What most people forget is that preparation for sleep should start much earlier, rather than waiting for the moment you go to bed. If you are exposed to various negative influences in the hours before going to bed and you don’t have a routine to follow, it is very likely that you will not have a good night's sleep. The following tips can help you significantly.
What you eat and drink in the afternoon and evening will play a very important role in the quality of your sleep. First of all, you should avoid eating too much in the evening. Even though it is a healthy food, if you eat too much, the feeling of heaviness in your stomach will not be pleasant at all.
And if you eat a lot of fried, fatty foods and the like, it’s almost certain that restless night is ahead of you. This includes spicy foods, tyramine-rich foods, and you should also avoid foods that have a high percentage of water, such as watermelon because you will wake up to go to the toilet. Alcohol is another thing to avoid in the evening as it reduces the duration of the REM phase and can also cause gastrointestinal problems.
Our body and brain really like a routine when it comes to sleep. And bedtime routines are different activities that we choose to repeat in the same order, about an hour before going to bed. It can be anything you choose. You can drink a glass of warm milk and then brush your teeth. Or you can have a warm bath and then read a book. It doesn't matter what it will be, it is important that you develop a set of activities that you will always repeat.
Or at least whenever you can, and that should be at least 5 out of 7 days a week. Because once you introduce a bedtime routine, it is very important that you do not interrupt it, because then it will no longer be effective.
Buying a quality mattress that suits your needs is one of the smartest investments you can make. Don’t try to save on a mattress because you spend a third of the day on it, and it’s also not something you buy often. If you buy a durable mattress, it will last you a decade or more. You can count on us as we have prepared a buyer's guide on the best mattresses within the UK market. Check them here.
There are a very large number of mattresses available on the market, so before you decide which one to buy, take a few things into consideration. Your sleeping position is very important, as is your body type. After that, think about your preferences, whether you like a soft mattress or support is most important to you. You can find memory foam, hybrid, spring and many other types of mattresses. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to you to find the one that suits you best. Also check breathability, especially if you are a hot sleeper.
Most people these days fall asleep watching TV or using their smartphone. This is a big mistake, because artificial lights negatively affect the brain. And how exactly does it affect our brains? The brain is programmed to secrete melatonin when it gets dark. But when you are exposed to artificial lights before bed, then the brain thinks it is still day and inhibits melatonin production, to keep you awake, because it is day and it is not time to sleep.
You should especially avoid blue lights, and you can do this by turning on night mode or night light, the name of that option varies from device to device. Then the blue light goes out and the screen becomes significantly more pleasing to our eyes and brain. While that’s not ideal either, it’s certainly much better.
Avoid sleeping during the day. Of course, there will be days when you will need to sleep an hour or two to get through the day. But do it only if necessary. If you don’t feel very tired, don’t sleep during the day, even if you like to.
Sleeping every day, for example, after lunch will negatively affect your night's sleep. You can introduce power naps into your daily routine, because it is great way to recover your energy, and in the evening you will be able to sleep, which will not be the case if you sleep for several hours during the day.
Some people cannot fall asleep easy, while some do but suffer from sleep behavior disorder. These disorders can be in the form of violent leg/arms movement during the sleep, for example. It can be a significant problem later on as a sleeper is not able to achieve high-quality dream state. That is where BSM jumps in. Behavioral Sleep Medicine treats your sleep problems and helps you to have consistent sleep quality through the forms of different practices as well as different environment settings. For this reason, we have made 5 ways that will help you to get into the sleep mode faster.
If you follow these steps before you go to bed, you can be sure that you will have a great night's sleep and that you will wake up completely rested, ready for all the obligations that await you during the day. However, sometimes it will happen that you cannot fall asleep and then these 5 ways to fall asleep in 5 minutes will be helpful.
This is something that requires practice. You should practice breathing pattern as this will help you fall asleep quickly. In this way you will relax your muscles, and you will also get rid of mental tension. There are different breathing methods, like 4-7-8 that you can combine with stretching and other forms of relaxation. Once you learn the breathing pattern, it will take you less than 5 minutes to fall asleep.
The goal of this slow breathing is to activate the process of progressive muscle relaxation that is crucial for a better sleep. If you suffer from a respiratory condition, consult your doctor first before you start practicing any of the breathing methods, so as not to worsen the symptoms of your primary condition.
