Have you ever felt that your eyes have some weight pinned to them that is forcing them shut or the words on the computer screen have started to become a blur? You are not alone. Majority of people in today’s world feel the rush. Even if we get a full 8-hour sleep, we always wake up asking for 5 more minutes! To not get punked by the brain fog and get on an express train to Zzzzville, follow these super simple sleep hacks to hit the hay in peace and wake up fresh as a daisy.
11 super simple sleep hacks for a great night’s sleep
Take a hot bath
A hot bath before bedtime has shown a positive impact on sleep quality. A cozy warm bath increases your body temperature. Then, when you hop out, the body cools down quickly which mimics your brain function to drop the body temperature just before you fall asleep.
Lower the room temperature
It is better to keep our sleeping environment cool as we would sleep in nature. The temperature of the bedroom should be between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. If the temperature is above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees, it can disrupt bedtime. However, different individuals react differently to the same temperature. To regulate your body temperature, use your feet. You can put on a pair of socks that keep you warm if you feel too cold or just put your feet out of the comforter in case you feel too hot.
Darken the environment
Light is one thing to keep out of your bedroom when you would like to indulge in a restful slumber. Our circadian rhythms are so strong that any light from outside (or inside) can disturb our sleep. Invest in good blackout curtains or try using a sleeping mask to evade all lights. Blue-light emitting devices such as electronics should also be left out in the living room.
To beat insomnia and ensure a good night’s sleep, try essential oils such as Lavender, Chamomile, Lemon etc. that have noted benefits for sleep. These and other essential oils have been used for many years to cure digestive problems, bacterial infection, pain…and off course sleep!
Pen down what’s bothering you
Stress and anxiety are the biggest enemies of a peaceful sleep. If you have any problems in personal or professional life, get it out of your head and write it down on a piece of paper. This will help you drift off in dreamland pretty smoothly.
Breathe / Meditate
Follow a simple breathing technique suggested by Alina Gonzalez, the writer for Byrdie – the 4-7-8 method. Start by simply breathing through your nose for 4 seconds, holding your breath for the next 7 seconds and exhaling through your mouth for the remaining 8 seconds. Repeat as necessary to find yourself asleep in no more than a few minutes.
Eat and drink right
Dinner should ideally be no later than 2-3 hours before you go to bed. Your body is not supposed to be digesting while you are asleep. If you are up late and it has been 4-5 hours since your last big meal, eat a small snack before bedtime. Protein is not easy to digest, perhaps a small bowl of cereal or a slice of toast should be good. Carbohydrates have been proven to digest fast and can increase your chances of getting restful sleep.
Many people find a sleep killer in coffee; however, it makes no difference to others. Therefore, it’s best that you first determine if you are a friend or foe of coffee and then act accordingly!
Avoid movies and intense shows
With the availability of streaming television and on-demand movies, it is easy to get drawn towards late-night binge-watching sessions. This delays your sleep by approximately two hours and then you have to wake up for work next morning resulting in a drowsy day. Yet, if you do enjoy watching movies at night, plan it in such a way that it is not right before bedtime. Also, it is advisable to avoid intense TV shows, horror movies, action-packed sitcoms that induce stress and negative emotions. Both of these have a bad effect on your sleep.
Related: The Power of a Good Night’s Sleep
Keep your bedroom quiet
When you intend to relax on your bed, I am sure none of you would want to hear whirring electronics or ticking watches. Try to keep your bedroom as quiet as possible. You might want to consider some sort of white noise to avoid every occasional noise-making move that becomes more evident and disruptive. For snoring bed partners, keep a pair of earplugs handy.
Choose the right mattress and pillow
It is essential to sleep on an appropriate mattress to ensure complete relaxation at night. Sometimes, tossing and turning may be less about you and more about what you are lying on. Choose the right mattress for you according to the size, firmness, and material.
Further, just like the mattress, choosing the right pillow is also vital. Now, this is a personal preference but there are some universal rules to follow. (i) A soft pillow is advisable for people who sleep on their back as it will help support your spine’s natural curve. (ii) A thick pillow is recommended for people who sleep on their side as it will provide the much needed care to the head and neck (iii) A flat pillow would be great for people who sleep on their stomach as it will take away the extra stress that position puts on the neck and back.
Try to maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule even over the weekend. I know waking up early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday sounds like cruelty to most of us but it helps as far as sleep is concerned. This preserves your body’s natural clock and avoids the so-called social jet lag that makes it difficult to sleep on Sunday nights and suffer Monday morning blues.
Follow either one of these sleep hacks or feel free to combine and you will notice an improvement in your sleep. Part of these hacks is instant fixes, while the others require you to train your body and cultivate healthier habits. Maximum rest during sleep is crucial for your overall well-being. So, get in your pajamas and tuck yourself away in sweet dreams!