Quality sleep has a direct impact on the state of your physical and mental health. Quality sleep also influences your waking life quality. Research shows that if you lack quality sleep, then you become vulnerable to reduced productivity, lower daytime energy, poor weight management, and emotional imbalance. Such is the research published in the Pediatrics Journal which holds that lack of quality sleep as characterized by under- or oversleeping results in increased formation of fat deposits in the body, which subsequently leads to gaining weight.
Even with these alarms, most people still are not getting quality sleep. Adopting some changes in your near bedtime habits and daytime activities can improve the quality of your sleep. These changes will also make you more energetic, physically alert, and emotionally balanced during the day.
The Secret to Quality Sleep
While it might sound bizarre that, indeed, you might lack quality sleep at night especially if you have come to accept insomnia as part of your lifestyle, it is unquestionable that, to a great extent, you can control the quality of sleep that you get. How you spend your waking time has a great impact on the quality of your sleep. Therefore, the secret to getting quality sleep mainly lies with your daytime routine. Adopt the following habit changes, and you might just unlock the potential to quality night sleep.
- Design a Viable Sleeping Schedule
Is your sleeping plan consistent? If you are to get quality sleep, then you must sync your internal clock with the outer clock. This means that you have to train your natural sleep-wake cycle to adapt to the right time to get to bed. If you inculcate this habit, then your body will usually respond to sleep when the usual bedtime reaches.
Coming up with a consistent sleeping schedule will require you to sleep and wake at predefined times each day. The time you usually feel tired and ready for bed is the right bedtime, while the time to wake up should be after eight hours. Stick to this plan, and you will realize that over time, your body will internalize this schedule and that you will get sleep more easily.
When you are confident that your body responds well to this schedule, you may introduce alterations to this schedule by one or two hours and see if you still can get quality sleep.
- Avoid Naps Altogether
I cannot deny the power of the nap; it can keep you alert and energized for the next task. However, you also must note that a nap can equally eliminate your tiredness during the night, making less likely to get quality sleep.
If you must have a nap, then it must be early in the day, and be considerably short – preferably lasting from ten to fifteen minutes. However, it is recommended that you do away with naps completely to experience no struggle finding quality and undisturbed sleep at night.
- Create a Supportive Bedroom Environment
If you have been missing quality sleep, the reason could be you have been sleeping in a sleep-unconducive environment. The environment in which you sleep can evoke emotions and sleep. Therefore, it is paramount that your bedroom is free of stressful items like bright computer or cell phone screens which could encourage you to stay awake for longer. The room should also be at a cool and comfortable temperature range which supports undisturbed sleep.
The Sleep Foundations recommends a temperature of 65 degrees, although anything around 60 to 75 degrees is adequate to offer optimal comfort. Ensure that the noise outside your bedroom is low enough while there is dim lighting inside for a comfortable sleeping environment. The foundation further suggests that the bed surface can influence the quality of sleep you get. Therefore, you should ensure that the feel of your pajamas, sheets, pillows, and the mattress is supportive and comfortable enough to give you a night full of rest so that you wake up fully rejuvenated, and not achy nor stiff. The kind of environment you create in your bedroom has the potential to induce sound sleep.
- Learn to Gain Sleep after Disruption
Whether you get quality sleep or not is dependent on your ability to gain sleep the moment you stir at night. It is not unusual for you to wake briefly, but you should not face any difficulty trying to fall back asleep.
It is important that you do not focus on your inability to gain sleep again. The more you keep thinking about your lost sleep, the harder it becomes to fall back asleep. Concentrating on your feelings helps to regain lost sleep.
You may also want to pay attention to relaxation at the expense of sleep. Recommended relaxation techniques include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization. These can be completed even from the comfort of your bed. Even though relaxation might not replace sleep, it is essential for body rejuvenation.
If you realize that your lack of sleep is lasting over fifteen minutes, it is advisable that you opt for quiet and non-stimulating activities which might help trigger sleep. Do not interfere with the sleep-supportive environment. Keep the lights dim, and any form of noise considerably low as you complete this non-stimulating activity like reading a novel.
Lastly, if you wake at night and experience difficulty falling back to sleep due to anxiety over something, you need to postpone your worries by making a brief note about it. This way, you will be able to avoid brainstorming at that moment, and you will only hold your worries until the next day when you will be in a position to resolve them better. This way, you will be peaceful, and you might fall back to sleep knowing your worries await a better solution when you wake.
- Incorporate Good Workout Regimes and a Balanced Diet into your Daily Routine
Understanding that some foods and drinks have significant effects on sleep is essential in getting quality sleep.
You should not eat heavy meals before bedtime as your body will try to utilize a lot of energy to complete the digestion process. As a result, your sleep won’t be restful as you will toss and turn the night through.
However, if you feed on light meals before getting to bed, you are most likely to get quality and restful sleep. Avoid acidic and spicy food as they are thought to trigger heartburn which might disturb your otherwise restful sleep.
There are activities which should not be completed in the evening for the sake of quality nighttime sleep. Cigarettes, caffeine, and alcohol are discouraged as they are known to keep people awake at night. If you change your drinking and smoking habits, especially in the evening, then you are likely to experience quality sleep. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it will keep you awake and energized at night. This will result in inadequate sleep. Alcohol might stimulate you into sleep, but it will end in an unhealthy sleep pattern as you will stay awake the moment its stimulating properties are depleted.
Can I get Quality Sleep if I Take Raw Honey before Bedtime?
A study conducted in December 2007 shows that honey has calming properties which can treat a nocturnal cough. Further, the research shows that raw honey can significantly improve sleep quality.
Take raw honey for faster and deeper sleep. Honey is thought to be an effective remedy for low quality sleep due to its ideal fructose to glucose ratio. Raw honey ensures that your liver is full to allow for deep, undisturbed sleep.
Regular workout sessions are also vital for quality sleep.
When you exercise regularly, your body is energized for the rest of the day, thereby keeping you alert while minimizing any chances of taking naps during the day. It is recommended that any physical exercise is duly completed between three and six hours to bedtime.
Adopt these habit changes gradually, and give focus to each habit change for an opportunity to enhance your sleep quality. I recommend that if you still experience sleeping difficulties after adopting these changes to your daily routine, then it would be important to seek medical consultation. In the end, you will realize that quality sleep means quality life.