Proper sleep plays a pivotal role in your health and emotional well-being. It is said that it is as important as exercising and eating healthily.
Getting enough sleep is a prerequisite to achieving optimal health. Sadly, many things affect natural sleep patterns and make achieving a good night’s sleep an elusive dream for many.
Here are eight therapeutic methods that can help you get a peaceful sleep.
1. Get Some Bright Light Exposure During the Day
Your body is truly miraculous; it has a natural timekeeping clock called your circadian rhythm. When your surroundings are bright, your brain prepares the body for the day’s activities.
The circadian rhythm alerts your brain and body, helping you stay awake and perform various tasks during the day. Getting an average of 2 hours of bright light exposure results in better sleep quality and duration. This has proven to be helpful if you have insomnia.
Being exposed to bright light is very beneficial for you, but such exposure has opposite effects on you at night, often causing sleeplessness.
2. Reduce Light Exposure in the Evening
As mentioned afore, when it’s all bright even at night, your brain is tricked into thinking that the day is young, and there’s a long time to go before you fall asleep. Thus, it does not release melatonin- the hormone that helps you relax and get deep sleep.
It is recommended to reduce your screen time in the evenings. The blue light emitted from your devices harm your overall health, and it also messes with your circadian rhythm. So turn off any bright lights at least 2 hours before going to bed.
3. Sleep and Wake at Consistent Times
Ever wondered how some people wake up at the same time without an alarm clock? They don’t need one of their body to do the timekeeping for them.
Their circadian rhythm is perfectly in sync. Regularity is key to getting better sleep. Sleeping and waking up at similar times ensure long-term sleep quality.
Practice this regularly and see for yourself at the end of the week you’d find yourself sleepy at the time you’ve been training yourself to sleep.
4. Relax and Unwind Before Going to Sleep
Going to sleep with a lot on your mind is the last thing you need.
Studies show that taking a bath 90 minutes before going to sleep resulted in a good quality deep sleep. The warm water relaxes your muscles and aids the release of melatonin. There are many ways in which you can unwind; reading a book or listening to some soothing music go a long way in aiding better sleep.
White noise and other sonic hues have been gaining popularity lately. White noise has equally distributed frequencies that lockout loud sounds that might stimulate your brain.
Mediating and breathing exercises also prove to be very helpful in calming you down.
5. Reconditioning and Sleep Restrictions
Going to the bedroom only when you’re sleepy associates the room with sleep; if you tend to lay in bed for long trying to fall asleep, you start thinking of the room as a torture chamber with sleeplessness and frustration.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, go to another room and return only when you are sleepy.
Another thing that must be observed is that you should avoid spending time in your bedroom; if you tend to eat or work in bed, you must grow out of that habit to get better sleep.
Make your bedroom a welcoming, clean, and relaxing sight. Try minimizing external noise and lights in the room. Choose the right furniture, mattress, and sheets. These seemingly insignificant choices make a lot of difference.
Invest in a good room freshener, preferably one with the scent of lavender. This may help assist you to unwind while adding a pleasant fragrance to your room.
6. Establish a Bedtime Ritual
Doing something consistently before going to bed can signal your brain that it’s time to go to bed and help set your body into sleep mode. Sometimes something as simple as changing into your pajamas can do the trick.
You can do other things like drink some chamomile tea a while before going to bed. The antioxidants in the tea may help you sleep better.
7. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT helps change the negative thoughts a person who faces trouble sleeping has into positive ones. Very often, we see people with troubled sleep approach the very prospect of sleep in a very negative way. They become apprehensive about sleep and the consequences of poor sleep.
With the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy, you can set realistic goals and learn to forego the unrequited thoughts that disrupt your sleep.
8. Take Sleeping Aids
The best sleep aids almost always have melatonin present in them; this is the hormone that relaxes your body and tells your brain when it’s time to go to bed.
In layman’s terms, it is the sleep hormone. When you have sleeping disorders, this hormone is not released, leaving you tossing and turning in bed.
Taking sleeping pills can be very helpful as they have melatonin in them. Not only are these popular among insomniac patients, but they are also used by people who are jet-lagged. Sometimes these pills are infused with painkillers and serve a dual purpose.
Taking 1-5 mg of melatonin an hour before you go to bed will result in deep and uninterrupted sleep. It can help you fall asleep faster.
There are many other supplements that induce relaxation and aid better sleep.
Over the past few decades, lack of sleep and poor sleep has become the norm. People have started to accept that sleeping problems might be permanent. Sleep-deprived may not bother you a lot now, but the long term effects of the same are not pretty.
It’s high time that we make sleep a priority. If we don’t do that, working out and eating clean would be pointless.
So if you’re looking forward to fitter, healthier days ahead put sleep first by incorporating a few of the above-mentioned tips.