Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tips for Better Sleep

I was talking to a friend at night recently and she was telling me that she couldn't seem to be able to get to sleep. She didn't know the reason why she was not able to sleep too. She said that she was tired but just couldn't fall asleep. In fact she is not the only person whom I have encountered to have problem falling asleep at night. Another two friends were telling me the same thing; that they felt tired but just couldn't fall asleep. Are you having the same problem? To some, sleep comes almost naturally - they just lay down on the bed and before they know it, they have fallen asleep. Yet to others, sleep is a luxury which ironically they can only dream about. Fortunately most people only experience sleeping problem once in a while. Nothing could be more frustrating than not being able to sleep. Tossing and turning. Your mind is racing, going over everything that happened today.

What contributes to one's sleepless agony? There are many factors that contribute to the sleepless night. These factors include work and household responsibilities which can make sleep difficult to come by. Factor in other unexpected challenges such as financial worries, layoffs, relationship issues or an illness worsen the problem. It is important to know what causes the problem of sleepless night so that one can control or eliminate the problem at its root cause. However, one may not always know what causes the sleepless night. In this case, one can still make some changes in the environment and adopt habits that encourage a better sleep. Let us take a look at some tips which you can use for better sleep.

Regular sleeping hour: It is important to have a good sleeping habit by going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time every day- even on weekend.

Better sleeping environment: It is important to keep the temperature of your room at a comfortable level. Just as you do not want to wake up in the middle of the night shivering, you do not want to wake up in the night sweating too. Ideally, your room should feel slightly cool when you first enter it. This will ultimately match more closely to that of your body when you are in the deep midst of your sleep. If you are sleeping alone, it will be much easier to achieve this with a little trial and error on your own. If you are sharing the room or sleeping with a partner, it gets a little complicated. Some testing and compromising will usually make everyone happy.

Just as temperature is an important factor that makes the bedroom a better sleeping environment, a quiet room is more conducive for a better sleep. Any inconsistent or irregular noise can lead to inconsistency in your sleeping patterns. Do you know that a fan may helps you to sleep better? I'm kidding you right? No, I'm not. A fan (or anything that will produce a constant monotone noise) will many times offer enough insulation from erratic noise such as a dog barking or traffic that you’ll be able to get a good night’s rest. Of course ear plugs would do the job too.

Besides temperature and noise, lighting is also an important factor to take note. The darker the bedroom, the better it is. You can use curtains or eye covers.

Use the bed for sleeping: With the exception of sex, bed should only be used for sleeping and nothing else. Do not watch TV, use the laptop, listen to the radio, eat, or read in bed.

Go to bed only when you are sleepy: If you can't fall asleep within 15 - 20 minutes, get up and do something boring in dim light until you are sleepy. Don't feel frustrated not being able to fall asleep. The unnecessary stress will only give you more problem sleeping.

No caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before sleep: These are stimulants that can keep you awake. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, soda, iced tea and chocolate. It is advisable to avoid caffeine intake after lunchtime as caffeine can stay in the system for up to 12 hours. Although smoking gives you a relax feeling, it actually puts stimulant into your bloodstream. Thus it is also not advisable to smoke near bedtime. Alcohol which is often believed to be a sedative and can make it easier to fall asleep, actually disrupts sleep; it causes you to wake up during the night.

Don't go to bed hungry: Probably most people are excited to read this point especially Singaporean where they have the habit of eating supper. It is advisable to have a light snack, but avoid a heavy meal before bed. Research has shown that small snacks rich in carbohydrates may help improve sleep. In addition, milk or dairy products have been shown to be sleep inducing.

Exercise regularly: Exercise is not only a good way to help you to reduce stress, but it can also help you to sleep better. Regular physical activity can help you to fall asleep faster and improve your quality of sleep. However, do not exercise 2 - 3 hours before you sleep especially if you are the type of person who becomes more alert with exercise. Some light stretching will be good.

Last but not least, it is good to have a bedtime routine where by you go through processes to inform your body that it is time to wind down and relax. Some people find that taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music help them to get into the mood of sleeping. Wishing you a peaceful night of good sleep.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Christine Cassandra said...

These sleep help tips are sure worth a try. However, I wonder if they would work during serious pain episodes. Normally, I had to take medication tramadol just to sleep during such agonizing periods. Maybe I should look for natural remedies for my pain first and then try these tips afterwards.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Symphony of Love said...

Christine, it could be that your problem with sleeping is due to the serious pain in the first place. So if you are able to reduce your pain or to eliminate it, then you may not even need these tips to help you to sleep. I hope you'll be able to find some ways to help you about the pain.

8:47 PM  

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