10 tips for a healthy sleep

10 tips for a healthy sleep
Highlights

Like a balanced diet and exercise are important to stay healthy, sleep ensures that your body gets proper rest and is rejuvenated.

Like a balanced diet and exercise are important to stay healthy, sleep ensures that your body gets proper rest and is rejuvenated. Here are some tips for getting a good night sleep:

1. Set a regular bedtime: Go to bed at the same time every night. Choose a time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. Try not to break this routine on weekends when it may be tempting to stay up late. If you want to change your bedtime, help your body adjust by making the change in small daily increments, such as 15 minutes earlier or later each day.

2. Fight after-dinner drowsiness: If you find yourself getting sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating to avoid falling asleep, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting clothes ready for the next day. If you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.

3. Do not overeat: Overeating is also a major problem why people do not get a proper sleep. Keep your dinner light and make sure that you give a gap of at least two hours between dinner and bedtime. Taking a shower is a good idea before going to bed, since it helps you relax, but if this is too much of a hassle, then make sure that you wash your face and feet before hitting the sack.

4. Keep away the electronic gadgets: Refrain from using electronic gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, etc before sleep as they keep our minds engaged, thus making it difficult to relax and fall asleep.

5. De-clutter your bed: The number of items on your bed are also responsible for the quality of your sleep. Make sure that your bed is comfortable and only has the things that are required, such as pillows, sheets and blankets. Everything else should be taken off.

6. Keep the volume low: Just how mothers sing lullabies to put their babies to sleep, reading or listening to soft music induces sleep too. Indulging in a soothing activity right before sleeping will ensure that the subconscious mind is at peace.

7. Select the right mattress: Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and select the best mattress for a good night sleep.

8. Make sure the room is dark: Keep the lights dim, and create an ambience to invite sleep. The darker it is, the better you’ll sleep. Cover electrical displays, use heavy curtains or shades to block light from windows, or try a sleep mask to cover your eyes. Wearing loose and comfortable clothing will also help you unwind.

9. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and other chemicals that interfere with sleep: As any coffee lover knows, caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. So avoid caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola and some pain relievers) for four to six hours before bedtime. Similarly, smokers should refrain from using tobacco products too close to bedtime.

10. Do not take your worries to bed: Spend 15 minutes addressing problems (journaling is a good way to start) so they don’t sneak up when your head hits the pillow. If a particular event or stressor is keeping you up at night do not stress. A good way to stay out of your head is to focus on the feelings and sensations in your body.

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