Growing up has a lot of good and bad things. With more responsibilities as an adult, it has been observed that most people clocking 30 years complain about lack of sleep or inability to sleep. When you try to sleep after a long day, it is then your brain starts to overwork, make expenses on your minimal salary or create future problems. Most psychologists concluded that problems keep 70-80% of adults up at night because they think it is the perfect and calmer time to think and put your life together.
A new study advises that having a good night’s sleep could add years to your life expectancy and improve your overall quality of life. It is advisable as an adult to have 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. A good night’s sleep will keep you active during the day and improve productivity.
Some years back, I suffered from insomnia. No matter how tired I was, I struggled to sleep at night or even take naps during the day. This made me have severe headaches during the day and made me super slow. I decided to see a psychologist and that was when I heard about “sleep hygiene”.
Wikipedia defines sleep hygiene as a behavioral and environmental practice developed in the late 1970s as a method to help people with mild to moderate insomnia. Getting a healthy sleep is good for both physical and mental health.
If you are having difficulty falling asleep 3 times or more in a week, interrupted sleep more than twice a week, and are dependent on sleep medication, then this article will show you ways to enjoy a peaceful and long night of uninterrupted sleep.
5 things to help get an uninterrupted sleep
Prepping before bedtime
Preparing to sleep should be the most important thing to make you fall asleep faster. Washing down 1 or 2 hours before sleep with hot or lukewarm water helps improves the quality of sleep. Research shows that hot water relieves muscle tension and gives a bedtime signal to the body as there is a drop in temperature. When you have a bad cold that disturbs sleep, bathing with hot water relieves nasal congestion for a good night’s sleep.
Applying a nice scented powder after bathing will also help you get better sleep. There are some sleep powders formulated with natural ingredients like magnesium, melatonin, lavender, etc. that help you enjoy the full benefits of calm sleep. Sleeping in comfortable clothes also helps with a good night’s sleep. Avoid tight and dirty clothes.
Better sleep environment
A sleep environment is basically an atmosphere that may help you fall asleep easily with no interruptions. Most people prefer quiet and dark settings to fall asleep. Approximately 18-19 degree Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the best bedroom temperature for a comfortable sleep. Make sure there is proper ventilation in your room with mild nice smelling bedsheets and pillowcases.
Also, mattresses, pillows, blankets and duvets must be comfortable to help you fall and stay asleep. A study shows that most adults fall asleep faster when lights in the bedroom are dim or there is a partial blackout. Curtains in the bedroom should have mild colours. Use an eye mask if you’re having problems with lights when sleeping outside your comfortable space, ie. at a hotel, sleepover at a friend’s place, etc.
It is also advisable to lower the volume of electronic devices like mobile phones, televisions, laptops, sound systems, etc. before bed. Notifications from your phone during the night can disrupt your sleep. Put your phone on sleep mode or silent mode to prevent the buzzing and pop-up light in the middle of the night from interrupting your sleep.
For a calm sleep environment to make you sleep easily and better, put some soothing music or relaxing sounds. This improves sleep by slowing heart rate, reducing anxiety and lowering blood pressure.
Passive exercise is any exercise that does not exert any or less effort in movement. 10 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, jogging, yoga or cycling can relieve insomnia.
Passive exercises will not be helpful if done while distracted or disengaged in the activity. Consistent repetition of these movements is therapeutic and gives endorphin levels to wash out and the brain time to wind down. Studies suggest moderate but intense cardio is better than more intense exercise for better sleep. Make sure exercises are done 1 or 2 hours before bedtime so your energy levels and body temperature are normal for you to fall asleep quicker.
Manage stress and limit naps
Most adults overthink at night because the brain processes the activities of the day. Research by Forbes Health suggests 73% of most 25–35-year-old adults chronically overthink, along with 52% of people ages 45 to 65 years (https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/what-causes-overthinking-and-6-ways-to-stop/). When you deprive your body of sleep, it activates the body’s stress response, releasing stress hormones. To prevent stress from keeping you awake, meditate before sleeping to help calm your brain.
Taking naps can restore and reduce fatigue during the day. A nap can ease stress and turn your dull mood around but naps can cause nighttime sleep problems. But taking naps during the day makes it harder to fall asleep later at night. When fatigued during the day, try and take a short nap (15-20 minutes) to restore your physical and mental health.
Consistent sleep schedule
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule helps in falling asleep faster. Most smartphones let you customize your devices and silence calls and notifications. It turns on and off automatically when you set a schedule for it. These customizations help you to have a regular sleep timetable every day and psych your brain on a sleep cycle making it easier to fall asleep and wake up. Set the schedule so you get to sleep 7-8 hours each night.
In order to help the sleep better, here are some don’ts that will help:
- Avoid drinking caffeine.
- Do not eat heavy foods a few minutes before your bedtime
- Avoid beverages before bed
- Avoid surfing through social media platforms
A good night’s sleep helps your body and brain to function properly thus the need the get a good uninterrupted night’s sleep as an adult.
In conclusion, a healthy lifestyle plays an important role in your ability to sleep well.