How To get Good Sleep? Getting good sleep is extremely crucial. It rejuvenates us, repairs our bodies, makes us fresh for the next day, helps us concentrate better and makes us feel better all over and yet a lot of us do not get good sleep for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a hectic schedule, for others it’s their lifestyle, stress due to the pressures of life or in less common cases, actual sleep disorders. Thus there are a variety of things that can interfere with getting proper sleep such
Certainly many of the above issues cannot be dealt with overnight and they can continue to play a role in interfering with sleep, however, it you follow the strategies mentioned below, you have a much better chance of getting quality sleep. Let’s take a look at 8 strategies that are sure to work!
1) Turn off or at least stop using all electronic devices at least half an hour before sleeping.
Electronic devices not only keep you more alert and thus less likely to fall asleep, the light they emit directly onto your face inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin which increases when its dark. Instead, read a book in bed with light that falls not on your face but on the text are reading. The moment you begin to feel sleepy, turn off the lamp and go to bed. Oh and make sure the book is boring 😉
2) Be mindful of the kinds of things you consume before sleeping
If you go to bed completely hungry you are going to feel like getting up during the night and getting something to eat from the fridge. If you overeat before sleep, that too is going to wreck havoc on your digestive system and make it difficult for you to sleep. Instead, try to eat in moderate quantity foods that you can digest well. It would be a good idea to eat carbohydrates in a moderate quantity as they tend to make you feel sleepy.
3) Limit the intake of stimulants
This includes but is not limited to caffeine or any other stimulant. Caffeine can make you hyper alert thus making it hard to fall asleep, that is why people drink coffee over and over again when they need to stay awake. Nicotine can do much harm as well. Alcohol serves as both a depressant and a stimulant so while it may help you sleep in the beginning, studies show that alcohol interferes with REM or Rapid Eye Movement phase of sleep which is crucial to getting good rest. When one doesn’t get proper REM sleep there can be drowsiness and poor concentration when you do wake up. So avoid all stimulants that can interfere with sleep. At the very least, avoid them before you go to bed.
4) Avoid working before bed.
Again, doing serious work before bed often makes you hyper alert and anxious. To be able to sleep well you have to gently allow your mind and body to slip into lazy mode so that they can begin winding up for the day and prepare you for sleep. You have the entire do to do your work so do it then. When its time to go to bed, either do something relaxing or don’t do anything at all. Don’t share your bed with work!
A regular exercise routine will help you not only lose weight but also sleep better. Because the exercise tires you out, thus forcing your body to require rest. Exercise will also help you get deeper sleep. Just make sure you don’t workout immediately before sleeping time because just after workout, your body will produce stress hormones that will keep you awake for a while. The relaxing effects only kick in later.
6) Keep your stress levels low
Your stress levels play tremendous role in the kind of sleep you are able to get. From an evolutionary point of view, stress exists to activate the “Fight or Flight” mechanism. In other words, in the early days when primitive man had a lot of dangers around, stress helped to make them active enough to either fight a threat or run away when it approached. In modern times, at least in civilized countries, the number of such threats has reduced but means to activating the fight or flight mechanism still remain in the form of stress. If you are stressed, you will constantly be thinking and worrying and being anxious which will make sleeping all the more difficult. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to fight stress, many of which you can read in this article titled how to beat stress.
7) Try to avoid afternoon naps
Now this one depends from person to person, some people especially those who are in jobs where they hardly get enough sleep or have to work throughout the day and night, getting multiple naps makes them more alert and productive. However, if you want to get long uninterrupted sleep during the night, it is better to cut down on afternoon naps as they tend to lead to a situation where you do not get enough sleep during the night, simply because the sleep requirements have been fulfilled (although only partially) during the day. So you are not tired enough to get good sleep during the night, leading to a poor quality of sleep and only begin to feel sleepy during the day which leads to drowsiness, thus perpetuating the vicious cycle. Avoid afternoon naps unless your routine absolutely demands one.
8) Try to get up at the same time everyday.
Let’s face it, on some days we simply don’t go to bed at the same time, for a variety of reasons. On some days there maybe excessive work, on other days there maybe a party or a night out or a match on television that we want to stay up and watch. When we sleep late during those days, we get up late and thus disrupt our sleep schedule for the next day, because obviously if you get up very late with all your sleep quota fulfilled it will be close to impossible to fall asleep. Instead aim to get up at the same time everyday, even if you sleep late. If you get up at the same time, you maybe drowsy that day but naturally you will fall asleep earlier the next day and get deep restful sleep thus ensuring your sleep schedule does not go haywire!
However, if you are in a risky profession that requires extreme alertness, do not try this as being drowsy for even a single moment can be dangerous.
In this hectic world, even something as simple as sleep has become a rare commodity. People often forego sleep to make professional progress or for other reasons. However, if you skip on sleep you are in many ways hampering your own productivity because your concentration levels will be extremely poor. Moreover, less sleep over a long period of time can lead to various health related consequences. Thus apply these strategies above and aim to get good sleep on a regular basis. Your happiness, productivity and health will all change for the better!
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. It has been seen by over 1 Million People on Youtube. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address.
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