From finding it challenging to sleep to waking up intermittently through the night, things sure have changed compared to a decade ago. Don’t be alarmed because this is completely normal and it’s scientifically proven that as you grow older, your sleep pattern changes. However, this does not necessarily mean you’ll face restless and sleepless nights. Here are 15 proven tips for better sleep at night.
1. Reduce Blue Light Exposure
Blue light is emitted from electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops. As we continue to work from home, finding a balance between home and work may be challenging. Hence, we should take measures such as wearing PC glasses and avoid watching TV at least 2 hours before going to bed.
2. Clear Your Mind with Meditation
Release stress and tension after a long day of work or school with meditation. Meditating helps clear your head through focused breathing and helps activate parts of the brain that controls sleep. If you’re new to meditation, check out our list of apps to try here that’ll guide you through your meditation journey. Relax your mind and body at these best spas in Singapore.
3. Incorporate Exercising in Your Daily Routine
This comes as no surprise! Exercising or doing light activities in the day helps you become alert and efficient in your daytime activities. This means, you’ll be more tired at night, which helps you sleep better. Furthermore, exercising helps you reduce stress, which is also a contributing factor to insomnia. Just don’t do it right before you’re about to sleep – that pumps up your adrenaline instead.
4. Buy a Comfortable Bed, Mattress and Pillow
Ever wondered why you always sleep better in hotels? That’s because they use the high-quality beds, mattresses and pillows. Thus, it is time you invest in good quality bedding too. Did you know that poor quality bedding may lead to lower back pain?
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5. Take a Refreshing Bath or Shower
Studies have shown that taking a hot bath 90 minutes before bed helps to improve sleep quality. Take a minute or two under the showerhead and feel as though all tension is removed from your body. Alternatively, if you don’t want to take a full shower at night, you may soak your feet in warm water to help your relax before bed.
6. Stick to a Schedule
Set aside no more than eight full hours of sleep. As much as possible, try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day – this sets up a routine and your body would know when it’s required to rest and be active. On weekends, try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule to no more than an hour.
7. Limit Naps in the Day
While naps are tempting if you have nothing to do in the day, it may be the reason why you’re finding it hard to sleep at night. Taking day naps interferes with your sleeping pattern. However, if really require it, take no more than 30 mins of nap time.
Read: How to reduce stress in 10 minutes
8. Avoid Heavy Meals, Alcohol or Caffeine a Few Hours Before Bed
Going to bed too hungry or full might cause discomfort and thus making it harder for you to fall asleep. Have your dinner a few hours before your bedtime, so proper digestion can take place. Also avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, as these substances can take a few hours to wear off. Other beverages to avoid are tea, soft drinks and energy drinks.
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9. Prepare Yourself for Bed
Your body is a temple, so treat it like one. Give your brain some time to wind down and relax. If possible, reach home earlier from work, take a long hot shower to calm those nerves and prepare yourself for bed. Turn on the best soothing music or read a book. You can also light up a scented candle - just remember to blow it out before you sleep.
10. Stay Off Your Gadgets
We’re all guilty of checking our social media profiles and emails before we sleep. From now on, let’s practice to put these devices aside because your mind would still be running deep in thoughts even when you’ve locked your phone, as you’re still actively thinking about what you saw or read earlier.
11. Don’t Force Yourself to Sleep
It sounds counterproductive, but here’s the thing – do something repetitive and soothing (also, an activity that doesn’t involve screens) for about 10 minutes. Once you feel sleepy again, head straight to bed.
12. Remove Flowers and Plants
Yes, these are aesthetically pleasing to have in your room. In the day, these plants release oxygen, but at night, they release carbon dioxide. This means that you’ll be competing for fresh air, leaving you more tired the next morning. And then it’ll be a cycle, which will affect your overall health in the long run.
13. Design Your Bedroom into an Area of Rest
Home is where the heart is, and your room is a sanctuary. Ensure your room is in its best state – clean and comfortable. Think comfortable mattresses, blackout curtains, fragrant candles or scent diffusers with fragrances like lavender and chamomile. Remove all forms of anxiety-inducing objects or objects that may remind you of work for example. Try sleeping in total darkness too.
Read: How to transform your bedroom into a luxurious hotel room
14. Take Vitamins and Supplements
Consult your doctor or pharmacist, and find out what supplements you should take to sleep better. Some of the common sleep-promoting supplements and herbs include melatonin, chamomile, valerian root and lavender.
15. Consult Your Doctor
If you’re still finding it hard to sleep, visit your doctor. You might have symptoms such as insomnia or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) which should be treated for better sleep. They will be able to help identify which problems you are facing and provide solutions to overcome them.
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