Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? You are not alone. More than 10-30% of the adult population doesn’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.1 Sleeping is as important as eating and breathing. Not getting enough sleep can put a person at risk of developing many physical and mental ailments and even early death. If you are one of the people suffering from chronic sleep deprivation, know that improving your sleep is achievable and can improve your well-being.
Here are a few tips to improve the quality and the quantity of your sleep
Schedule your sleep: Track your sleep and set up a regular sleep and wake-up time. Ritualizing sleep time helps you avoid the reasons you find to stay up longer. Over time, you will become more familiar with your ideal sleep window as you get accustomed to this routine.
Keep your coffee aside: Getting enough sleep is related to the amount of caffeine you consume during the day. Caffeine interferes with your circadian melatonin rhythm and delays the onset of sleep if consumed close to your bedtime. Avoid caffeine 4 hours before sleep. 2
Power naps in the day: While taking power naps during the day can increase alertness, aim to nap for no more than 10-20 minutes as long naps can make you drowsy, and napping after 3 pm can disrupt your sleep schedule.3
Take a warm shower: Taking a warm shower at least an hour before bedtime promotes the release of melatonin and speeds up sleep. It warms your skin, decreases your core body temperature, and improves your sleep quality. 4
Prepare your surroundings: Keep your bedroom completely dark, as light can affect your sleep-wake cycle. Invest in quality shades for your windows and wear an eye mask if ambient light can’t be avoided. Keep your cell phone away from your bed and on silent mode.
Calm your thoughts: Avoid talking about things that can create anxiety or trigger anger, such as a workplace disagreement just before you try to sleep. Instead, schedule your conversations later and get the restful night’s sleep you deserve.
Apply oil to your feet: Massaging your feet with warm oil before turning off the lights can increase blood circulation and relax your nerves, which in turn helps relieve tension and ensures a good night’s sleep.
Practice gratitude: Positive psychological well-being can improve the quality of your sleep. Appreciation for possessions and social relationships and expressing gratitude can reduce the burden of negative thoughts and can lead to superior sleep quality. 5
While it is difficult to avoid distractions and high-stress levels, it is essential to prioritize sleep and plan your evening for getting your zzz’s. Try implementing the above strategies to see which one works for you.
- Bhaskar S, Hemavathy D, Prasad S. Prevalence of chronic insomnia in adult patients and its correlation with medical comorbidities. J Family Med Prim Care. 2016;5(4):780-784. doi:10.4103/2249-4863.201153 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5353813/
- Burke TM, Markwald RR, McHill AW, et al. Effects of caffeine on the human circadian clock in vivo and in vitro. Sci Transl Med. 2015;7(305):305ra146. doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5125 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4657156/
- Dhand R, Sohal H. Good sleep, bad sleep! The role of daytime naps in healthy adults. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2006;12(6):379-382. doi:10.1097/01.mcp.0000245703.92311.d0 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17053484/
- Haghayegh S, Khoshnevis S, Smolensky MH, Diller KR, Castriotta RJ. Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2019;46:124-135. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2019.04.008 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31102877/
- Wood AM, Joseph S, Lloyd J, Atkins S. Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions. J Psychosom Res. 2009;66(1):43-48. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2008.09.002 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19073292/