Thursday, 26 September 2013

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

By: J Soland

If you’re one of the many people who find themselves groggy from the lack of restful sleep, it’s time to take some action. Being chronically sleep-deprived is one way to sap your physical energy, not to mention your interpersonal skills and cognitive abilities. There are many ways to banish nightly tossing and turning and finally get some shuteye.

Develop a Routine

Most of us have a set time for rising in the morning, especially if we have to report to work or school, but do you stick to that schedule even on weekends? Is your bedtime consistent or does it vary wildly throughout the week? Establishing a daily routine of waking and sleep at certain times can help your body get into a rhythm, making it easier to get to sleep every night.

Wrap Up Eating and Drinking Hours Before Bedtime

It’s not a good idea to head to bed on an empty stomach, but eating right before turning in is also not the best choice because the digestion process can disturb your rest. Instead of wasting the hours you’ve set aside to sleep, simply eat dinner a little earlier in the day, about three hours before bedtime. As for drinks, if you find yourself getting out of bed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, try cutting off your liquid intake three hours before bed as well. If you generally sleep through the night, however, you might find a cup of herbal tea or milk to be useful for relaxing you before bed.

Cut Back on the Stimulants

As if you didn’t already have enough reasons not to smoke, consider that nicotine might be interfering with your sleep. In fact, ingesting nicotine before bedtime can lead to nightmares! Even if you don’t smoke, you might be tripping your body up by drinking an after-dinner cup of coffee. Caffeine has a powerful effect on the body, and it may not wear off until eight hours after you consume it! That means that if you’re going to bed at 11 p.m., you shouldn’t have any coffee, caffeinated tea, or caffeinated soda after 3 p.m., or you run the risk of being too stimulated to rest properly.

Skip the Nightcap

Alcohol generally makes you sleepy after a few drinks, so for countless years, people have imbibed and drifted off to sleep, unaware that the chemical has a disruptive effect on sleep. Yes, you might feel drowsy when you turn in for the night, but you’ll likely find yourself waking in fits and starts only a few hours later. Such a sleeping pattern reduces your chances for getting restful REM sleep, and you may feel exhausted the next day.

Free Your Mind

Once your head hits the pillow, it should take you no more than 10 to 20 minutes to nod off. If it usually takes you longer than that to get to sleep, stress might be to blame. Is a problem at work keeping you up? Is a family issue causing you to worry when you should be resting? Unfortunately, many of the issues that might prevent you from sleeping can’t be fixed easily, unlike controlling excess noise or light in your room. If there’s too much to fret about to feel at ease about sleeping, just remember that you’ll be in no shape to face tomorrow’s challenges without a good rest tonight. Allow yourself that eight-hour break from your worries. If need be, make a list of all the problems that are keeping you up at night and ways in which you can address them during your waking hours. By promising yourself that you’ll find a solution in the morning, you may be able to take some of the burden off your shoulders and finally relax.

About the Author: John Soland is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Soland is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to health.

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