5 Tips to improve your sleep

5 Tips to improve your sleep

While sleep can come easily to most, some can simply find it difficult to fall asleep at night. And having poor sleep may be affecting your career more than you realise. Without proper rest, your work performance and productivity may not be at optimal levels. Practice some of these handy tips to combat the sleepless nights!

 

Eliminate the caffeine habit

Although there is no harm in having a morning coffee or two, cortisol levels can become crazy and this can confuse the body’s natural rhythms when multiple coffees and stimulants are consumed throughout the day. And this can eventually affect the quality and quantity of your sleep for the night. Attempt to limit your coffee intake to two to three glasses a day, and consume your coffee as a mid-day reward instead of as a stimulant to start the day.

 

Avoid stress inducing work in the evening

If you attempt doing stressful items in the late evenings, you could end up worried and unable to fall asleep easily; for example, your finances. This kind of work should be handled early in the day, when the body and brain is primed to work at their optimum, and you are more likely to be able to solve most of the issues. You are also more likely to be affected by stress when you are tired.

 

Reduce external stimulants

If you tend to lie in bed for hours on your computer or smartphone and are unable to fall asleep, cut back on usage and try putting the electronic devices aside an hour before you attempt to sleep. Blue light from the devices can meddle with the circadian rhythm, the sleep and wake cycle, as the light emitted can suppress the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences the circadian rhythms and confuse the brain as to whether it is day or night. Some experts have even recommended that there should not be any electronics in the bedroom.

 

Relax more

Take about five to 10 minutes to relax before going to bed. Practice meditating in a dark and quiet room, and focus only on your breathing. Being calm can help you sleep better. Also, being in a dark place signals the body and hormonal rhythms that it is the right time to sleep. To darken the place, consider getting blackout blinds or using a sleep mask to cut out the extra light. And if you are thinking of trying out yoga to help improve your sleep, yin yoga can help. Yin yoga aims to cultivate awareness of inner silence and peace.

 

Limit alcohol intake at night

While alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it can also interrupt with your natural sleeping patterns and make you wake up feeling sleepy and dehydrated. Each night, you would usually have six to seven cycles of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and this leaves you feeling refreshed. However, you will only have one or two REM sleep cycles if you have been drinking. And this means you will wake up feeling tired. A couple of glasses here and there are fine, but binge drinking would likely affect your sleep quantity and sleep quality.

 

Trying to get some good night’s rest should not be that difficult. Attempt some of these tips to help improve your sleep quantity and quality for better health.

 

Recommended articles:

Zensorium | 3 Ways More Sleep Works for Your Brain
Zensorium | Differentiating between REM and NREM sleep
Zensorium | Health Benefits of Sleep
Zensorium | Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Career, More Than You Realise

 

Resources

Stuff.co.nz | 10 tips for busy people to sleep well
Entrepreneur | 8 Ways to Improve Sleep by Enhancing Your Dreams
WebMD | What Are REM and Non-REM Sleep?
Yoga Journal | YJ Interview: Sarah Power’s Yoga Philosophy

 

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