The Dalai Lama said, “Sleep is the best meditation.” Trust me, it is. Sleep is our one way ticket to relaxation and rejuvenation in today’s hectic lifestyle. A good night’s sleep is of utmost importance to set us up for the challenges of the ensuing day. Being unable to sleep or sleeping late at night destroys the equilibrium that we need to maintain a healthy regime. So, all those who are having trouble sleeping read below about the top 10 tips to ensure a good sleep without pills.
10. A hot shower or bath:
A hot shower or comforting bath prior to sleep helps in relaxing the muscles and eases away the stress and strain of a hard day’s work. It lowers the body temperature and makes us lethargic due to a decrease in the body’s metabolic activities. Also, entering a cooler room after a warm shower induces a drowsy feeling helping you fall asleep sooner. So, take some time apart for this activity to ensure uninterrupted and tranquil sleep.
9. Sleep in silence:
TV, music or any kind of noise or sound while sleeping might actually reduce the intensity and effect of sleep. Therefore, it is always better to sleep in a quiet environment as it helps you relax and fall fast asleep. A sleep sans distraction is the best launching pad for a good night sleep. Keep the bedroom comfortable and with good air circulation. Adjust the temperature so that it is neither too hot nor too cold; turn off the lights, too, as sleep is best induced in the dark.
8. Don’t sleep with pets:
Many people have the habit of sleeping with their pets. But, for uninterrupted and good sleep, this practice is not advisable. You could love your pets but allergies or their movements around you might cause you to wake up at repeated intervals at night which, again, is definitely not conducive to a good night sleep.
7. Avoid eating just before bed:
It is good to maintain a gap of at least 2 hours between diner and sleep. This gives ample time for digestion and, hence, the body can truly rest while you sleep instead of working on assimilating the food. Also, too much spicy and greasy food must be avoided as they are known to cause heartburn, bloating and discomfort which disrupt sleep. It must be kept in mind that a heaving belly deters sleep.
6. Reading a book:
Yes, reading a book, too, has an intoxicating effect that can actually help carry you off to comfortable sleep. You will find your eyelids getting heavier and within no time will be snoring away to glory. So keep a stash of books, preferably fictional, by the bed side and book your ticket to good sleep. It is also a good way to detach oneself from the stress of the entire day.
Exercising helps in ensuring that you get a good sleep at night. The muscles and joints exercised recover during sleep. Hence, the more you exercise regularly, the more the chances of a good, sustained sleep. It must be kept in mind, however, that exercises should be done in the morning or afternoon and not immediately before sleep as that actually makes falling asleep more difficult.
4. Avoid naps during the day:
Taking naps during the day time might hinder easy sleep at night as it takes away hours from the overall sleep. So, it is advisable to avoid sleeping in intervals during the day. Still, if need be, limit those to power naps of 20 to 30 minutes to ensure atleast 8 hours of uninterrupted night slumber.
3. Avoid alcohol before sleep:
Alcohol consumption is known to induce sleeping disorders. It not only disrupts the duration of sleep but also affects the time required to actually fall asleep. But, if you do manage to fall asleep at some point due to the intoxicating effect, you end up waking up several times in the middle of the night. So, eventually alcohol’s sleep-inducing effect decreases, while its disruptive effects increase. It is therefore better to avoid alcohol for a peaceful sleep.
2. Avoid caffeine before sleep:
Coffee should be a strict no-no prior to sleep. Caffeine is used by people all over the world as a morning beverage to come out of the sleepy stupor and it is for that very reason one should avoid it before going to bed. The effect of caffeine lasts in our body for as many as 6 hours after consumption and considering the stimulating effect it has, it is not recommended before sleep. So a coffee in the evening or even afternoon might actually hamper a good night sleep.
1. Restrict nicotine:
Smoking before sleep is not a good idea as the nicotine is a stimulant for the blood stream. In fact, just like caffeine, nicotine, too, lasts in your system for longer duration warding off sleep. It also causes you to wake up in the middle of the night, again disrupting sleep.