4 Lifestyle Tips to have a Good Night Rest
There are many reasons why people have trouble falling and staying asleep. Here are tips about getting better rest at night, plus a list of causes for sleeping issues and how to get rid of them.
Don’t nap during the day.
This will throw off your body clock and can make it difficult to sleep at night. If you must, do it for less than 30 minutes and keep it early.
Limit caffeine and alcohol.
Alcohol can interrupt normal sleep patterns, causing you to have only one or two REM sleep cycles instead of six or seven. This can lead you to wake feeling exhausted.
Caffeine is a stimulant and affects your sleep. It is found in common drinks such as tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks and certain drugs. It is best to avoid drinks like this before bed. There are some herbal teas that help relax the body and don’t have the stimulating effect of caffeinated drinks.
Nicotine is a stimulant and can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Smokers often have difficulty sleeping due to night-time withdrawal symptoms.
Medication and side-effects.
Many medications can have the side-effect of disrupting sleep patterns, so always check the small print and keep yourself informed.
Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after waking up.
This will help regulate your body’s natural biological clock. Keep your bedroom dark while you’re sleeping.
Exercise early in the day.
Thirty minutes in the morning or afternoon of exercise every day can help you sleep. But be careful of evening exercise, as stimulation of the body during aerobic activity may make falling asleep more difficult.
Eat to enhance sleep.
Some foods are more conducive to a better night’s sleep than others. Warm milk, chamomile tea, turkey, bananas, potatoes and oatmeal are great sleep foods. Avoid food with additives like MSG, colours, aspartame, or food/drinks that cause you digestive problems.
Relax before bed.
Take some time to relax before bed without stimulation from technology. Read a book and drink a cup of herbal tea including ingredients such as chamomile, valerian, lemon balm, passionflower and skullcap. These are classified as nervine herbs and are known to help relax the nervous system. They’re generally considered safe and non-addictive.
CHECK YOUR HEALTH
Maintaining sufficient levels of Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 help achieve good sleep. B vitamins help regulate the body’s level of tryptophan, an amino acid important for maintaining healthy sleep.
If you are experiencing insomnia, frequent waking with no pattern and waking around 3am, it could be your thyroid. We recommend visiting your doctor.
Stress, depression and anxiety.
These can also seriously affect your sleep. Consider meditation and relaxation before bed. We also recommend discussing these feelings with your doctor.
5 essential remedies to get a better sleep:
1. Take Magnesium to release tension.
2. Reduce Electromagnetic smog, a.k.a phones.
3. Eat foods such as turkey, pumpkin seeds and dairy products.
4. Relax with a hot cup of chamomile before bed.
5. Take iron supplements at night if you have low iron levels.
CREATE A BETTER SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
Be careful of allergies.
Some people are allergic to feathers and down, wool, nylon or dust, so make sure that materials used on your bed are right for you.
Make your bedroom a place for sleeping.
Don’t use your bed for paying bills, doing work or watching movies. Help your body recognise that this is a place for rest.
Keep your bedroom peaceful and comfortable.
Ensure your mattress is comfortable and supportive and that your bed is big enough. Make sure your room is well-ventilated and the temperature consistent. Keep it quiet. You could use a fan or a “white noise” machine to help block outside noises.
Hide your clock.
A big, illuminated digital clock may cause you to focus on the time, making you feel stressed and anxious. Place your clock so you can’t see the time when in bed.
DO THESE THINGS WHEN YOU WAKE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
Get out of bed if unable to sleep.
Don’t lie in bed awake. Go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Worrying about falling asleep actually keeps many people awake.
Don’t do anything stimulating.
Don’t read anything job related or watch a stimulating TV program. Don’t expose yourself to bright light as this gives cues to your brain that it’s time to wake up. Drink a cup of herbal tea, meditate or listen to soothing music.
If you need to go to the bathroom, don’t switch the light on. Consider a dim night light that can light your way and will automatically switch off.
Get up and eat l-tryptophan.
Foods such as turkey, pumpkin seeds and dairy products.
STILL HAVING PROBLEMS?
If you have made changes and you are still having problems then consider keeping a sleep diary. Include things like – Time you went to bed and woke up, total sleep hours, sleep quality, general mood before bed, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco consumption, exercise, bedroom environment and pre-sleep activities.