Sleep is an important aspect of human life.It plays a major role for being healthy and happy as it helps the body and brain to re-energize. There are many disadvantages due to lack of sleep some of which being concentration ,weak immunity, weight gain, excess calorie intake, reduced sex drive,increase in stress levels, heart diseases,mood swings, laziness and the list goes on. Reduced sleep causes dramatically lower quality of life.
A review of studies in 2010 found that sleeping too little at night increases chances of early death. Many effects of a lack of sleep, such as feeling grumpy and not working at your best, are well known. But did you know that sleep deprivation can also have profound consequences on your physical health?
The following habits will help you sleep well throughout the night
1. Keep your mind free of thoughts.
As they say that the busy mind cannot rest at peace, so we need to stop worrying before bedtime. As excessive thinking can lead to insomnia. We need to free up our mind from thoughts before sleeping. Concentration, meditation, mindfulness, and other techniques, help you empty your mind from thoughts. Clearing and emptying the mind is a skill that requires work and exercising, but the rewards are great. Here are few extra tips on keeping your mind free of thoughts
2. Avoid exposure to blue light
The blue light that emerges from phone, tablet or digital clock on bedside table may affect your sound sleep throughout night as it does not indicate the body to prepare for sleep. To avoid this we can wear blue-block glasses or use apps that eliminate blue or green wavelength at night. One reason that we are more susceptible to dry eye when using electronics is that our blink rate is reduced significantly, so blink often while exposed to blue light. Here are some additional tips to reduce hazards of blue light.
3. Avoid eating two hours before sleep
Eating before sleeping leads to weight gain which causes several other health issues. It can also lead to indigestion and upset stomach. Lying on bed with full stomach immediately after dinner looses the effect of gravity which keeps the food in stomach down and can cause back flow, so it’s better to avoid late night eating and its preferred to wait two to three hours to lie down after dinner.
4. Avoid exercising before bedtime
Vigorous exercises need to be avoided at least 2 hours before bedtime as it can affect the sleep as it raises temperature of our body , increases heart rate and vitalizes the nervous system which can hamper the sleep. A 2019 trusted review Source analyzed 23 studies on evening exercise and sleep. The review determined that evening workouts can improve sleep as long as the exercise was done at a moderate — not vigorous — intensity, and ended more than 1 hour before bedtime.
5. Listen to soothing music
Listening to soothing music before bedtime has its own advantages. Music can help body relax and prepare for sleep. Study has shown that listening to relaxing and soothing music
for at least 45 minutes before bedtime makes us fall asleep faster, helps us to sleep longer and complete throughout night.
6. Keep the bedroom environment neat and clean
De-cluttering your bedroom and mattress can help to sleep well as it improves quality of air in the room.It helps to reduce mental and physical stress.A clean and tidy room helps us to attain peaceful state of mind.It helps to clear mind,thoughts and boost spirits.It helps to start a peaceful morning as well.
7. Avoid sleeping during daytime and taking small naps
A short nap is good when we are extremely tired but it should not exceed 20 minutes. Napping for longer time makes it difficult to sleep at night and makes us enter into deeper stages of sleep. Waking up after long nap makes us feel worse ,affects sleep schedule and also may hamper our daily performance at work.
8. Fix your sleeping schedule
Scheduling our sleeping time can benefit us,as it helps to maintain internal clock of our body which makes us sleep easily and wake up more easily.It helps us improve the quality and quantity of sleep.
9. Avoid caffeine ,alcohol and other liquids before bedtime
Consumption of caffeine makes us feel refreshed and blocks sleep –inducing chemicals in brain.It should be consumed for 4-6 hours before bedtime.Alcohol increases the frequency of urination in night which disrupts sleep.It fragments sleep and decreases rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.Therefore consumption of liquids should be less during evening and nights to avoid bathroom trips during night.
10. Do Deep Breathing Exercise
Most people take short, shallow breaths into their chest. It can make you feel anxious and zap your energy. With this technique, you'll learn how to take bigger breaths, all the way into your belly.Improper breathing can upset the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange and contribute to anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue, and other physical and emotional disturbances..Deep breaths can help us calm our body and mind which makes it easy to fall and stay asleep. It reduces anxiety and stress levels in our body. Here are some stress relief breathing techniques for a good night sleep.
The bottom line is insufficient sleep could increase your chances of developing obesity. Other studies also conclude that getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep increase chances of heart attacks. Keep the lights dim and avoid screens so as not to cue your body that it’s time to wake up.
If any of the techniques do not work for you or you still have difficulties sleeping throughout the night please consult your general physician or you can also call health direct 24 hour health advice line.
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