5 Daily Routines to Help You Commit to Better Sleep
January 31, 2017
You’ve reduced your caffeine consumption, drank warm milk, and disconnected from your phone an hour before bedtime. Still, you’re wide awake after three hours. Is it your bed, or perhaps the unfinished report sitting on your desk that’s holding you back? What’s holding you back from getting a good night’s sleep?
“Even though we now know more about the science of sleep than ever before, and how important it is to every aspect of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, actually getting enough sleep seems harder and harder,” according to Arianna Huffington, author of the bookseller The Sleep Revolution. Huffington cites several reasons behind our sleep crisis including technological advancements and “our collective delusion” that overworking is required to succeed.
Explore these five daily routines to improve on for better sleep.
The joys of naps
Do you feel exhausted at daytime, leaving you too tired to sleep at night? Napping, or catching a few minutes of sleep during the day, is one of the better sleep tips you should know. It said to be beneficial in improving nighttime sleep, mood, and performance. It’ll be helpful to know the different types of naps and their purposes.
The Sleep Foundation notes that planned napping is a brief sleep you can take before you get sleepy. This technique is recommended when you’ll be up later than your normal bedtime. Emergency napping is your way of fighting drowsy driving or fatigue. You can do this after feeling fatigued, before returning to your activity. Habitual napping, as the term implies, is taking naps at the same time each day.
To ensure that your late morning or early afternoon naps don’t interfere with your nighttime sleep, limit them to 20-30 minutes. You can choose the comfortable Uratex Sofa bed that can cater to both your napping needs and limited space. Worry not because you’ve got playful stripes and modern pattern combinations to choose from.
Watch what you consume
Did you know that the food you eat within the day can affect your sleep? Yes. Eating a huge portion of unhealthy food can disturb your sleep because of stomach trouble and heartburn among other things. You should avoid fatty food and large servings for dinner. However, if you feel hungry late in the evening, a light healthy snack can aid resolve that without bothering your sleep health.
Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, too, can disrupt your sleep. It’s best if you can limit its consumption before going to bed.
Regulate your trips to the gym
Improving routines for better sleep is the key to a healthier life. The importance of physical exercise to our wellness is undebatable. However, you should know the proper intensity and frequency of your routines so as not to interfere with your nighttime sleep. According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 30-minute aerobic exercise three times per week can help women suffering from insomnia. Lead researcher Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron noted that a single session in the gym on any given day is probably not enough to overcome the arousal of the stress system. Thus, for your exercise regimen to have an impact on sleep habits, you should maintain your exercise program.
How to get better sleep though exercise? Sleep experts recommend working out in the early hours of the morning for deeper sleep at night. Studies show that people who exercise on a treadmill at 7:00 a.m. sleep longer, experience deeper sleep cycles, and spend greater time in the most reparative stages of sleep than those who exercise at later hours. Avoid strenuous exercise in the late evening or right before bedtime as this might interfere with your sleep. Go for relaxing activities instead such as yoga and meditation. You can even meditate on your sofa bed.
Relax as much as you can
Anxiety are natural uppers, though not the healthy kind. If you’re worrying about a presentation or a major exam, chances are, you’d have trouble falling and staying asleep. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “anxiety causes sleeping problems, and a new research suggests sleep deprivation can cause an anxiety disorder.” If your anxiety is starting to interfere with your daily activities, it’s advisable that you seek professional help. You can also do relaxation therapy to help calm your nerves.
During your breaks, sit back on a convertible sofa bed such as the Neo Sofabed so you can do your breathing exercises. Close your eyes, take a slow deep breath, hold it for 5 seconds, then slowly exhale. Experience comfort on this relaxing sofa during the day and convert it into your sleeping quarters at night.
Improve your sleep environment
Discomfort can prevent you from getting quality sleep on your sofabed. The National Sleep Foundation shares a few points in creating a sleep-friendly bedroom including using room-darkening shades and curtains and dim lights, keeping the room uncluttered, maintaining a cool room temperature (between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit), and choosing comfortable mattresses, pillows, and sheets. Check out innovations in sofa foam and mattresses for a restful slumber. It also helps to have a sound conditioner to reduce outdoor noises, or a fan for relaxing ambience. Finally, you can use scents that prep the body for bedtime such as lavender and chamomile.
Quality sleep is not a luxury. It’s a basic need for a healthy life. Sadly, however, it’s one of the most neglected parts of our daily routine. We’ve become too proud to acknowledge its importance to our well-being. “What I’ve learned is that in today’s world, the path of least resistance is the path of sleep. And unless we take specific and deliberate steps to make it a priority in our lives, we won’t get the sleep we need,” Huffington shares.