If there is one gift one can give a newborn’s parent, it is a good night sleep. On World Sleep Day, we are listing guaranteed tips that will not only ensure that you relish a deep slumber at night but also make sure that you are more energetic and productive during your waking hours:
1. Right pillow – Choose a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck and is not too fat or not too flat. This will help you wake up without being tired or with a stiff neck in the morning.
2. Sleeping position – To not twist your neck, avoid sleeping on your stomach. Instead, sleep on your side with your nose up with the center of your body.
3. Good mattress – A good mattress such as spring mattress, foam mattress, coir mattress, memory foam mattress, orthopedic mattress etc is crucial in achieving a sound sleep because it not only improves sleep quality but also reduces back pain, shoulder pain and back stiffness with the right support to the body that reinforces an uninterrupted sleep. On the other hand, you can also use air-tight, plastic, dust-proof covers to seal your mattress, box springs and pillows against mold, dust mite droppings, and other allergy triggers that can lead to lousy shut-eye.
4. Eat and drink fluids wisely – While it is advisable to finish eating dinner at least an hour before bed, it is also recommended to not overload your digestive system with heavy foods and big meals before sleeping. Instead, opt for a light evening snack as it will affect how well you sleep at night.
Although hydration is vital, it is wise to not drink any fluids 1–2 hours before going to bed. This is to reduce the chances of excessive urination during the night which affects sleep quality and daytime energy.
Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you up.
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
5. Lower the lights – Optimize your bedroom environment by dimming the light levels around your home 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. Diminishing the noise and lights and making the bedroom a quiet, relaxing, clean and enjoyable place signals the brain to make melatonin which is the hormone that brings on sleep and results in improved sleep quality that ensures long-term health benefits.
6. Sick to a sleep schedule – Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. Most people don’t need more than eight hours in bed to achieve this goal.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
If you don’t fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you’re tired. Repeat as needed.
7. Physical exercise – Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. Avoid being active too close to bedtime, however.
Spending time outside every day might be helpful, too.
8. Manage your worries – Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.
Stress management might help. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety.
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The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.