A good night’s sleep is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Research suggests that healthy adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of continuous sleep every night. Your sleeping patterns are directly related to your energy and performance levels the following day.
Due to our busy lifestyles and because there is constantly so much running through our minds, we find ourselves lying in bed unable to fall asleep. If we aim to sleep for 6 hours every night (which isn't enough anyways), many of us end up getting only 4-5 hours of proper sleep. That is almost half of the recommended amount.
Here are a few ideas to try to help induce sleep faster.
Stay Away From Caffeine
Caffeine has stimulant effects, which means it keeps your brain awake even if your body is tired. It keeps the brain running and thinking and with all those thoughts in our heads, there is no way we can sleep easy.
Caffeine tends to linger in the system for 4-6 hours after consumption, so if you think “I had a coffee at 5pm, and I went to bed at 10pm, so it can’t be the caffeine” you’re wrong. Try to avoid consuming caffeine in all forms: tea, coffee, carbonated drinks 4-6 hours before you plan to sleep. If you must have your caffeine, only do so in the morning or very early in the afternoon. Caffeine can also be quite addicting so keep yourself in check and track how much you consume.
A Full Stomach Is Just As Bad As An Empty Stomach
In order to sleep comfortably, you need to make sure your stomach is happy. Like the saying goes- ‘Eat breakfast like king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid’. You want to keep dinners healthy not too oily and not too filling. Just eat enough to know you are not hungry: boiled vegetables, fruits, grilled chicken are all good examples.
If you’re too full you’ll be uncomfortable all night, and if you’re hungry you’ll keep thinking about food all night. Either way, you don’t get enough sleep.
Take a Warm Shower Before Bed
So far, we’ve seen how we can control our brain, but our body needs to be moulded to want to fall asleep too. A warm shower just before bed relaxes all the muscles in your body and induces sound sleep. You can pair this with drinking some warm milk, which also helps to relax your body and get you sleepy and dazed, perfect for bedtime.
Find the Right Bedding
Finally, find the right kind of bedding that suits your body type best. You might do everything right, but if your bed is not comfortable enough, your sleep will be uncomfortable.
- The Mattress: Some prefer a softer mattress while others something a bit more firm, while others like springs or foam. Pick the right mattress for you.
- Pillows: Just like the mattress, everyone has their preferences with pillows, don’t just take someone’s word for what is comfortable. Test it for yourself.
- Quilts: Quilts add the top layer of comfort as opposed to the mattress that goes under. Make sure you get the right size of quilt, for example a king single wool quilt as opposed to a king size, which are two different sizes. Just because they both have the word “king” in them doesn’t mean they are the same size. A quilt smaller than your bed will result in you trying to find the quilt all night and a bigger quilt will result in you fighting with it all night. Either way, lack of sleep will be the final outcome.
- The Sheet Set: Again, some prefer cotton materials, or otherwise satin or silk. The colour and pattern matters, but not as much as the material. Comfort should be your goal above all while ensuring the sizing is right to avoid wrinkles.
These are just a few tips and tricks on inducing better sleep at night. Everyone has their own hacks, but we’ve found these quite useful. A good night’s sleep is vital for good mental and physical health, so let’s not deprive ourselves of that. Get yourself some milk, a super king wool quilt and a light dinner to begin with then see how you go.