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 – this is completely normal and it’s scientifically proven that as you grow older, your sleep pattern changes. However, getting older does not necessarily mean you’ll face restless and sleepless nights.
Here are 10 simple tips to have a good night’s sleep, in a blink of an eye.
1. Stick to a schedule
It’s important that you don’t oversleep! You should 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.
2. 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, read a book and do some meditation. You can also light up a scented candle to sleep easier (just remember to blow it out before you sleep).
3. 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 once even when you’ve locked your phone, as you’re still actively thinking about what you saw or read earlier.
4. 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.
5. Limit naps in the day
While naps are tempting if you have nothing on in the day, it may possibly be the reason why you’re finding it hard to sleep at night. Taking day naps interferes with your sleeping pattern. However, if really required, take no more than 30 mins of nap time.
6. Incorporate exercising in your daily routine
This comes as a 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.
7. 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 sleep. Have your dinner a few hours before your bed time, 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Take 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.
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