When you hear the word “sleep” nowadays, it’s like hearing the name of a rare food that you wish you could have more of.
Everyone in this era of millennials is either sleep-deprived or suffers from an unhealthy circadian rhythm.
What most people don’t realize is that everything you do from daily habits like eating and physical activity to what you do as a hobby affects both the quality and the quantity of your sleep. So, if the lack of sleep and your not-so-functional sleeping habits are starting to get to you, here are a few things you can do to get your sleeping schedule on track.
Getting Into The Right “Mindset” For Sleep
Whether or not you get a good night’s sleep is dependent on many things but one of the most significant factors that affect sleep is your psychological state as experts in the American Psychological Association has said. Making sure you have the right mindset towards sleep is important to turn it from being something you dread to something you look forward to. Psychologists at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic suggested turning your bed into a place that is only used for sleep and avoiding sleeping anywhere else like the couch to cognitively program yourself that the bed is a place of sleep. That way, every time you are on your bed, you fall asleep. Even though sitting in your bed and waiting to fall asleep seems like a good idea, psychologists agree that it’s better to stay away from your bed until you feel like sleep is knocking on your door.
Having A Bedtime Routine
Most of the tips that would help you fall asleep sound intuitive but those are the ones that really work. One of the things that most people overlook is turning sleep into a sacred habit or ritual that takes part everyday with certain habits involved in order for you to ease into it every night. Having a daily “sleep routine” by doing things that relax you from daily stresses like taking a warm bath, doing some stretches, or reading a book makes the process of going to sleep a lot easier. A significant part of having a bedtime routine is setting a pleasant environment for your body to want to sleep instead of having to sleep. A pleasant environment for sleep involves the right temperature that is not too cold to have you shivering for your life and not too hot for you to be suffocating under your blanket. Of course, cozy bed sheets and a comfortable mattress are a must!
Adjusting Your Lifestyle For A Better Sleep
One of the things that many people overlook even though it is one of the ingredients to getting a good night’s sleep is leading a healthy lifestyle while you’re awake. Leading a healthy lifestyle affects both how well and how much you sleep. Contrary to what you may believe, your circadian rhythm is not an inborn stable thing, it changes with how much sunlight you’re exposed to during the day, how healthy your diet is, and the amount of physical activity involved in your day. Having a healthy diet is one of the key components to getting your body ready for sleep mainly by limiting your consumption of saturated fats and avoiding eating during the evening. What I’m about to say next may sound like something most of you dread but it turns out it really helps with getting your body ready for sleep, and that is exercise.
Exercising three to five times a week has proven to be one of the most efficient ways to ease into sleep mode when the time comes, especially if you exercise it during the evening.
Two Cs That Are Probably Preventing Your Sleep
There are many things that people underestimate the effect of when it comes to sleep, but I think the main two that may help you get rid of all the sleepless nights is cutting down on coffee and cigarettes. Coffee contains caffeine which really works your body up and can prevent sleeping to up to six hours after you drink it. So, if you’re a hardcore coffee drinker don’t keep wondering where all the sleep deprivation is coming from. If you’re already having trouble sleeping and you’re not big on the coffee then you should check the number of cigarettes you smoke because too much of it can also excite your body way too much keeping it wide awake. Sleep psychologist, Richard Bootzin, also says that more often than not it’s not coffee and cigarettes that keep you awake but your anxiety about not being able to sleep because of coffee or cigarettes.
No Matter What, Let It Be
The most important tip of all is to never force yourself to sleep, let it be and it will eventually come to you. Putting too much pressure on falling asleep defeats the purpose and makes it harder for your body to sleep. So, the best advice I can give you if you’re tossing and turning in bed is to let it be until sleep decides to embrace you.
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