditions, but our physiology has hardly changed over the past 100,000 years.
Melatonin (“sleep hormone”) has been proven to be light sensitive. Light interferes with the release of melatonin whenever it touches the skin, but the eyes are especially important.
Nowadays, melatonin is used as an active supplement, but why use an artificial analogue (except in severe cases) if you can perfectly produce your own melatonin?
So when you go to bed, make sure the room is dark enough that you can’t even see your hand in front of your face.
No smartphones and laptops, of course. Ideally, two hours before bedtime. The only exception is the e-book, which is based on e-paper technology.
3. Avoid stimulants
Coffee and refined sugar are the main enemies of good sleep. If you drink a cup of coffee less than twelve hours before going to bed, you may have insomnia.
Nicotine is also a stimulant that interferes with quality sleep. If you can’t go without a cigarette, try not to smoke at least two to three hours before bed.
4. No food four hours before bed
Evening meals are the hardest to refuse. We are used to eating while watching a movie, which often happens just before bed.
If you eat late at night, your body will use energy during sleep mainly to digest food, not to rest and relax. You will be doing yourself a huge favor if you give up this bad habit.
As we can see, this habit is closely related to others. In our case – with watching a movie, we have already discussed this above. This is why it is so difficult to get enough sleep: the body is overexcited and not ready for sleep. Give yourself time to relax and calm down before bed.
Start consciously preparing for bed today.
5. Go to bed before midnight
It is believed that every hour of sleep until midnight is considered two. Whether this is true or not, it’s not certain, but a lot of people who go to bed before twelve and wake up at five or six in the morning feel great.
It is difficult because there are so many temptations! After all, sometimes night is the quietest time of the day, and you really want to stay longer. The next morning you usually have to regret it. And so every day. Again we get a vicious circle.
In order to go to bed before midnight, it is important to schedule it. That is, literally write on the to-do list: “23:00 – sleep.” This will take discipline and a lot of willpower.
6. Figure out how much sleep you need
Seven to eight hours of sleep is considered normal, but you may have different needs. The most important thing is that after waking up, you feel cheerful and capable of feats.
It is also important to sleep no more than you need. Otherwise, you will only waste time and feel overwhelmed.
Much also depends on where you live. For example, moving to another city or country, you may feel that you now need more or less time to rest. Plus, your body changes over the years, and this can also affect how long you sleep at night.
7. Pay attention to oxygen and temperature
Our body needs sufficient oxygen even during sleep. This is why it’s important to ventilate the room before bed, or even sleep with the window open – it’s your personal choice. It all depends on the weather outside the window. The ideal temperature for quality sleep is 19-22C.
Be sure to also ventilate the room immediately after waking up. This will saturate the body with oxygen and help wake up.
8. Do your exercises
We have already mentioned that you should prepare for bed in the morning. If you do your exercises, you will get yourself in order and you will feel great all day. This will help you fall asleep faster in the evening.
If possible, do not only exercise, but also exercise regularly: run, swim, exercise in the gym. Physical activity promotes good sleep, sound sleep, and well-being.
9. Learn to deal with anxiety
For many people, obsessive thoughts are a problem. They ruin life not only during the day, but also when trying to sleep. Painful images from the past appear, and the imagination paints tragic images of the future. In this state, it is very difficult to tune in to quality sleep.
We covered the problem of negative thoughts earlier, now we will point out how you can relax your body and mind:
- Take a warm bath;
- Use visualization techniques;
- Create a list of relaxing affirmations.
10. No work two hours before bed
Negative thoughts and negative emotions are often triggered by nervous work. Many people do not leave this state even at home, with their relatives.
Of course, it takes a lot of work to succeed in life, and even if you happen to be at home, there is no problem doing something extra. But leave yourself at least two hours before bed. It’s productive anyway: you can recharge your batteries and be much more efficient in the morning.
11. Don’t put annoying sounds on your alarm
Yes, the more disgusting the alarm sounds, the sooner you will wake up. But it can negatively affect your mood. In the morning, a person can be quite irritable, and not least because of this sound. Put classical music or something uplifting on your alarm clock. Set a good tone for your day.
Some scientists insist on dispensing with an alarm clock at all. In their opinion, the body itself should let you know when it is rested. Or you can try to set the alarm an hour later, and still wake up when you feel that you have slept.
