Category Archives: Sleep

Tips for Better Sleep

Do you get frustrated because you can’t get a good sleep? Its not necessary that you will get a good sleep every night. There might be some mornings when you might feel like you only slept for since time, or that your sleep was not enough. Here are a few tips on how to get a good sleep.

1. Have a Regular Sleep-Wake Cycle

You might feel sleepy around the same time you fell asleep the previous day. This is the main reason why we should have a regular sleep time. If we sleep at a set time every day (say 10pm to 11pm) our body will get used to that and can easily fall asleep at that time.  Otherwise we might be in bed tossing and turning trying so hard to fall asleep and end up getting frustrated and getting off of the bed.

Our body is capable of remembering the time we wake up from our sleep. Thus during the same time the following day our body starts preparing to wake up. Which will prevent us from getting the needed sleep.

2. Have a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Since the environment impacts the quality of our sleep here are a few suggestions.

a) Bedding

Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and a pillow. Also make sure you have a bed big enough as you might change position during the night.

b) Light

We sleep better when there is less or no light around us. Thus try to sleep with very little light. If you are trying to nap during the day, you could cover your eyes with a dark piece of cloth.

c) Sound

Sound could easily wake us up from our sleep. If you are a person that can only sleep with music around you, try setting a timer for your music to shut off so that it won’t wake you up in the middle of the night.

d) Keep electronics away

Studies show that the use of electronic devices one hour before sleep could increase the time gap between the time our head hits the pillow and we actually fall asleep.

e) Temperature

Have a moderate temperature, so that you don’t wake up at night shivering with cold or drenched in sweat. Also cool temperature will get your body ready to sleep.

3. Avoid Heavy Dinner

When your stomach is too full, you might have a hard time sleeping. Especially if you have taken fatty foods or junk food for dinner. It is because our stomach has to work extra to digest. This which will result in loss of sleep. If you are hungry even after dinner, eat light ( like fruits, some milk, etc) so that it won’t disturb your sleep.

4. Have a bedtime routine

A bedtime routine could include making your bed ready, personal hygiene, moisturizing hands and legs, listening to a soft instrumental music or reading, prayer, etc. Create a routine for yourself and make it a point to do it every day before you go to bed. After some days our body starts responding accordingly and will help you to sleep faster. In a way this routine could be a message you are sending to your body, telling that it is time for bed.

Hope you have enjoyed this series on sleep.

To see the first post of this series, Better Sleep Better Life click here.

To see the second post of this series, Tips for a Better Sleep Environment click here.

Tips for a Better Sleep Environment

The need for proper sleep is absolutely vital. A good night of rest acts like a “reset” button for us. It rejuvenates us both physically and mentally. The best time to fall asleep is 10pm to midnight. The sleep during day time will not make us as rested as when we sleep at night. It is not just the time we sleep that affect our sleep but also our sleep environment. Here are a few tips to make a better sleep environment.

1. Bedding

For a comfortable rest it is very important that your mattress and pillow are comfortable for you. Everyone has a different definition for comfort, so find a mattress and pillow which makes you feel comfortable. Make sure your mattress is large enough because you are going to change your position quite a few times during sleep. Also changing your bedspreads and pillow covers on a regular basis of at least once a month is required.

2. Light

Have you ever compared how fast you fall asleep during day light and how fast you fall asleep when it is pitch dark? You sleep better in the dark. That is how our body works. When you sleep try to avoid all sorts of lights, even a night light. There are chances of you waking up during you sleep and this light could easily wake you up, or it could prevent you from getting a sound sleep the rest of the night. If you are trying to sleep during the day, try to prevent any sort of light from the outside by covering the windows.

3. Sound

Noises can prevent you from sleeping, or it keeps you in a state where you are partially awake. Our body is designed to respond to outside stimulus so it is common if we wake up hearing an unpleasant sound, whether it is in our room or across the street. Some people claim they can only sleep with music around them, they might need the music only to fall asleep so put a timer for your music or ask someone to turn it off one you are asleep. Try to minimize the sound around you when you sleep because only them can your body rest properly without distraction.

4. Keep electronics away

Electronics are a big distraction for us. It not only eats up our time during the day it also prevents us from getting a sound sleep. For some they can sleep the moment their head hits pillow and for some others it might take quite some time. Studies show that the use of electronic devices one hour before sleep could increase the time gap between the time our head hits the pillow and we actually fall asleep. Therefore set a time for you to shut off electronics one hour before you sleep.

5. Temperature

There are situations where we wake up from our sleep drenched in sweat or shivering from cold. By night time allow your room to get some cool air from the outside and also use air-conditioning or a fan to cool your room. Our body generally cools down when it is preparing for sleep, which is why it is good to have a cool environment when you sleep.

Better Sleep Better Life

Sleep might not sound important, but it is equally important as nutrition and physical activity. It is the time when our body and brain recharges and repairs itself for the following day. Sleeping for at least 6 – 8 hours a day is a necessity. Sleep plays an important role in our hormone production as well as regulation. Here are a five reasons why sleep is important.

1. Boost memory

Even when our body rests our brain does not. While sleeping our brain goes through the events of the day and tries to connect it with previous events, feelings, etc which make it easy for us to retrieve certain information in the future. The brain also consolidates what we’ve learned throughout the day. This process is important as certain information might not get stored and could be lost.

2. Lowers stress

If we get the sleep which is required we tend to feel relaxed in the mornings or else we get into a state of stress. This causes the increase of blood pressure and the production of more stress hormone. This increased blood pressure can cause many physical and mental health problems such as heart attacks and depression. Sleep does not mean you will not get stressed, but it will help you to cope with the stress that comes your way.

3. Gives more energy

Have you ever felt enthusiastic and energetic after a good sleep? Or even after a power nap? When we sleep our body is well rested. While we are asleep our brain goes through a revitalizing process that prepares us for the time when we are awake.

4. Elevates your mood

Too little sleep will make you irritable, annoyed, moody, emotional, etc. It even leaves you with less energy to do the things you like, which in turn make you unhappy. Getting the proper amount of sleep will not guarantee an amazing day. But it gives you a sense of satisfaction which is what we all crave for.

5. Balance your weight

Good sleep helps you to maintain the hormones which make you feel hungry. If your body is not well rested, the level of the hormone called Leptin which makes you feel full will come down making you to eat more than usual. Also when you are not well rested you crave for more sugar which makes you alert. These factors will cause you to eat more than usual and to crave for sugar. Proper sleep will regulate this helping you to manage your diet and to be fit.