Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tips to get a good night’s sleep

To look and feel fresh, you need to get approximately seven to nine hours of deep, restful and quality sleep each night.

Recent studies show that 55% populations of the world are not sleeping well, and lack of good-quality sleep lead to feeling tired. Traffic accidents and poor work performance to crankiness, illness, and a less-than-attractive appearance can be the result of sleeping poorly.
Here given under are eleven simple tips so you can start sleeping like a baby.
  1. Create A Sleep-Conducive Environment
    The room you sleep in is vital to getting rest. Make sure it is clean and has good ventilation. Try to keep the air fresh and the room temperature. Make sure you have the right amount of blankets and soft pillows. If it isn’t comfortable, you aren’t going to sleep. Also minimize noise and light during sleep.
  2. Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Tobacco
    Caffeine drinks and food such as coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate will keep the mind stimulated much longer than some people think.
    And while alcohol may feel like it’s putting you to sleep, its sedating effect won’t last the whole night. Alcohol is a depressant; although it may make it easier to fall asleep, it causes you to wake up during the night. As alcohol is digested your body goes into withdrawal from the alcohol, causing nighttime awakenings and often nightmares. Excessive alcohol use can lead to dependence, and the withdrawal from alcohol dependence can also affect your sleep.
    Nicotine is also a stimulant and should be avoided near bedtime and if you wake up during the night. Thus, having a smoke before bed, although it feels relaxing, is actually putting a stimulant into your bloodstream. And if possible you should think about quitting smoking.
  3. Exercise Regularly
    Working at the office might make you sweat mentally, but it’s not giving your body enough exercise. People who work physical jobs experience fewer problems with insomnia than those with office jobs because their bodies feel exhaustion too.
    Get plenty of vigorous exercise early in the day so you’ll be naturally tired. Try working out for as little as 20 minutes and your body will feel stimulated. Exercise will also help you get more oxygen to relax more. Remember not to exercise at least a couple of hours before bed so that you have time to wind down afterward.
  4. Have A Bedtime Schedule
    Your life may not be routine, but your body likes it that way. Try to fall asleep and wake at the same time each day. even on the weekends. Figure out how many hours your body needs to feel rested and schedule your sleep that way. Once your body gets used to a routine, it will naturally want to fall asleep at the scheduled time.
    Keep your biological clock going in the right direction; otherwise you will be fighting against it.
  5. Keep Bed A Place For Sleep
    The bed should be for only sleep. Many people tend to read, work, watch television, some even eat in their beds, but your mind should never associate it with anything else. Let your mind and body identify that the place is comfortable for sleep.
    Also, do not watch TV or a computer screen at least 30 minutes before you lie down. The lights from both a television as well as a computer monitor mimic the same intensity of light as sunlight. This fools your body and brain into thinking its nowhere near time for sleep. Also the best way to fall asleep is to clear your mind of all thoughts. If you are lying in bed awake and thinking about anything else, get up and do something non-stimulating, then try falling asleep again.
  6. Warm Milk Or Herbal Tea
    It would be better to have a cup of warm milk before bedtime. Milk contains calcium to help you relax, while the warmth is also soothing. Milk also has an amino acid in it called Tryptophan that increases the levels of serration and/or melatonin in the brain, which slow down brain activity. It’s science folks.
    But dairy products aren’t always right for everyone. In that case, have a cup of Herbal tea. There are many herbal tea that are made specifically for sleep aide. Remember that chamomile, anise, fennel and lavender are known for their soothing and relaxing qualities.
  7. Relaxation: Massage, Warm Bath, Meditation
    There are plenty of ways for relaxation. You can simply take a bath in warm water containing a cup of bath salts. A nice massage after work or even a quick back rub from your spouse can do the job. Relieving tension and stress will help you clear your mind before bed so you can concentrate on sleep and nothing else. Play soothing music if there is street noise.
    Meditate. Simply take deep and long breaths. Tense each muscle one at a time from head to toe. Focusing on doing this takes your mind off of other things. Certainly there are other benefits as well. The Transcendental Meditation technique has been shown to produce deep rest, reduced anxiety, and very effective relief from insomnia.
  8. Have A “Going To Bed” Ritual
    Do you have to think about washing your hair? How about showering?
    If you’re like most people, these are periods of lost time where you’re doing something but you don’t actually have to think about doing it. They are so automatic that you can daydream about anything else and come back down to earth when the task is complete. If we can establish such a state before sleep by establishing a repeated pattern, then we will set ourselves for a perfectly relaxed state.
    A typical pattern may be:1) Read for some time2) Brush teeth3) Turn on fan4) Set alarm
    After following such a pattern for long time, you’ll not only induce the relaxed state, but you will able to condition yourself to make the whole process more effective.
  9. Don’t Nap During The Day
    Practically speaking if you sleep too long during the day, then this will disrupt night sleep, so it’s important to find the right balance. But if you can not find that balance you better stop napping during the day.
  10. Don’t Eat Before Sleep
    A light snack may be sleep inducing, but a heavy meal too close to bedtime interferes with sleep. Digestion takes lots of energy and will keep you awake. Also spicy or fatty foods may cause heartburn, which leads to difficulty in falling asleep and discomfort throughout the night.
    But if you do get hungry close to bedtime, try eating something like Carbohydrates that makes you sleepy.
  11. Medication
    Insomnia stems from a number of reasons, and while it is usually due to stress or anxiety, it can be associated with physical disorders. If you find simple methods aren’t helping you fall asleep, it’s time to see a doctor.

Though doctors will probably suggest sleep tips first, they can also prescribe drugs to assist you in sleeping. Always remember that medicines have potential side effects, and though they can help some people beat insomnia, they may not always work for everybody.These are the few tips that I have tested. And remember that by improving your sleep you will have a dramatic impact on your body composition, performance and health. So good luck, and Sleep Well!


At June 4, 2007 at 2:47:00 AM PDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well this blog was written a while
back but good advice.

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