Improving Your Sleepby Oyinkansola Talabi on March 16, 2012
Do you sometimes wake up not feeling refreshed even after 6-8 hours of sleep? Are you even getting up to 6-8hours of sleep? l find quite a number of people get less than 5hours of sleep regularly. How do you function? Coffee? Energy drinks? As much as l understand how we end up here - work hours, traffic, family. I'm on your side, l get it. Research is on your side and shows that it's not how much sleep you get, but how well you sleep. Have you noticed sometimes a 30mins snooze refreshes you? Quality always trumps quantity. So how do we improve our sleep when sometimes, you are going to bed in heat because there isn't light or generators providing you with sound tracks or you just cant sleep?
Some tips for a deeper snooze. Lets start with the things that can be reducing our snooze quality.
Avoid caffeine around bedtime; I love my coffee, l usually have at least 1 cup a day. However, Caffeine is a stimulant. It blocks the chemical - Melatonin that makes us sleepy. Your wires start buzzing and keep buzzing for a few hours - although a minority of people are not that sensitive to it . Avoid caffeine after 2pm. So the buzz can be out of your system by sleep time.
Nicotine; is also a stimulant. It stimulates the Central Nervous System. It raises your blood pressure, heart rate and brain waves. Avoid smoking in doors particularly in your bedroom. Also avoid smoking at least 2hours before you want to go to sleep. better yet, stop smoking....
Alcohol; may at first make you feel sleepy but after a few hours in your system, it becomes a stimulant. It then kicks in and reduced the quality of the sleep that it may have induced.
Eating heavy meals late at night; this increases the likelihood of heartburn and indigestion, or Going to bed hungry; Also don't take a lot of liquids at night so as to reduce waking up to go to the rest room.
And the habits that will help improve the quality of your sleep...
Exercise; Research shows that it helps us, to stay longer in the deep stage of sleep especially as we grow older . This is where during sleep, our heart rate drops, our breathing is more even and blood flows to our muscles. This is when the body repairs it's self. Don't workout too close to your bed time as it will most probably have the opposite effect by over stimulating you
Start a winding down process; Turn down loud sounds, stop all mentally stimulating and challenging activities- now is not the time to play chess or fix anything. Turn off your computer, your blackberry, take a shower, listen to music, talk with your spouse or friend (nothing too emotional) watch TV.
Go to sleep when you are sleepy; Don't fight it. You just might win. If this happens during the day at work please find / create a way to achieve this. In your car, lock your office door, something. Your body, your brain is telling you it needs a break. You will function better after your nap. Napping during the day also counts towards your required sleep time- However, keep it short- not more that 30mins, No later than 4pm and Set you alarm!
Make and keep your bedroom as a haven; use it for only sleeping, getting dressed and light reading. Don't eat in your room, don't hang out in your room. If you have a TV in your room, take it out or have a time when it must be turned off. Keep the lights soft but turned off when sleeping. Why not play some light music? It will to help you relax. If generator sounds disturb you, buy ear plugs from a pharmacy.
Remember, Good sleep is the heart of good heath. Love your body.