Remember the days when you could doze off the minute your head touched the pillows? Ah, the sweet memories of simpler times from an age long lost…
Worldwide sleep statistics tell us that around 50% of the current human population is suffering from some form of insomnia. However, unlike before, sleeplessness has now become a lifestyle disease that is affecting everyone from teenagers to seniors, depriving them of much-needed rest. If you are one among the millions across the globe who are craving for a good night’s sleep, we have some really good news for you.
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has to depend on clinical means to solve their sleeplessness. Sleeping pills and other sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals only offer short-term solutions to insomnia. These prescription medicines also come with unpleasant side effects like constipation, daytime fatigue, dizziness and many more. In short, not a viable solution to your issue.
As mentioned before, a lot of people, especially the younger generations develop insomnia as a lifestyle-induced sleep disorder. This ‘primary insomnia’ is not connected with other medical conditions and can be due to issues like stress, anxiety, changes in normal sleep schedule or environmental factors; which is why most of the acute insomnia can be easily managed at home with the help of simple remedies and lifestyle changes.
So how can you do it? What does it take to make you sleep like a baby in the comfort of your mattress? Here are the 8 tips we promise that will help you sleep better every night.
1. Declutter your room
Yes, you heard us right! Ever wondered why you are not able to sleep well even after investing in a really good mattress? Studies show that the state of your room impacts your sleep and subsequently your mood and mental health. When your bedroom is filled with clutter it tends to “weigh” on you consciously or unconsciously, preventing you from falling asleep peacefully. A cluttered room makes your brain perceive it as a task you need to complete, but makes you feel tired at the same time. Once you fall into this vicious cycle of cluttering, tiredness and yawn filled sleepless nights, insomnia sets in.
So bite the bullet and take charge of clearing the clutter out of your bedroom. Get professional help if you must. Take off the mountain of clothes on your bed and side chair, keep the book back into the shelf and keep the gadgets away from your sleep space. Once you have cleared all the clutter, you will find it easier to rest on your brand new mattress better!
2. Keep your room cool
The temperature of your room can also affect your sleep. Your body’s a biological machine with a mind of its own. When you fall asleep, your body temperature drops slightly, which scientists believe, helps you stay asleep. This is why, the National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your room cool, around 60 to 67 degrees F for the best sleep experience. A cool and darkroom tell your body that it’s time to rest, making you fall asleep naturally.
3. Take a warm shower
However exhausted you are from your day, before you hit the bed, take a shower break for 10 minutes. A warm shower right before bed will help you fall and stay asleep throughout the night. When you take a shower to warm your body an hour before entering your cool bedroom, the change in temperature slows your metabolism faster, preparing your body for a good night’s sleep.
By making this a habit, your body will get accustomed to the routine and will start expecting sleep an hour after your shower time!
4. Bring out the candles
Did you know that the less blue light you expose yourself to before bedtime, the better? Blue light of any kind, may it be fluorescent light bulbs, LED lights or smartphone backlights, interferes with the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. To improve melatonin production during the darker hours, scientists suggest reducing exposure to blue light.
So keep away your smartphone, switch off the lights and bring out the candles at least an hour before bed. Start with a candlelit dinner and keep them burning till bedtime. Make an hour by the candlelight your sleep tradition!
5. Say yes to the right drink
Remember the time when your grandmother used to bring you warm milk before bed? While there isn’t enough scientific proof that warm night time drinks improve your sleep, but then again, what’s the harm in trying!
Drinks like warm milk and chamomile tea has a soothing effect, making you fall into slumber easily. Warm milk can stimulate the effects of tryptophan in the brain, which is the chemical building block for serotonin that controls sleep-wake transition. On the other hand, the flavonoid in chamomile tea can interact with benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, which are also involved in the sleep-wake transition. In short, these drinks send the brain the message to slow down the metabolism and facilitate sleep.
6. Soothe yourself with natural oils
Natural essential oils have been in use for a long time to induce sleep. One of the all-time favorites among these oils is lavender. Lavender can soothe the central nervous system, relieving anxiety and irritability. By ingesting in the form of infusion or spraying the essence on the pillow, you can calm yourself before bedtime.
Similarly, Marjoram is another essential oil that has a relaxing effect on people. Marjoram is known to be quite helpful to people who have trouble falling asleep in the first few hours of going to bed.
Mandarin and jasmine are two other popular fragrances that are known to have a soothing, almost tranquilizing effect on people. It can calm mood swings and reduce the stress from everyday life.
7. Tune in to your favorite songs
Music is a real gift to mankind. From being able to lift people’s mood to helping doctors treat behavioral issues, music has so much impact on the human brain. Listening to music, especially classical music before bedtime will significantly improve the quality of your sleep
Remember the old lullabies your mother used to sing? Tunes like that has a slow rhythm of 60 to 80 beats per minute and is known to help lull you into a deep slumber.
So next time you find it hard to fall asleep, play some soothing songs that can take you to the dreamland.
8. Try a quick bedtime activity
What do you do if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep? Scientists say that engaging in an activity that requires the use of your hands and head for 10 minutes will tire your brain and lull you back to sleep. Try coloring a book or a jigsaw puzzle, anything that will occupy you for a few minutes.
In a nutshell, sleep should be a routine that comes naturally. By using different stimulus, you are giving signs to your body that it is time to sleep. If you are lying on your mattress for 10 hours but sleep only 5 hours, it’s unhealthy. Here your mattress is becoming a place where you think, read, watch TV and worry, and not using it for sleeping.
Practice good sleep habits and prepare your body accordingly. By regularly practicing these 8 tips, you will train your body to fall and stay asleep faster and better.