“Sleep is the best form of Meditation.” – Dalai Lama
We all love sleeping. It’s our best escape from the shackles of reality. It’s the most natural form of a drug that can heal both physical and emotional pain. No wonder humans spend about a third of their lives asleep. However, it’s also alarming that one in five adults fail to get enough sleep. Sleep issues can be devastating to overall health and well-being, as anyone who’s suffered a night of tossing and turning knows.
Here are 7 easy ways to get a good night’s sleep, every night.
- Turn off your digital devices one hour before bedtime.
Digital devices such as cell phone, laptop, TV, tablet, etc. radiate something known as ‘Blue Light’, which is known to immediately shut down your production of melatonin, the major sleep hormone that we produce at night. This has a direct effect on your ability to fall asleep – you take much longer to doze off even when you have your eyes shut tight.
Best way to avoid this is to keep away your digital devices one hour before you go to sleep, or alternatively, install a blue-light filter on your device.
- Stay away from caffeine after dusk.
The sweet aroma of brewing coffee and the warmth of its first sip often makes us forget the ill-effects associated with it. Caffeine has been found to impair our ability to get to sleep and remain asleep. Most of us take four to six hours, or even longer, to metabolize caffeine. Caffeine blocks the ability of a sleep-promoting chemical called ‘Adenosine’ to work. So the next time you plan that evening trip to a coffee shop or crave that piece of chocolate after dusk, think twice.
- Park your worries in another dimension.
Don’t take your work, worries or wishes into the bedroom. If you find it difficult to NOT think about your issues, make use of a technique called ‘Constructive worrying’. At least three hours before bed, write down your concerns and the solutions you think are feasible for these problems. Then put them in a desk drawer and leave them there for the night. You will be at much greater ease, having made sure that your problems are dealt with.
- Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.
Ever experienced the amazing sleep you get after an intensive workout? You wake up all nice and fresh, full of energy to take on the day. Why not get that sleep every night? Studies suggest that even those who exercised close to bedtime slept better than those who did not exercise at all. Exercise in any form: Deadlifts, Cardio or even Yoga, can lead to a peaceful sleep, every night.
- Invest in a good mattress.
How sound you sleep the previous night more or less dictates how pleasant & productive you are the next day. If a good sleep is so important, make sure you invest in a great mattress that fits your sleeping position perfectly. Mattresses should be used no more than 7 years. With the new memory foam and air number mattresses, you can customize the degree of firmness to your comfort level.
- Keep your alarm where it can be heard, not seen.
Anxious glancing followed by calculating “when will I get to sleep” or “how many hours of sleep do I have left” is a major cause of insomnia. This usually happens when your alarm is in arm’s reach. Since most people these days use the alarm on their mobile phone, it is all the more advisable to keep it away from where you sleep. If you’re having trouble getting up in the morning, putting that clock away can also prevent snoozing.
- Eat sleep promoting food.
Snacks that are high in tryptophan such as dairy products, cheese, nuts, seeds, and grains, when combined with complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat toast or crackers, can encourage the onset of sleep. The release of insulin associated with the carbohydrates promotes the movement of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is then converted to serotonin and melatonin, which are sleep-promoting neurotransmitters. Sounds a bit complex to comprehend, but that’s just how amazing our human body is!
“Your future depends on your dreams. So go to bed!”