Many factors can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep; for instance, family responsibilities, pressures at work, relationships, illnesses, unexpected challenges like getting laid off from work or getting fired. Anyone of these circumstances can cause a diminished quality sleep.
Research shows that even minor problems with inadequate sleep can present health issues. Fifty to seventy million Americans have difficulties with sleep on a nightly basis and lack of sleep can be the primary cause for many chronic health issues.
You may not be able to control all the issues that are interfering with your sleep, however, you can become pro active and try some new things that could possibly lead to a better quality sleep.
- Go to Bed Early:
Go to bed at a set time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, seven days a week. When you are consistent with your sleep schedule your body learns to relax and promotes a more restful sleep at night.
- Allow Time for Digestion After You Eat & Drink
You should not go to bed hungry; eat early enough so your food is digested and your stomach feels comfortable. You do not want to keep getting up for toilet breaks so be careful with your fluid intake before you go to sleep. Also, avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, alcohol.
- Prepare For Bed
When you create a nightly pattern and do the same things each night your body eventually gets accustomed to your routine. Your routine could include activities like taking a warm bath or shower; listening to soft music, reading and practising deep breathing exercise.
Lying flat on your back completely stretched out do a full body scan from head to toe, checking for proper body alignment. Next, breathe in deeply through your nose, filling and expanding all pockets of your gut and lungs with air; then slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat over and over; you’ll feel your body melting into your bed. Once you’ve mastered the art of deep breathing exercise you’ll experience great relief from stress and relaxation will be enhanced, not only at bedtime; throughout your day as well.
- A Comfortable Room & Sleep Position
Your room should be cool, dark, and quiet with a comfortable mattress and pillow if required. The best position to maximize your sleep is sleeping on your back, followed by sleeping on your side, with support to maintain proper alignment. When sleeping in both positions your body and spine should be aligned properly with the right bed or pillows. When sleeping on your back your head should be resting on the same surface as the rest of your body.
- Physical Activity
Physical activity helps to promote your overall health and makes for a more restful sleep. Introduce some kind of physical activity each day. Remember, sleep and your health are directly connected. Incorporate regular exercise into your day so as to improve your overall health and get a restful sleep. Finnish researchers found that women who reported sleep problems were more likely to experience a major weight gain. So daily or regular exercise not only keeps you leaner and improves your sleep, it also may have you losing weight while you rest.
- A Short Daily Nap
- Manage Your Stress
Do not take on more tasks than you can comfortably manage. Prioritize, in order of importance and be organized. Delegate tasks; ask for help. Take breaks and do not feel guilty. Get together with friends, have fun and laugh, laugh, laugh. Exercise; take nature walks and breathe deeply the fresh air. Get out into the sunlight as exposure to sunlight improves the timing of our internal clock. Sun exposure drastically improves sleep quality, which in turn improves healing and metabolic processes.
Lack of daily sun exposure decreases the quantity of several hormones your body creates, including melatonin, which according to the British Cancer Journal in 2004 increases your risk of cancer. So your room should be as dark as possible and you should get plenty of sunlight each day.