Just when you thought you could get a restful night of sleep after a long day at work, you may find yourself still awake in bed at the middle of the night, with your thoughts still racing over family matters, financial concerns, or other disturbing issues. While you cannot prevent or totally eliminate the factors that get in the way with your sleep, it is possible to modify your environment and your practices, in such a way that it can promote restful sleep. Here are some tips that may promote sleep:
1. Create a fixed bedtime schedule. Try to sleep at the same time each day, and set your alarm to a fixed time as well. This will help set your body to a routine, and it will also reinforce your sleep-wake cycle.
2. Avoid stimulants because it can disrupt sleep. Try to avoid drinking caffeine four to six hours before bedtime. Evaluate whether you are taking in too much caffeine during the day. If you are, there is a need to cut back on your intake because it takes around eight hours for your body to eliminate its effects. Try to avoid drinking alcohol as an aid for sleep. Contrary to what many people believe, alcohol is a stimulant and it can disrupt with sleep.
3. Eat a light meal at least two hours before bedtime. Avoid foods that may cause heartburn such as spicy or fatty foods. Heartburn can be disturbing, and it can definitely interfere with sleep. Try to limit as well the amount of fluids you drink before you sleep. This will prevent middle of the night trips to the bathroom, which can be disturbing especially if you have already dozed off.
4. Avoid smoking. Some individuals may find smoking before bedtime relaxing, but it may only make sleeping all the more difficult. Nicotine is a stimulant, and it can cause effects which are similar to that of caffeine. It may only keep you fully awake during the night.
5. Try to create a relaxing routine that will allow you to detach from your day’s stressors. Stressors will always be part of your day, but having troubling thoughts may only keep your mind awake and active. You can start with a relaxing bath then do activities that can take your mind away from your worries. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it can be as simple as reading a magazine, or taking a hot bath.
6. Avoid long naps during the day because it may keep you awake during the night. However, a fifteen minute nap during the day can be good for you because it can revitalize your mind and your body.
7. Have a regular physical activity because it can promote restful sleep. Pay attention to how exercise can affect your body after the workout. If you are energized after the activity, then exercise in the morning. Research has shown that regular morning exercise can help promote sleep.
8. Try to make your room ideal for sleeping. If you need to rearrange furniture, put curtains, or purchase comfortable pillows, then by all means do so. It may be a good investment in exchange for restful nights of sleep. Also avoid doing distracting activities on bed, so that you can condition your mind that the bed is solely for resting.
9. Drink a glass of milk. This sleep promoting practice has not survived generations if it is not effective. Milk can actually help promote sleep because it contains tryptophan, which is a substance that encourages sleep.
With all the work that is left undone at the office, and the unending things to do each day, it is only but common for individuals to have difficulty in sleeping. While we cannot totally stay away from all these stressors, there are ways that can be done which help promote sleep amidst all the troubles of the day.