While discussing sleeplessness with my doctor recently, I was surprised on being told about daytime activities that can actually boost the quality of my nightly snore-time. And I thought a nice bed and a cool dark room was all the help I could get. So, to spread the wisdom, here are 6 ways in which you can ensure a good night’s sleep:
1 . Exercise
Exercising or indulging in any outdoor activity is the best way in which you can use your time on this planet. A vigorous session of exercise relieves the body of stress and sufficiently tires the muscle tissues – two factors imperative for a good night’s sleep. Sweat it out for 30 minutes every day to get a good sleep at night
2 . Limit screen time
We are all aware of the harm caused by extended use of our beloved smartphones, computers, TVs etc. Studies show that excessive exposure to an illuminated screen during the day inhibits the secretion of sleep-inducing Melatonin hormone in our bodies. Reduce the usage to less than an hour a day to see the benefits.
3 . Use the bed for sleeping only
Our minds associate particular objects with specific reactions. Most of us use the bed for daily activities like working on the laptop, reading, watching the TV, eating etc. These confuse the brain into thinking that the bed is not specifically associated with sleep. Instead, start using the bed for sleeping at night only.
4 . Avoid stimulants
Sadly, good sleep calls for you to say no to the endless cups of espresso, bars of chocolate, cigarettes and the late-night drinks. All these artificial stimulates excite the nervous system in an unnatural way and deters sleep. Cutting down on the volumes of these will certainly improve both the quality and the quantity of shut-eye you get.
5 . Have an early dinner
Dinner about a couple of hours before bedtime improves sleep to a great extent. The body needs this time to digest the food and absorb the nutrients. Good digestion is important to negate acid reflux, a major sleep inhibitor. In case if you are forced to gulp down a large meal, take a small stroll afterwards to boost digestion.
6 . Be mindful of your diet
Have magnesium rich foods like spinach, oatmeal, black beans to help you relax and include small quantities of healthy carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread, brown rice; quinoa etc. with dinner for their high glycemic index that will help is falling sleep easily. And of course, avoid too spicy/sugary or very oily foods as these can be a cause of heartburn or acid reflux, a really uncomfortable condition that can give you nightmares if not sleepless nights.
7 . Spend some time under the sun
While we are all wary of the UV rays, the tan, the heat, the sweat etc., the Sun is an unlikely friend when it comes to sleeping well. Studies show that spending 15-30 minutes in sunlight keeps our body’s biological clock in order. Also, try and form a regular wake-up routine where you wake up at the same time every day.
These small everyday habits during the day that will certainly help you get a good night’s sleep.