An indispensable part of living is sleep. It is surely a necessity rather than a comfort. Infact, the progress of your day very much depends on the quality of sleep you have in night. Lack of sleep or incomplete sleep has a direct effect your body energy levels, which decides the progress and productivity of your day.
A quality sleep very much decides the well-being of one’s mental & physical health. Lack of sleep may results in noticeable deterioration in your health. It is not surprising that many lifestyle diseases are a greater cause due
to inadequate sleep and unhealthy sleeping habits are trending.
It is a problem that people of all gender, age groups and professions are equally affected.
From teenagers to the elderly, we hear people complaining about inadequate sleep. Stress, illness and many external factors contribute to disturbed sleep.
Besides, one’s own sleeping habits plays a major role in deciding the quality of sleep.
A child requires at-least 10-8 hours of sleep compared to an average adult who requires around 6-7 hours of
The most important reason for the deteriorating sleep quality is one’s ignorance towards healthy sleeping
1. Maintain a consistent sleep cycle:
Most of us fail to wake up fresh & energetic in the morning because of an inconsistent sleep cycle. Your body follows a natural sleep cycle or circadian rhythm where you tend to feel drowsy & wake up at a particular time.
If you drag yourself to keep awake, your sleep cycle shifts. Hence, you will sleep late & wake up early.
Experiencing incomplete sleep will also affect your mood throughout the day.
Take effort to sleep and wake up around the same time every day. Eventually, your body will be accustomed to your sleep time. You will find it easier to fall asleep or wake up at the self-same time anymore.
3. Reduce the use of mobile phones at night:
It is true that with the advent of the internet and mobile phones, the whole world is now available at your fingertips.
Did you know that the blue light emitting from these devices affect your sleep adversely? It can increase the risk of macular degeneration damaging light sensitive cells in your eyes.
The Blue light tricks your brain into thinking that it is not time to sleep yet! Not to mention about how one leads to another and you end up binge watching a whole season before you realise that it is 4 a.m. Besides, the bright light videos and sounds may affect the quality of your sleep as both your eyes and ears need to calm down before you fall asleep.
4. Avoid daytime naps:
Many people are in the habit of taking naps during daytime. While power naps for 30 minutes or less are good for you, longer naps are not helpful. You may find that you take more time to fall asleep if you had slept earlier in the day. This in turn could disrupt your sleep cycle. Also, you may be fall habitual to sleeping in the afternoon, thus eating up a lot of your productive time.
In addition, sleeping in the daytime can lead to acid reflux. Studies shows people who frequented daytime nap faced issue relating to acid reflux & heartburn.
An uninterrupted sleep of around 7-8 hours is enough to keep you active throughout the day.
5. Avoid caffeine and chocolate intake before sleep:
Coffee and chocolate are well known as stimulants. Consumption of chocolate or coffee enhances adrenaline production and makes you feel alert. People who work till night are habitual to sipping coffee to delay sleep. This can in turn degrade your sleep quality, especially if you sip 2-3 cups of coffee at time.
This is definitely not what you want before you go to sleep. Caffeine intake at night may delay sleep and in turn may affect the duration of sleep. You may give it a try to decaffeinated drinks if you cannot give up on caffeine.
6. Reduce water intake at night.
It is very important to stay hydrated, but too much water before going to bed may cause urge to urinate called as nocturia when you are a sleep.
Even if you avoid going to urinate, a sensation of full bladder will wake you up after small intervals. This amounts to interruption in sleep.
Though the urge to urinate is very much depended on the individual, it is generally recommended to reduce water or any other liquid intake just before going to bed.
7. Find out the reason for your sleep disorder:
Sometimes sleeplessness is not due to one’s sleeping habits and disturbed sleeping pattern, but due to some underlying disease. Although there can be varied reason like stress, chronic illness, insomnia, narcolepsy and so on, the end result will be lack of sleep.
Insuch cases consult a doctor and take necessary medication for the problems that interfere with your sleep. Prolonging will only have a severe impact on your sleep quality.
8. Avoid heavy meals before sleep:
The busy lifestyle of people today has only elevated the status of late night eats from treat to habit. Indulging in heavy and spicy dinner just before sleep will only cause trouble.
Problems like acidity, indigestion issues and bloating may only disrupt your sleep quality.
Your day should start with a heavy breakfast followed by a medium quantity lunch and should end with a light dinner. Your dinner should be at least 3-4 hours before you go to bed
You may munch on little snacks an hour before you sleep but preferably not a heavy meal. Cutting on carbs, aerated drinks, alcohol, sugar during night time will help you sleep peacefully.
9. Avoid alcohol intake at night:
Though alcohol consumption is associated with drowsiness, it infact adversely affects your sleep. You may be able to deep sleep for some time, but it may wake up before you have had enough sleep.
Besides, alcohol aggravates snoring which may disturb your partners sleep. Habitual drinking just because you cannot sleep will only lead to adverse health related issues.
It is also seen that it produces an increased urge to urinate, thus interrupting your sleep.
10. Take a warm bath before going to bed:
Taking a warm shower before going to bed can actually help you fall asleep faster. A warm water bath of around 104-109 Fahrenheit 90mins before sleep can improve your overall sleep quality. Once you come out of bath, the body temperature lowers.
This shift in the body temperature signals the body that its time to sleep. Also, a quick bath before bed cleans any dirt, dead cells, sweat from the skin and gives you sense of going clean to bed.
11. Avoid exercising just before sleep:
While exercise during daytime can help enhance your sleep quality, exercising late at night may have a converse effect on your sleep. It is important to exercise daily, but avoid exercising just before going to bed as it elevates your metabolism, increases your body temperature & release cortisol (stress hormone). Its take some time for your body to cool down & let you sleep.
Exercise makes you alert and & may delay your sleep, consequently affecting your sleep cycle.
Exercising regular has seen significant improvement in the quality of sleep. Incase you are busy throughout the day and only gets time in the night.
- Try a brisk walk of around 15-20 mins
- Light workout atleast 2-3 hours before
- Stretching exercises
12. Clear your thoughts:
It is important to go to bed with a light mind free from all kinds of stress and anxiety. Thoughts relating to quarrel, fights, daily targets will make it equally difficult to sleep.
Try relaxing techniques like meditation, breathing exercise before going to bed. You can also try concentration yoga in which you need to focus on a single object. This can help bring your body and mind to rest. It is important to distance yourself from all the chaos.
Avoid exposure to bright light and loud sounds at night. Instead, engage in more calming activities like reading or listening to soft music.
13. Use an appropriate mattress and pillow:
Two very important things that are necessary to ensure good sleep is an appropriate mattress and a pillow. Using mattress past it’s life expectancy can affect the quality of your sleep.
A good pillow with a firm bounce is important as it supports your neck throughout the night. A wrong pillow support will only give u ache & soreness in the neck and around the shoulder.
There are a variety of mattresses available in the market today. It is very important to select a mattress that matches your sleeping position & body posture. A good mattress can assure good environment for sleeping, while on the other hand, a bad mattress can cause body pain besides affecting your sleep. So choose a mattress that suits you.
Adequate sleep is necessary to ensure mental and physical health and to improve the quality of life. It is very important to find out the reason what is stopping you from sleep. If you think you do not get adequate sleep, Change your sleeping habits and patterns, abstain from anything that might disrupt the peace of your sleep and take medication if necessary.
Thus, make sure you get good sleep for an adequate amount of time.