One of the rather common questions today is regarding some tips for getting better sleep, and for good reason too.
Whether you’re trying to get some rest ahead of long trip, because you don’t sleep well at night, or just want to improve your sleeping for a healthier lifestyle. Investing time into getting better sleep is time spent well.
And in this post, we’ll cover some ways to do just that and be proficient at this habit.
1- Get more sunlight.
Move over superman, that glorious heavenly body, with its radiant beauty which reverberates across the universe that we’ve come to know as the sun is also really vital to our growth and daily vibrance.
Besides the added benefits of vitamin D and hair nurturing, there’s actually a decent correlation between the amount of time spent being exposed to sunlight and the quality of your sleep.
Studies indicate that the more exposure we get to sunlight starting from the getting out of bed is great for maintaining a good sleep regimen.
The science is that exposure to sunlight (and light in general) signals your body to release more of an hormone known as cortisol into your system which helps you stay awake and alert, and thus rid you of any residual sluggishness from sleep.
So how does being awake and alert improve sleeping quality? Some of us have an habit of closing off windows, curtains or staying in very dim spaces, and doing this can be a little confusing for your body and then you may start feeling “tired” so early where you really aren’t.
As a result, when it is actually time for bed, you may not feel the need or want to sleep because as far your brain is concerned, it was night time for the last 4-5 hours.
Side note: reverse the night routine.
What this means is that, just the same way you expose yourself to light in the day time and you feel more active, making the lights of your room more dim prior to going to bed will increases your chances of falling asleep quickly.
Just like cortisol, when the environment is significantly dark and quiet, your body will start secreting more of an hormone known as melatonin, and this signals to your brain that bedtime is fast approaching, thus making you feel more sleepy.
Pro tip: Take a nightly bath.
This is very common in today’s world especially with the day to day bustle, however its still worth touching on.
The simple act of taking a bath or shower at night before sleeping can significantly make it easier for you to sleep, you will feel much more relaxed.
2- Be cautious of drinks.
When it comes to better sleep quality in general, there are a number of substances you may want to distance yourself from as they can hinder your ability to fall asleep and in some cases interrupt the better part of your resting hours when you do fall asleep.
Staying away from sleep detrimental substances like smoking and alcohol is a great start when exercising caution, because although some of these things may give you the impression you that have a great internal state.
This probably isn’t the case and if anything will just get in the way of getting to those restorative sleeping stages your body often needs.
Side note: Beware of Nocturia.
According to an article by health blog ClevelandClinic:
Nocturia is a condition in which you wake up during the night because you have to urinate. Causes can include high fluid intake, sleep disorders and bladder obstruction.
While Nocturia may have a number of causes, the most common would be the high level of fluid intake prior to sleeping.
For most people, this condition sounds pretty familiar and even I know it too well, just like any drink, even water should be taken in moderation especially when you plan on sleeping soon.
It can be very annoying to wake up like 10 ten bilion times within a span of 3 hours just because you drank a little too much.
And the worst part is you’ll still be feeling sleepy but you know trying to sleep will turn out to be a “trap” because you will probably have to get out of bed 10 minutes into dozing off, and as such, its wise to drink water in moderation and leave a reasonable amount of time to pass before trying to sleep.
Pro tip: Take caffeine sparingly.
While caffeine can be an effective way to stimulate the senses, this solution is very much short term for keeping you up and about, one of its downsides is its tendency to get in the way of getting good sleep.
3- Consider your sleeping environment.
So it turns out that where you sleep can potentially determine how well you’re able to rest, which is why emphasises on your room also has its added benefits.
A clean room helps you sleep better. And getting enough rest is crucial to your happiness.
So while cleaning your room may feel like a huge task, your happiness is pretty damn important. Make it happen!
Furthermore, besides maintaining a clean room, studies also show that people staying in cool rooms are more likely to get a better sleep quality, so ideally you’ll want to aim for adequate ventilation with a temperature of 65⁰ F or 18⁰ C.
Side note: Invest in some ear plugs.
If you’re looking to get better sleep quality then you should definitely invest in getting some noise cancellation technology like ear plugs or white noise tech.
