Ignorance is bliss. And the only time you are truly able to ignore the harsh realities is when you’re asleep. Which, by the laws of correlation, means that sleep is bliss. After a long and tiring day, nothing feels as comforting and relaxing as a good night’s sleep. However, getting such quality sleep is not easy. And just like everything else, you have to work for it.
Here are sixteen tips that can help you sleep better and ensure easy awakening:
1. Sleep The Right Amount
The reason why you feel tired, despite sleeping for 5 to 6 hours every day on an average, is not enough sleep. You need at least 7-9 hours to feel rested (1). So make sure you take out enough time.
2. Ditch The Coffee
Too much caffeine in your blood, especially right before bedtime, can totally mess up your sleep cycle and cause a lot of trouble falling asleep (2). Cutting down on coffee will be a wise idea.
3. Get Fresh Air
The next time you feel hot and can’t sleep, turn off the AC and open the window instead. Fresh air is quite cooling and creates the perfect environment for sound sleep (3). As for the noise through the window, well, a pair of earplugs will work just fine.
4. Sip On A Glass Of Warm Milk
A glass of warm milk right before bedtime can help you snooze like a baby. Warm milk relaxes your body and prepares it for naptime (4). If you don’t like milk, a hot shower can be equally calming.
5. Use Your Pillows The Right Way
Sleeping in odd positions with your pillows tucked away here, there and everywhere can lead to poor sleep. This is why you should use the right type of pillows and place them in the right position depending on the posture you adopt while sleeping (5). This will help you sleep better and prevent those post-awakening aches and pains.
6. Don’t Share Your Bed With Your Pets
You may think that cuddling with your pooches will help you sleep better but sadly, it won’t. Researchers have found out that sleeping with your dog affects your sleep efficiency (6). There’s no easy way to say it – Tommy has to go.
7. Keep Garlic Under Your Pillow
Don’t just ‘huh’ in puzzlement and dismiss it as a joke. Garlic is that super food, which induces relaxation and helps you sleep faster. It can also help you wake up energized.
8. Put The Gadgets Away
It’s not shocking news that blue light from your gadgets messes up your circadian rhythm and causes a host of sleeping issues (7). Therefore, you should turn off all your gadgets at least two hours before bedtime.
9. Snooze To The Scent Of Lavender
If you’re an insomniac, lavender can prove to be the perfect cure to help lull you to sleep. Research has shown that the aroma of lavender can ease anxiety and other symptoms of insomnia thereby improving sleep quality (8).
10. Avoid Meds That Disrupt Sleep
Many types of drugs affect the quality of sleep you get. Some of these include meds for heart patients, high blood pressure, medications containing caffeine etc. (9). Try avoiding them as much as you can.
11. Stop Trying Too Hard
Tossing and turning is not going to get you into snooze mode. Still, if you’ve been at it for more than 20 minutes without any fruitful results, stop and try out a relaxing activity instead. Activities that induce sleep include reading or listening to soft music (10).
12. Optimize Your Room Temperature
If it’s too hot or too cold, you will face trouble sleeping. Hence, to sleep better you will have to optimize your room temperature. The best room temperature for sleeping is 60-67°F or 15-19°C (11).
13. Make Your Bedroom A Sanctuary For Sleeping Only
Bringing your office, the gym or social gatherings into your bedroom can prevent your brain from thinking of it as a place of rest. Eliminate all these obstacles and keep your bedroom for sleeping only. (Okay, for sex too!)
14. Take A Spanish Siesta
Napping in the afternoon can help you get the rest you need to feel refreshed and can even help with sleep deprivation (12). Just a small power nap of 10-30 minutes will do.
15. Include Magnesium In Your Diet
Magnesium is a pro-sleep nutrient and can improve your sleep efficiency as well as early morning awakening (13). Magnesium-rich foods you can have before bed include spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds and dark chocolate.
16. Take The Bra Off
This is only for the ladies. Sleeping with your bra on not only restricts blood flow but also causes a lot of discomfort, which can disrupt your sleep. So take it off and sleep well.
Try out the above tips and we’re sure you’ll witness a noticeable improvement in your sleeping pattern and quality. Now shut those lights, put that phone away and snooze on!