Secrets to a Good Night’s Rest
By TLB Contributor: Nirdesh
Getting a good night’s rest is important for both physical and mental health, and to enable you to be at your best when executing your daily tasks. Sleep deprivation, which may lead to conditions such as sleep apnea normally have serious tolls on individuals during the day, such making them lack energy, concentration, productivity and sometimes may cause an emotional imbalance in them.
If sleep deprivation is allowed to go on for a while, the consequences will always be detrimental in a number of ways, and if you find yourself struggling to fall asleep at 3 am in the morning, then you must strive to find the root cause of the problem and act on it as soon as possible.
To help you get the most out of your sleep at night, here are a few tips you can employ to improve the quality of your sleep-:
Keep in sync your circadian cycle
It is important to get in sync with your circadian cycle if you want to have restful nights every day. It one of the most important tips you can use to sleep better and wake up feeling strong and refreshed. Here are a few tips to help you keep in sync with your natural sleep-wake cycle-:
Have a regular time of going to bed and waking up every day. This will help to optimize your internal clock and help you have a better sleep at night. If you are able to establish a regular time for going to bed and waking up, with time, your body will adjust and so long as you get the number of hours you normally get, you will not need to rely on an alarm to wake up.
Don’t be fond of sleeping in – for most people, the weekend is a nice day to sleep more and catch up on the sleep they may have lost during the week. But this is not good if you want to establish the habit of getting quality sleep every night. If your sleeping pattern differs so much between the weekend and the weekdays, your circadian rhythm will be distorted, and come Monday, you will struggle waking up when you should wake up naturally.
Avoid napping if it is bringing more trouble – if you find that you have a problem falling asleep when you nap, then you should stop napping during the day. If you must, then restrict it to between 10 and 20 minutes in the early afternoon.
Don’t get drowsy after dinner – there is always the tendency of some people to get drowsy immediately after dinner but before the normal bedtime. If this happens, you must avoid the temptation to lie on the couch as you wait to go to bed. Find something to distract you mildly as you wait for your normal bedtime. If you doze off on the couch, you may wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to fall asleep again.
Be careful about your exposure to light
Melatonin is a hormone responsible for regulating the circadian cycle and its production is controlled by exposure to light. The brain releases this hormone when it is dark and this is usually a signal to the body that it is time to sleep. However, there is just a lot happening in the modern world which hinder the timely secretion of this hormone, and consequently, interferes with the natural sleep cycle. But there are a few things you can do to help salvage the situation, including-:
Getting exposed to bright sunlight when you wake up every morning
Spending more of your time outdoors during the day
Allowing as much natural light as possible into your living spaces
Avoiding blue light 1 -2 hours before going to bed
Switching off the lights when it is time to sleep
When you get up at night, keep the lights low
Regular exercise during the day
It has been found that those who work out regularly during the day are able to have good night rest and they rarely become victims of conditions such as sleep apnea. Additionally, they will also keep alert and avoid the temptation to sleep during the day. The more vigorous an exercise is, the better the sleep at night and the more powerful the benefits of that sleep.
Exercise is such a vital component of quality sleep because it helps to speed up the metabolic rate, stimulate the production of hormones such as cortisol, and to regulate the body temperature. All these are necessary conditions if you want to have a great night’s rest. Therefore, if you are struggling to fall asleep at night or remaining asleep, it may be a good thing to try and establish a regular workout regime.
Be careful with the foods you eat and the drinks you take, especially in the late afternoons
There are certain foods and drinks which when you take will have an impact on the quality of your sleep. Such foods and drinks should be avoided, especially when it is late afternoon or at night. They include the followings:
Caffeine and nicotine – you should avoid coffee and cigarettes in the late afternoon or at night if you desire to have a great night rest. These are known stimulants that will elevate your metabolism when it should be preparing to rest so that you can sleep well.
Big meals at night – heavy meals full of spices and acids a few hours before going to bed is a sure way to distort your sleep for that night. You don’t just risk having stomach upsets, but you will be compelling your body to digest a lot when you should be sleeping. With heightened metabolic activity, you can’t expect to sleep well that night.
Avoid liquids in the evening – this is because you may find yourself having to answer several calls of nature and this will without a doubt interrupt your sleep cycle.
Learn to wind down and clear your head
It is important to prepare yourself for the night by winding down and clearing your head of any weighty matters that might increase your mental activity. This is not the time to think about work-related things or try to solve complex family situations. The more you think, the more you will stimulate your brain and the more difficult it will be for you to fall asleep.
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