Are you finding it difficult to sleep?

Last updated 6 Dec 2015 . 3 min read

It is said that everyone should have at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to allow the body to recuperate. There are many factors which affect the quality of sleep. Iilness or pain, trauma, increased stress levels or an overuse of stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine / alcohol are some common causes. In some people, uncomfortable sleep environments like noise, extreme temperatures or light also cause sleep disturbances. If you indulge in physically or intellectually stimulating activities few hours before sleeping, it can affect the way you sleep. 

Here are some easy ways you to improve how you sleep,

Set your body clock
Try to go to sleep at the same time everyday so that your body can set an internal clock and you get optimum sleep. Avoid extending your sleep on weekends and holidays. Instead of sleeping in till late, opt for a day time nap. This will not disturb your natural sleep cycle. If insomnia is a problem, then either completely avoid day time napping or sleep for very short durations of 15 to 20 minutes.

Avoid light
A hormone called melatonin is released in increased quantities in the dark and it helps in regulating your sleep-wake cycle. There are various factors which can affect the release of melatonin and hence affect normal sleep patterns. There are certain tips you can follow to control this:

-Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning
-Spend more time outside during daylight
Allow as much natural sunlight into your home
Light therapy box stimulating sunshine can also be used during days when there is limited daylight
Avoid bright screens two hours before bedtime
Completely avoid late night television
Try to sleep in a completely dark room

Learn to relax
Learn to control your thoughts to relax yourself. Many techniques like deep breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and maintaining a peaceful, restful place can help you in improving your sleep quality. Some other simple bed time rituals which can help you in relaxing are reading a book, a warm bath, soft music, making simple preparations for the next day and dim the lights in the hours leading up to bed time.

A quiet place to sleep
Improving your sleep environment helps in relaxing and unwinding before drifting off to sleep. Keep the noise down, keep your room cool and ensure that your bed is comfortable to sleep in. Do not use your bed for any other activities except sleeping.

It is important that you sleep peacefully  because that will help make you more productive, emotionally stable, enthusiastic and mentally sharp.

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