Sleeping well leaves a direct impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. It helps us stay active during the rest of the day and lead a healthy lifestyle. Falling short of good sleep takes tolls on us during the daytime and reduces energy and productivity.
If you want to know how to sleep properly you need to make some lifestyle changes and pick up good bedtime habits. Sleeping well helps you will feel mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and have energy all through the day.
How to sleep better at night naturally?
If you’re someone who usually stays awake till 3-4 am at night, you will have a bad quality of sleep. If you don’t have acute insomnia issues, you are in control of your sleeping habits and you need a better sleeping cycle. An unhealthy sleeping cycle generally makes you toss and turn all through the night. Find out the tips that can help you sleep better:
1. Know the natural sleep-wake cycle of your body
You have to know your body’s natural sleeping cycle, which is scientifically called the circadian rhythm. It is an important strategy that will help you sleep better and faster. Following the same sleep-wake cycle schedule helps you feel relaxed, energized, and refreshed the next day.
You must try to sleep for the same number of hours and not alter it by more than a couple of hours here and there. Try sleeping at the same time, and let your body rest as much as it needs to.
2. Avoid sleeping in during weekends
If your weekend and weekday sleep schedules differ, it will create bad jetlag-like symptoms. If you want to make up for a late night, take out some time for an afternoon nap. It not only helps you pay off the sleep-debt but also doesn’t disrupt the natural sleeping cycle.
3. Get smarter with napping
From buying a sleep better pillow to using a sleep better app, you need to get smart with napping techniques. You must avoid napping for hours in the afternoon even if you can spare that much of time. Restrict napping to half an hour to tick through the rest of the day.
4. Kill the after-dinner drowsiness
It is okay to eat food for good sleep that includes turkey, oily fish, white rice, dry fruits, and so on. But you shouldn’t go to bed right after you have your dinner.
Many of us feel drowsy after having dinner. To avoid this, you should keep a few chores that you must do after dinner. These can include washing the dishes, getting clothes ready for the following day, and so on. If you allow yourself to go to bed right away, you might wake up at midnight and find difficulty in sleeping again.
5. Limit exposure to light
Melatonin, a natural hormone in our body, control light exposure and regulates the sleep-wake cycle. To sleep better and faster, our brain secretes melatonin when the lights are off. It helps us fall asleep and relaxes our brain. Now, you know why we switch off the lights when we go to bed at night!
In order to sleep faster, you must avoid watching late-night shows and keep your cellphone away when you’re trying to sleep. If you have constant exposure to phone screens, it will make it tougher for you to sleep instantly.
You also need to darken your room and use shades or curtains to block light. If you work during the night and sleep during the day, you must use a sleep mask. Make sure you put on the blue light feature on your phone, if you must use it before sleeping.
6. Exercise during the day
If you exercise during the day, you will sleep better at night. Exercising keeps you energetic and makes you feel less sleepy during the day. Exercising regularly cures symptoms of insomnia, the possibility of sleep apnea, and helps you go through the restorative stages of sleep.
From a 20-minute brisk walking to an hour of weight training at the gym, you can improve sleep with any form of exercise. However, it can take weeks to regularize your body with exercise to get a direct impact while sleeping. You need to be consistent and maintain a healthy routine to sleep well.
Exercise improves our metabolism, stimulates hormones, and elevates body temperature. It naturally induces sleep and is one of the most important lifestyle decisions you should make. Just make sure you exercise during the morning or afternoon, and not when you’re close to the sleeping cycle. Exercising adds energy to your body and doing it before going to bed will keep you awake.
7. Have a better diet
What you eat throughout the day leaves an impact on your sleeping schedule. For example, if you’re a caffeine lover, chances are that you go sleepless or get little sleep during the night. Smoking is also a stimulant that disrupts the natural sleeping cycle. You should avoid smoking and caffeine, not just for good sleeping but to also maintain overall wellbeing.
Try to have an early dinner and avoid rich and heavy food. Keep away from acidic and spicy treats during the dinner to prevent a heartburn or stomach upset.
Cut down on refined carbs and sugary food. Eating food like pasta, white rice, white bread, before sleeping can trigger wakefulness.
Try to stay on fluids during the night and have food like sandwiches, whole-grain cereal, milk, and yogurt.
8. Clear your mind to sleep better
You need to clear your mind before you go to bed. Otherwise, residual stress, anger, worry, anxiety, is only going to make it difficult. You have to manage stress by exercising every day and by keeping yourself occupied with things that make you happy.
If you need help, you can always count on a counselor who can help you find solutions to your problems. You need to figure out how to sleep better at night without thinking, and that’s only possible when you let yourself relax.
If you know of things that can make you sleep better, you can always try them out. It can be listening to soothing music, adding the right kind of dim lights, or using the best sleeping pillows. If your sleeping condition is severe and needs external help, you must show a doctor and prevent severe insomnia or apnea issues.