12. The bed is not a place to work and eat
Your brain should perceive the bed as a place to sleep, that is, as a device on which you can lie down and immediately fall asleep.
It is a very bad idea to carry documents from work to the bed. And having lunch or dinner in bed is even worse.
13. If you haven’t got enough sleep, don’t worry
Since it so happened that you did not get enough sleep, the main thing is not to get upset. This can lead to the fact that you start to wind yourself up and consider yourself doomed. Sleep does not like such thoughts.
Often times, insomnia is not due to biological reasons, but because you start to think you have it.
What should be done in this case? Follow our advice persistently. One way or another, the strategy does not change from this. Do your best to stick to the right new habits no matter what. The body takes time to rebuild.
14. Plan your sleep
We have already dealt with this in part. If you look at the to-do list of the average person, there is no “Sleep” item. And if there is, then he rarely obeys a precise schedule. The main thing is to finish your business, and sleep will wait.
Go to bed at the same time every day. Yes, even on Friday and weekends. To feel good, you have to sacrifice something.
Of course, not every day you will be able to go to bed, say, at 11 pm, but you should try to maintain the regime.
15. Get a medical examination
Unfortunately, in some cases, insomnia and poor sleep can be indicative of health problems. In this case, our advice, if it helps, is not significant. It will not hurt to undergo a medical examination and find out the true causes of sleep disorders.
How to fall asleep quickly
Our tips on how to get a good night’s sleep are effective with careful preparation and constant adherence to instructions. Let’s say you decide to start using them soon, but today you need a working one-time method to fall asleep quickly. For example, you have an important interview tomorrow morning and you need to be in shape.
What can you do half an hour before bed to quickly fall asleep? Here are some tips.
We generally recommend doing this in the morning, but meditation never hurts. If you calm your nerves and breathing in ten minutes with this practice, there is a good chance that sleep will not be long in coming.
Many people do not like morning and afternoon meditations for the reason that they immediately want to sleep. Maybe that’s the answer for you?
Sit in a chair or lie down in bed and close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing. Feel the air flow through your lungs. Relax your body and gradually increase the length of inhalation and exhalation.
Do not throw negative thoughts out of your head while doing this. Just watch them from the side.
Even if you don’t fall asleep right away, you will be able to prepare your body for sleep.
Write down your thoughts
Keep a notebook and pen on your nightstand by your bed. Write down whatever comes to mind, uncensored. The purpose of this exercise is not to strain the brain, but to relax. Do not solve any problems and reflect on your personality, just let your hand freely draw characters.
However, it may be something soothing. For example, thoughts of gratitude or that you are prepared for tomorrow and everything will go perfectly.
Light some scented candles
Going to bed by candlelight is magic. You can forget about the harshness of modern life and travel back to the Middle Ages.
Candles create a mysterious yet sleepy atmosphere. Let them burn for five minutes, then extinguish.
Warning: never go to bed while the candles are on.
Eat enough throughout the day
This advice, of course, will not work if it is already eleven o’clock in the evening, but you need to fall asleep quickly. Still, if you have a whole day to prepare for your date with Morpheus, pay attention to your diet throughout the day.
Eat breakfast like a king, take lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. If you go to bed on an empty stomach, you will not be able to fall asleep quickly. The brain needs to understand that you are sufficiently prepared for long sleep, and that you have enough nutrients.
And although people with big bellies sleep very sweetly, still watch your figure.
Read a book
While TV and videos on Youtube only excite the body and provoke unwanted emotions, the book allows you to forget about everyday worries and immerse yourself in a world of fantasy. Of course, books are different, give up horror at night.
But fantasy like “Harry Potter”, “The Witcher” and even “Game of Thrones” are very suitable. They will help you turn off thoughts about yourself and completely focus on a world where our everyday problems do not exist.
However, you can also read books about the science of sleep. It will be both useful and educational. Here’s where to start:
- “Science of sleep. An excursion into the most mysterious sphere of human life” David Randall.
- “The brain in a dream. What Happens to the Brain While We Sleep” Andrea Rock.
- “Magic of the Morning” by Hal Elrod.
- “Sugar Free” Jacob Teitelbaum and Krystle Fiedler.
We wish you good luck!