If you want to get a good night’s sleep, read the following tips and try to follow them.
Remove caffeine or any other stimulant
First off, caffeine is a stimulant, which is why people drink it in the morning, and it can take upwards of six to eight hours to wear off. So, if you have trouble sleeping, cut out coffee, soda, and other forms of caffeine late in the day or the evening.
Next, cut down on alcohol. While a few drinks can relax you and help you to fall asleep, the sleep will not be as deep as it should, and you may wake up during the night.
Try relaxation methods
If unable to sleep, use some form of relaxation technique to calm your mind and body down. If you have stresses from the day’s work, work to disconnect yourself from them and calm down.
This technique may not work at first, but over time your body will be conditioned to respond to it. Also, there’s no one right way to calm down.
Then there’s exercise. Now, this can vary depending on the individual. If you’re the type of person to get pumped up or energized by exercise, then do it in the morning. If it calms you down and drains you, the late afternoon is the perfect time. Next is your bedroom and sleeping arrangements. Are you the sort of person who needs peace and quiet and total darkness to sleep? Then draw your shades and turn off the TV and radio.
On the other hand, if a bit of white noise helps you to relax, maybe turn on the radio or get yourself some soft music tapes to listen to. Also, consider the conditions of your bed. Are the sheets comfortable for you? What about the firmness of the mattress; is it too hard or too soft? Do you suffer from allergies? If so, the detergents you use can be a factor. Do you have pets? If so, you might want to keep them off of your bed; here again, they can cause you allergies.
Food and nutrition
Next is the issue of food. On the one hand, you do not want to go to bed hungry. An empty belly will lead to your stomach grumbling, and this will keep you awake. On the other hand, eating a large meal right before bed will leave you feeling very stuffed, and drinking too much may result in you having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
If you must eat, eat light. Milk has tryptophan, a natural sleep enhancing hormone – hence the old wives’ tale about drinking a glass of it before bed. Also, fruit will give you natural sugars, yet not overly stimulate you; tuna, pumpkin, almonds, eggs and walnuts (to name only a few foods) all promote sleep.
Avoid bad habits
Along with laying off of alcohol, try to avoid or at least cut down on smoking. Nicotine has the initial effect of making you feel relaxed, but over the long term it is a stimulant. So, like alcohol and caffeine, try to only smoke in the early part of the day; the late afternoon at the latest.
Take a short nap
Some people find a mid morning or afternoon nap refreshing, but too long a nap can cut into your nighttime sleep schedule. So, keep naps to a maximum of fifteen to twenty minutes, and don’t nap in the late afternoon.
Bed is for sleeping
Finally, remember what a bed is (mainly) for: sleep. So, cut out distracting non-sleep activities like eating, watching TV or getting into very serious discussions with your spouse/partner. By following these tips, you can insure yourself of a decent night’s sleep.