It is very important that the temperature of your bedroom is moderate. It is best to keep your room temperature between 21 and 23 Celsius, because that way you will not be too hot or too cold ans you'll fall asleep faster. When your body temperature rises, you cannot achieve the perfect sleep environment. You cannot reach the deep muscle relaxation mode which prevents you from going into the deep REM phase that is crucial for a high quality sleep.
However, if you have to choose between cold and hot, it is better to opt for colder room, since that way your body and brain will calm down and fall asleep quickly. Many people prefer to sleep at a temperature between 15 and 20 degrees. But ideally it should be between 21 and 23 Celsius, because too cold a room can cause respiratory problems and is not recommended for cardiac patients. On the other hand, if it is too hot, your body temperature rises and you will certainly not be able to sleep peacefully while sweating.
One study conducted at Cambridge University showed that you can use paradoxical intention to fall asleep very quickly. Paradoxical intention is similar to reverse psychology, but without the deception.
How exactly do you apply this in practice? So instead of concentrating on falling asleep, which usually backfires and you feel even more awake, you should try to concentrate on staying awake. Instead of developing anxiety because you can't fall asleep, you will find yourself in a situation to try to stay awake in an environment that is ideal for sleeping and your brain will eventually shut down. Get to your favorite sleep position, make sure you go to the bed at the same time every night and your will fall asleep at night much easier, even without applying some of the relaxation techniques.
This is one of the bedtime routines dating back from the earliest childhood. First your parents read you fairy tales and lullabies, and then you yourself start reading before bed to fall asleep faster. Many people abandon this bedtime routine during their teenage years, but we advise you to reintroduce reading a book before bed.
In the evening, you should read books that are soothing, not genres like action, because then you will think about what will happen next instead of falling asleep. That way your your sleep quality may not reach its highest level. Avoid books that have a lot of plot twists, it is even better to choose boring ones, than ones full of action.
Yoga and meditation can significantly improve the quality of your night's sleep. In addition to meditation and yoga being of great benefit to your physical health, they also help you learn to control your mind, thoughts, breathing and other things. As you meditate, your brain realises and activates the mode of progressive muscle relaxation, which will ultimately lead to the state of being 100% relaxed. Not only in the head, but also in your physical body. Then you will be able to fall asleep much easier when you go to bed.
Visualization is another useful method when you are having trouble falling asleep. Visualization is also recommended when you want to achieve a certain goal, for example to pass an exam or anything else, including falling asleep. You can find many great tutorials about meditation and visualization online and achieve better sleep quality.
One thing you can do to get an enough and better quality sleep is to go to sleep at the same time every night. To develop a good sleep hygiene, you must develop a regular sleep schedule that you will follow all the time so your body knows naturally when it is the time to shut down. Whether you want to sleep with an eye mask, or you want to use a military method for falling asleep, you must develop a sleeping habit first. In addition, take a warm shower prior to going to the bed to relax yourself a bit. Counting sheep won't help you at all unless you understand how the sleep works as well as how your body reacts to it and how much it needs it.
Secondly, once you get to your comfortable position and your eyes shut, make sure you practice deep breathing by practising controlled breathing. Practice – take a deep breath and exhale completely then. Repeat. Many times. Additionally, use heavy blankets as these reduce anxiety and stress and help you to sleep better. Many academic research institutions have proven that poor sleep influences the overall quality of life. Therefore, a lack of sleep is among the important medical concerns you should not neglect in any way. Proper breathing and breathing techniques are specially designed for such problems and will help you to overcome a poor sleep state.
The third thing – do not eat carbs, especially before bedtime. Carbs energize you and the last thing you want to do is to get energized before sleep time. In many peer-reviewed studies, electronic devices, in combination with carbs, are shown to be among the most common reasons for insomnia. Computer screens emit blue light – which is the last thing you want to have before going to the bed. Your body needs to enter a state of shutting down when going to sleep, not in a state of awakening. Instead of carbs, go for a chamomile tea that will calm you down and help your body and brain to sleep.
Once you start following these guidelines, you can be sure that you won't need a body scan to understand why you don't sleep. Not only will you sleep quickly, you will improve your health conditions as well, not to mention that you will sleep faster. In case you really don't have luck with these guidelines, we suggest you hiring a certified sleep coach who will be able to help you out. Medical associations train a medical professional to understand the science of sleep better and therefore achieves skills needed for such placement. Once the professional sets the strict sourcing guidelines, you should not take them only for informational purposes – but rather a night time guidelines that will relax your body and help you to achieve the sweet dreams!