How to sleep faster:
1. Force yourself to remain awake: This helps you get rid of sleep anxiety.
2. Get out of bed and do something for a few minutes: If sleep dodges you, get out of bed and do either a physical or a mental activity like completing a puzzle. However, keep away from the telly as its blue light suppresses the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin.
3. Don’t keep checking the time: By constantly looking at the time, your stress levels increase and you’ll find it harder to sleep. So, put that clock away.
4. Make your room cool, dark and comfortable: When you fall asleep, your body temperature falls a bit, so it helps to have a room temperature of 60 degrees to 67 degrees F in order to sleep well. A dark room helps the brain manufacture melatonin, which informs your body clock to sleep. Melatonin also cools your body temperature down, which reaches its nadir sometime between 2 am and 4 am.
5. Wear earplugs: If you are an insomniac, you know what it is to lie in bed for hours waiting for sleep. Instead, wear ear plugs and enjoy sleeping like anyone else.
You will get the following benefits from a good night’s sleep:
1. You’ll feel rested next morning and will be more productive at work.
2. Your concentration and memory will improve.
3. Your immune system improves and you can fight diseases better.
4. Lack of sleep leads to an overactive thyroid which causes diabetes. So, sleep well and regularly.
5. Insufficient sleep can increase your cortisone levels, forcing your heart to pump harder. If your body is not well-rested, it will tire easily, leading to anger, frustration, and anxiety. This will cause headaches and influence your moods.
6. Sleeping less than the required six hours will have an adverse effect on your libido.
7. You can keep your weight under control by sleeping sufficiently as this will not cause the production of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates your appetite.
How to sleep better
Deep sleep is something elusive to insomniacs, hence their quality of life is deeply impacted. To inculcate healthy sleep habits, try the following practices regularly:
1. Have a warm shower just before bed: This helps bring down your body temperature and reduce your metabolism and therefore prepare you for sleep.
2. Wear socks in bed: If your hands and feet are kept warm, you can get sleep faster, say researchers. This helps widen the blood vessels on the skin surface, which increases heat loss. By shifting blood flow from your core to the extremities helps cool the body, thus working along with melatonin.
3. Dip your face in a bowl of cold water for a few seconds: You can also choose to splash your face in cold water as in this state your nervous system wants to calm you down. This action of dipping your face in cold water helps introduce an involuntary phenomenon known as the Mammalian Dive Reflex, which works to reduce your blood pressure and heart rate.
4. Spray lavender aroma all over your bedroom: This herb helps relax your nerves, reduce your blood pressure and make you sleep.
5. Maintain your natural sleep rhythm: By maintaining your body’s natural sleep rhythm or circadian rhythm, you can sleep better. Once you regularize your sleep-wake schedule, you will feel more refreshed and alert than if you sleep irregularly through the day. Try to sleep and wake at the same time each day so that your body clock is set for those timings.
6. Reduce your exposure to light: The naturally occurring hormone melatonin that controls our sleep cycle is controlled by exposure to light. In the dark, the brain secretes more melatonin, which increases a sleepy feeling. So, remain in reduced lighting.
7. Switch off all the late night TV shows: The light from the TV suppresses melatonin, which could put off your sleepy feeling. Secondly, programs on TV are stimulating, not relaxing. Yet again, you won’t feel sleepy while watching TV. However, music and reading books can lull you to sleep, so you could try these too. At bedtime, draw heavy curtains to block out light or wear a sleep mask.
8. Do vigorous exercise during the day: If you exercise regularly, you can get good sleep at night. Not only does it address the problems of insomnia and possible sleep apnea, but it also increases the amount of time you spend enjoying deep sleep. If you do vigorous exercise, you can enjoy the benefits of deep and quality sleep. However, even walking for a few minutes a day can improve sleep quality.
9. Don’t drink caffeine at night: Drinking caffeine, particularly at night, can put off your bedtime. Nicotine and alcohol also could have this effect on you, so be careful. These stimulants take hours to shake off and can destroy your quality of sleep.
For those who cannot sleep well and regularly, getting a good night’s sleep is a wonderful gift. But it needn’t be. You too can take your sleep each night for granted like everyone else by following some of the above-mentioned tips. Sleep well and sleep long.