Modern lifestyles have put sleep on the back burner, not giving it the importance it deserves and considering it something that takes away from productive hours. According to experts in sleep medicine, the first 3 to 4 hours of sleep are the most important because that is when the growth hormone responsible for cellular regeneration is produced.
As Matthew Edlund, the author of the book The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Is Not Enough explained to Vogue that resting isn’t just about survival, but “deep, healthy sleep also helps us feel better, look better, and have a much better shot at living long and well.”
To get good sleep, it’s best to establish a few habits that will help you to get enough deep, healthy sleep.
Prepare your environment
The room should be intended for sleeping. It should be well-ventilated and the mattress should be changed at a regular frequency.
To sleep, you should turn off all bright lights. This includes computers, tablets and smartphones as their lights keep our brains alert, steal sleep and prevent melatonin from being produced.
Keep a sleep routine
You’ll sleep best by synchronizing your biological clock with your natural sleep patterns. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day for seven or eight hours per night.
Follow a pre-sleep routine so your mind and body are ready to rest. They should be relaxing activities like reading a book, drinking herbal tea or stretching.
A cup of herbal tea before bed
Herbal tea will help you to relax. Chamomile, Valerian root extract with relaxing properties, linden, and mint are excellent options.
Take a bath
Let the water carry away the day’s stresses at night right before you go to sleep. You can take a shower or take it even further if you draw a bath with essential oils. Taking time for yourself during the day is extremely important in order to relax and let go of anxiety.
A good book
Reading is both a relaxing and stimulating activity. In fact, reading can create alpha waves in the brain, which have frequencies that can lead to feelings of relaxation.
Throughout the day, use positive affirmations about sleep and rest. Techniques like neurolinguistic programming, the Silva method and the INTEGRA method can help to modify your beliefs and change negative sleep patterns.
Take a nap after lunch
According to David Edwards, director of the reflexology center YeloSpa in New York, “sleeping for 20 minutes after eating helps us sleep much better at night (…) It helps us to relax and be more alert during the day and, as a result, feel less anxious at night.”
Avoid caffeine in the afternoon
Although you might not believe it, having a coffee in the afternoon or evening might be the reason you wake up while resting or why you cannot relax at night. It’s best to avoid it or only drink it early in the day.
Exercise in the morning
The best time to exercise is in the morning since your mood will noticeably improve and it will relieve stress, while exercising at night will make it more difficult to sleep.
Eat melatonin-rich foods
Melatonin is the hormone produced by the brain that controls the sleep-wake cycles. Include foods in your diet that contain it. It can be found in fruits, grains, fish, meat and vegetables.
Bring yoga into your life
Yoga is a way of life that comes from Vedic culture. It consists of looking “inwards” with poses (asanas) and into our consciousness by breathing. Some exercises may be simple, but they will create deep states of relaxation, calm your nervous system, and relieve stress.
Sleeping isn’t just about pleasure or survival; it is a critical function. So,if you have problems sleeping, experience insomnia or feel that you don’t rest at night, you should address the issue immediately because sleeping poorly will affect your physical state and your emotional and mental health. Ready to start sleeping better—and have a happier life?