Hardly anyone questions the importance of sleep. After a good night’s rest, we are ready to face the world again. But, this is not the case for everyone. The lack of sleep is a problem for a lot of people. There could be many reasons why someone has difficulty sleeping. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, the body does not perform at its best and this includes the ability to handle stress.
On the other hand, the proper amount of sleep can help minimize the effects of stress. If we allow our body to get the rest it needs every day, normal stress can actually go away. So how much sleep is required? This varies as most people need 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night; some need to sleep more and some need less. The rule is that if you wake up feeling refreshed and well rested you know you’ve had the sleep you need.
But it’s not just getting enough hours of sleep that is important, you should also have quality sleep. It does not necessarily matter if you get the hours you need, if you’re continuously waking up throughout the night then you’re not going to feel well rested in the morning.
How can we improve our sleep?
Here are six suggestions that could make it easier:
- Eating and drinking. Avoid eating a lot just before bedtime. Make sure you don’t consume anything with caffeine and/or eat anything with suger close to bedtime. Sugar and Caffeine are stimulants that will make it harder to fall asleep. On the other hand, chamomile and green tea are decaffeinated teas which have been used for centuries to enhance the quality sleep.
- The bedroom. Let the bedroom be a peaceful and relaxing place. Make the bed everyday. If you make your bed and straighten up the room, you will feel calmer when you enter it at night. Avoid having TV, computers and phones in the bedroom. Having these accessories in the room will keep your concentration on everyday life and tasks, instead of focusing more on relaxing enough to fall asleep.
- The temperature. This is important. Make sure the temperature is regulated at a comfortable level where it is not too hot or cold. When temperature is not regulated, it’s harder to fall asleep and you may wake up during the night. Have an extra blanket if needed. Your bedroom temperature should be slightly colder than the other rooms. Studies have shown it’s easier to sleep if it’s a little bit cooler. Open the window if possible before going to bed so that the air is cool and fresh.
- Find your bedtime routine: If you have certain routine before going to bed, this helps you relax and fall asleep easier. Think of what routines you would want to create. A part of the routine should be relaxing, so it’s easier to fall asleep when it’s time. Routines could be taking a bath, reading a book, meditate or to do some tapping.
- The light. It’s easier to sleep if it’s dark in the room. Try to make sure there isn’t a light which may distract you. Use blackout curtains to keep out the light. If you have a hard time falling asleep in the dark, make sure the light that is on is very dim, nonintrusive and not to close to the bed.
- The sounds. Most people fall asleep the easiest if it is quiet. Others think it’s easier to sleep if there are sounds around them. If sound is needed, you can turn on some quiet, soft music or find sounds of nature like raindrops or the wind. There are also some great relaxing tapes where they guide you to relax your body part by part. Some people prefer listening to affirmations, hypnosis music with brainwave technology into them.
Good luck to having a great night’s sleep!