Much has been said lately about getting a good night sleep, and science has proven that there are multiple health and emotional benefits as well as contentment in having a good sleep routine. If you are consistently finding yourself tired and groggy throughout the day, it may be due to your sleep patterns.
No two people are the same, and neither are their sleep patterns. There is no science formula that leads to the perfect sleep, but if you listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs. It’s also easy to look over the effects sleep has on your daily routine, but sleep can affect you both physically and mentally. Akira Kurosawa famously said, “Men are geniuses when they are sleeping and dreaming.” By men, we know he means all humans! And Kurosawa is right. If you are listening to your body and sleeping well because of it, you may see a new genius awaken!
So, if you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or are just curious to find your “genius,” here are 10 sleep tips that may help!
10 Sleep Tips for a Good Night Sleep
1. Embrace the Dark Side of the Moon
Your room needs to be dark to kick start the bodies natural mechanism of producing melatonin. This chemical tells your body to start getting tired and that sleep is coming. Lowering the lighting in your house a couple hours before bedtime helps get the process moving.
2. Comfortable, Minimal Space
Your sleep space should be comfortable, free of electronics and soothing to your soul. We can all be guilty of late night searches on our phones, but the light of an electronic can stimulate your brain rather than help you wind down. Even if you are reading a book on the phone. Put electronics down, remove distractions, get comfortable, and zzz.
3. Clear Your Mind and Your Body Will Follow
We all have stressful days from time to time. Allowing your mind to relax before bedtime will result in better sleep. Jot down your worries of the day or a list of task’s to be completed tomorrow. Instead of focusing on thoughts before bed, focus on your breathing. Take deep, measured breaths and exhale your worries. Go to sleep with as clear a mind as possible. Your dreams will be more vivid and your quality of sleep will improve.
4. Wake Up To The Sunshine
As soon as possible after getting up allow the wonderful benefits of sunlight to enter your soul. Sunlight will stimulate the bodies natural tendency to get moving. Enjoying your morning bagel outside or opening the blinds to let in the day will give your body a natural boost first thing in the morning. It’s also a good idea to eat something within 30 minutes of getting up. This will kick your metabolism into gear and provide energy to carry you through the day.
5. Fight For Your Right To Get Up
Your sleep schedule is really important, maybe the most important part of getting a good night sleep. Getting up and going to sleep very close to the same time every day is the key. Resist the urge to make up for lost sleep by sleeping in on the weekends. It takes your body about 30 days to establish its circadian rhythm but only a few days to screw it up. Take a short 15 or 20-minute power nap to give you a boost of energy when needed. It has been reported that when Einstein was figuring out E=MC2 he slept 20 minutes every 4 hours for nearly 1 month. That may have worked for him; however we normal humans need a good 8 hours a day!
6. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Raising your heart rate for 30 to 60 minutes a day will dramatically improve your sleep. Exercise can not only help you fall asleep faster but also help you sleep longer and receive a better quality sleep. Your body has natural recovery mechanisms and processes that help you fall into deep rapid eye movement sleep cycles. These cycles normally last for about 80 to 130 minutes at a time. This is where the magic happens, your body rejuvenates, your muscles heal and your brain dreams vividly.
7. The Position For Good Sleep
Sometimes we feel worn out from the day. Perhaps our back is sore or we strained our neck turning around too quickly. Placing a pillow between your legs to ease back pain or making sure your pillow allows your neck to be in a neutral position can relieve some of the pressure and help you get a better night sleep. Most experts recommend sleeping on our backs; however, I have found its really a personal preference. Make sure your body is comfortable and your extremities are not going to sleep themselves will help promote good healthy sleep.
8. Resist The Urge To Eat or Drink Too Late
Even when we are sleeping our bodies are still working. If your body is breaking down the 2 lbs meatloaf you consumed at around 9pm late into the evening, your body is not as restful as it could be. Similarly, if you drink a majority of the 64% of the water you should consume each day an hour before you go to bed chances are you will probably wake up in need of a biology break. Avoid heavy foods or a significant amount of liquid consumption two hours before bed.
9. Bed Time Routines
Everyone does well on schedules. Whether it’s doing some light reading, reflecting on the day or meditating 30 minutes before sleep, a pre-bedtime ritual prepares your body physically and mentally for a good night sleep. Your bedroom should be used for sleeping and other nighttime activities, not watching TV, reading emails or playing Clash of Clans.
10. Try Your Own Blanky
If you share a bed and have issues waking up multiple times during the night you may want to try making your bed with separate blankets for you and your significant other. The more comfortable you are during sleep the better your quality of rest!
It should not be considered normal to consistently feel tired for extended periods of time. If you do, try some of the above tips to get your body sleeping in harmony with your schedule. Not only will you see physical health benefits, your mental state will improve as well.