“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” — Benjamin Franklin
Sleep – This is one of the basic needs of life. A good night sleep makes us feel good, and a disturbed sleep brings in irritation and restlessness. Sleep not only impacts us emotionally, but it also plays a vital role in our physical health. A good quality sleep is a must if one’s goal is physical, emotional, and mental well being. Such is the deep impact of sleep on every aspect of our life.
How to sleep better? This question was irrelevant a few decades back because then, people naturally knew to sleep better, and there were few distractions. It was normal to sleep deep and well. But times changed, and now, this question has become a common question thanks to many distractions around. Factors like sedentary lifestyle, gadgets, social media, junk food, and poor exercise habits contributed to the deterioration of sleep quality. So, how to sleep better and deeper?
Here are 11 tips that help us sleep better derived from the book “Sleep Smarter.” This book is written by Shawn Stevenson. Shawn is a nutritionist and a coach who inspires millions of people through his podcasts and books. “Sleep smarter” is a book that offers 21 essential strategies to sleep better for a better body, better health, and bigger success. These strategies are backed by scientific research.
Here are 11 tips derived from this book.
1. Maximize your exposure to light during the daytime, especially to Sunlight early in the morning. Take a short walk or do some exercise outdoors between 6 AM to 8:30 AM. This helps in releasing a sufficient amount of melatonin by our body during the evenings. Melatonin is a hormone that allows us to sleep faster and deeper.
2. Limit your exposure to screens, at least 60 minutes prior to bedtime. Screen time keeps our mind alert and active and prevents us from going into deep sleep. Prepare yourself to slow down at least 60 minutes prior to your bedtime. Keep all gadgets away and wind down.
3. Try sleeping at the same time every night. This helps the circadian rhythm in our body to run smoothly and also to sleep better. When we sleep at different times each day, our body gets confused, and it leads to disturbed sleep. Sleeping at different times each day also disrupts our circadian rhythm and makes it difficult to have a good quality sleep.
4. We are biologically engineered by nature to wake up early. So, sleep early and wake up early. Between 10 PM to 2 AM, our body produce hormones like melatonin and human growth hormone at peak levels. So, sleep during this time is deeper and more rejuvenating than sleep after 2 AM. Plan to get maximum hours of sleep between 10 PM to 2 AM. Our ancestors timed their lives with Sunrise and Sunset. This could be one of the reasons for their strong physical health.
5. Stop consuming coffee after 4 PM. Caffeine, after consumption, can stay in our body for a long time. It is a nervous system stimulant and keeps us awake and alert.
6. Say no to alcohol consumption in the evening time. Alcohol interferes with deep quality sleep.
7. Exercise offers us several benefits. It keeps us fit and healthy. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that promote health and well being. In addition to these benefits, exercise also plays an important role in sleep quality. Regular exercise helps in having a deep and restorative sleep.
8. Stress is common in modern times. We all have too much to do in a day, and this causes stress. Stress interferes with sleep quality. Meditation is an excellent solution for stress relief. Meditate at least for 10 minutes and calm down the thoughts and emotions. Meditation helps in stress relief and makes it easy to fall asleep.
9. Design your bedroom to create feelings of relaxation in you. When you enter your bedroom, your mind should feel calm and relaxed. You can play some soothing and relaxing music.
10. Keep your bedroom fresh and clean. You can keep some indoor plants. Plants are very good natural air filters. Good air quality in the bedroom is important for better sleep. Let the Sunlight and fresh air enter your bedroom during the daytime.
11. Keep work out of our bedroom. Work keeps our minds alert and active. So, when we work in our bedroom, it becomes tough for our minds to relax. Our subconscious mind starts associating our bedroom with work, and this makes it difficult to have a good quality sleep. Don’t take any office calls or work from your bedroom. Have a designated space for your work.
These are some tips that can help you sleep better.
“Sleep smarter” offers many more strategies and tips that help us sleep better. This book helps us understand the importance of sleep with research-backed facts. Backed by the latest scientific research and packed with personal anecdotes and tips from leaders in the field of sleep research, this book depicts the dangers of insufficient sleep – from poor weight management to memory loss to increased risk of disease. It also comes with a 14-day plan to help you start practicing the strategies mentioned in the book. Overall, this book is a great read if one is looking to sleep better.
A good quality sleep brings us several benefits: better mood, relaxed mind, stress reduction, better physical health, healthy circadian rhythm, freshness, strong immunity, enhanced memory, and improved creativity. Benefits are endless. It is worth investing that time and effort to create the right environment and conditions that help you sleep better. So, try the above steps and be committed to improving the quality of your sleep. And don’t sacrifice your sleep for late-night work or to binge-watch movies. It’s not worth it.
Wish you and your family health and peace!
“You will perform better, make better decisions, and have a better body when you get the sleep you require.” – Shawn Stevenson