Hip Hop NC- Raleigh North Carolina- Last week we touched on the importance of getting adequate sleep; today we’ll go over some helpful tips on getting, a better night sleep. We now know that not getting enough sleep is detrimental to our overall being and because so many of us have trouble getting a good night’s worth of restful sleep; I thought it only appropriate to provide a list of different techniques to use in order to get the sleep you need on a regular basis.
Create the perfect “sleep” environment – Experts recommend that the bedroom only be used for sleeping and sex. Ways to set the right ambience for quality sleep is to have soft lighting, turn down the temperature a few notches, or use a fan, comfortable bedding and relaxing music. Keep all distractions like computers, television and cell phones out of the bedroom if possible, but if not turn off all electronic devices at bedtime and use room darkening shades or blinds that do not allow much light in. Ensure the bedroom is a dark, cool quiet place.
Create a bedtime ritual – Stick to a nightly routine and go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning – even on the weekends all while allowing 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Consistency reinforces the body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep. Do something every night to alert the body that it is time to wind down. Relaxing activities like taking a warm bath, reading a book by soft light, or sipping on chamomile tea are all ways to send powerful signals to the brain that it is time unwind for the day.
If you take a nap, do so wisely – If you feel the need to take a quick shut eye, try not to dose off for more than 20-30 minutes. That is more than enough to give you that extra boost without leaving you groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, then eliminate napping altogether but if that is not possible take a short midafternoon nap and limit it to 30 minutes.
Regular exercise promotes better sleep – Exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day can promote better sleep by helping you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply through the night. It is best not to workout too vigorously close to bedtime as this may keep you too energized to fall asleep. However relaxing exercises like yoga and stretching may aid in falling asleep. According to the president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Mary Susan Esther, a morning or evening workout can be beneficial; she says “we know that it promotes the slowest waves of sleep.” In addition to adding physical activity to your daily routine for better sleep, also be mindful of what you eat especially prior to going to bed. Avoid heavy high-fat foods 2-3 hours before bedtime because it takes a lot of work for your stomach to digest these foods making it harder to fall asleep. If you must snack, make it something small like a low fat yogurt or granola bar or a small bowl of cereal. Another thing to avoid at bedtime is alcohol. Contrary to what many may think but alcohol actually negatively affects the quality of your sleep and may cause next day tiredness.
Too stressed out to fall asleep? – If all of life’s stressors and worries are keeping you up at night, write down those things that are worrying you and leave them behind for the time being. Or if you’re overwhelmed by tasks that need to be accomplished; make a to-do list and forget about them for now. We all become stressed out at times, but we need to learn to better handle stress and manage it in a healthy manner. Healthy ways to manage stress is to get organized, set priorities and delegate tasks. Take a break when one is needed and maintain a calm, positive outlook and you’ll be able to sleep better at night.
Know when to get professional help – If you have tried all tips and still experience trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it may be time to see a doctor. You may be suffering from sleeping disorders such as insomnia. The sooner you find out what is wrong, the sooner you can fix it because sleeping disorders are very dangerous to your health. And finding out any underlying issues ahead of time will help you get the sleep you deserve. To all a good night!
Staff Writer for