When you rid yourself of all that unnecessary noise, it will be easier for your mind to be more relaxed and allow you to drift more quickly into sweet slumber.
Pro tip: Get a sniff of the good stuff.
Not to be confused with drugs. However, there are some interesting natural remedies for getting better sleep (and just about anything if we’re being honest), one of those things is Lavender.
Aromatherapy is good for a lot of things and in this case, Lavender can do just the trick on your trip to dreamland, its light yet soothing scent will make your room feel fresh and get you in a more relaxed headspace.
You can try using some lavender spray on your pillows, sheets or other parts of your room, as long as it works you can get creative with its application.
4- Put your mind at ease.
When your mind is very active throughout the day, it can be sometimes hard to switch it off immediately and that delay can ultimately affect how much time you spend actually sleeping as opposed to tossing around in bed.
You may want to consider doubling down on activities you do on your devices like playing games, checking socials or your emails as this will only stimulate you to keep being active rather than relaxing.
Side note: Develop a sleeping ritual.
A sleeping ritual is a great way to subtly and subconsciously communicate to your body that the time to sleep is fast approaching, these are activities you do just before you go to sleep, whether its listening to music, enjoying a podcast, doing some meditation, fill in the blank.
These activities are generally things that help reduce stress and help you feel more relaxed.
Meditation is also a great example of this, you could meditate 30 minutes before going to bed and maybe even throw in some breathing exercises, if you’re really upto it then you can even do some visualization and from there, you’ll start dozing off in your imaginary paradise.
Pro tip: work with it.
Like they say: “if you can’t beat em, join em”. Sometimes your mind just won’t stop with all the thought patterns and unwanted gyrations.
In these instances, sometimes working with your mind can be the quickest way to turn it off.
Perhaps you keep getting a bunch of interesting ideas you want to try out the next day but your mind wants to do it immediately at 3am, an easy fix for this is to write those thoughts down in a notepad, that way your mind sees you writing the ideas as an action and may stop bugging you so you can finally get some rest.
In addition, sometimes you may really want to sleep but you find yourself whining about wanting to sleep than actually sleeping, you can try a bit of a psychological shortcut to overcome this.
Simply make it a point to stay awake instead of sleeping, but chances are you’ll fall asleep way quicker specifically because you didn’t want to.
You may be thinking “what the heck”, and you’re right, we live in a weird world.
5- Having good sleeping habits.
The way you sleep as well as how often can also affect you being able to sleep better at night.
For instance, if you take a nap around 5pm then don’t be too surprised if you’re not feeling tired or sleepy enough to want to go to bed later on.
Side note: Acknowledge your inner clock.
In biology, there is something known as the circadian rhythm and this mechanism is present in everyone, its role is to set an internal alarm clock for your sleep and waking up, without all that irritating noise.
However, some people aren’t too familiar with it and abuse this function without even knowing. They sleep at different times and also wake up at different hours with no specific pattern.
This is understandable for people with more demanding jobs like working on a night shift etc.
The way to make the most of this circadian rhythm is to make an effort to sleep and wake up at the same periods, these times can differ between a lot of people and that’s alright, provided you’re able to get a decent amount of hours sleeping.
It can take a lot of discipline and determination to master this but it’s worth it, if you do you’ll find it more easier to fall asleep, and the best part is you can now kiss that annoying alarm clock goodbye.
Pro tip: Consider taking a power naps.
Naps are a good way to repay your sleep debt (not sure if that’s a word, but its definitely a thing), it also gives you that extra energy boost to breeze through your tasks for the day.
However, this should be done with caution so as to not affect your circadian rhythm and make your brain take nap for sleeping, technically napping is sleeping but you get the point.
The optimal time for taking a power nap is between 1pm to 3pm and its duration should be no longer than 10 to 30 minutes, an hour max.
When you get up, you’ll feel more energised and good to go, and ultimately you’ll have a better sleep regimen.
For whatever reason you’re looki to get better sleep, these tips will come in handy when sleeping gets a bit difficult.
However, please note that this isn’t a substitute for professional treatments should you have more intense sleep conditions or disorders.
Its advised to try a few of these steps in combination for best results, keep calm and enjoy your travels.