A good night’s sleep is very important, as that is when the body does most of the repairs from the damage done by everyday living. This is the time when it detoxifies and repairs the cell tissues. Therefore, it is important to get a good night’s sleep every night in order to live a long and healthy life.
Not being able to sleep might just be the result of worry, business or an underlying health condition. The key is to determine the cause and then eliminate it if possible. Sometimes it might be difficult to pin-point the cause, but following the tips below will help to improve the quality of sleep regardless of the problem.
It may take some time for some of these to kick in, but some tips can bring about immediate results.
Stress is probably one of the biggest reasons why most are unable to fall into a restful sleep at night. Therefore, it is crucial that one learns to manage these stressors before they have negative effects on the body.
Mental Stress. Any type of worries, conflicts, fear or anger can keep individuals up into the wee hours of the morning. Anxiety, feelings of low self-worth and depression are also common reasons for sleepless nights. Thus, getting help and talking to someone about the situation can help in overcoming the mental stress.
Physical Stress. Physical stress, such as pain, discomfort or a disease, can also interfere with the sleep cycle. A trusted medical professional can help by prescribing some herbal remedies for the condition.
Eating a healthy diet in general can help an individual in dealing with both physical and mental stress, as well as many diseases.
Digestive Stress. Eating before bedtime, or having a big, heavy supper can leave undigested food in the digestive system. This is stressful for the digestive system, as it is not meant to digest food during sleep. In addition, food in the stomach can make it uncomfortable for an individual to fall asleep. Therefore, it is important to eat a sensible supper at least a few hours before bedtime in order for the food to fully digest.
It is important to avoid any type of stimulants before bedtime in order to relax and fall into a peaceful sleep.
Eliminate Caffeine. Caffeine is a good pick-me-up in the morning, but the intake should be kept at a minimum level. After lunch it should be avoided completely as the effects of caffeine taken in the afternoon generally do not wear off before bedtime. If a stimulant is needed in the afternoon, one can resort to drinking tea, which also contains caffeine, but in much lower amounts.
Avoid Mental Stimulation. Mental stimulation is good, but not in the hours leading up to bedtime, as the mind needs time to unwind itself from the day’s worries and other stressors. Television, reading and phone conversations can all stimulate the mind, causing it to keep going even after the head hits the pillow. Mindless activities such as folding laundry, crocheting and knitting, or listening to some soft music can also help to unwind the mind.
Avoid Physical Exercise. Physical exercise can actually help one to fall asleep when it is done in the morning or early afternoon. But as with mental stimulation, physical exercise should not be done before bedtime because the body needs time to relax in the same way that the mind does.
Avoid Alcohol. Alcohol is effective at relaxing the mind and body so that one can fall asleep faster. However, studies show that alcohol consumption before bedtime decreases the quality of sleep later on in the night. Therefore, it is best not to resort to alcohol as a means to fall asleep.
Relaxing before bedtime is a good way to help the body fall into a restful sleep at night. Relaxation techniques such as light yoga or deep breathing allow the body and mind to drift into a place where sleep is readily welcomed.
Herbal Tea. An herbal tea made from lavender or chamomile can help the body and mind unwind before bedtime. For best results the tea should be consumed about an hour before bed, as that will give the body a chance to eliminate some of it, allowing for a good night’s sleep without having to run for the bathroom.
Hot Bath. A hot bath is very effective before bedtime. It can be taken immediately before bed, as it helps to get the mind and body ready for a deep sleep. It also begins the detoxing stage that the body goes through each night.
Meditation. Meditation is another effective strategy that can help the mind to let go of the daily stressors. One can meditate, daydream, or go wherever the mind finds a peaceful resting place that will help with falling asleep. Aromatherapy, simple yoga poses and deep breathing exercises can be combined with just about any type of meditation.
Get Into a Routine
One of the most important steps to take in order to get a good night’s sleep is to follow a routine and go to bed at the same time each night. This way the body will automatically begin to relax and prepare for sleep a few hours before bedtime, even if one is still engaged in stimulating activities.