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How to Sleep Better

Relaxation techniques for better sleep

  • Deep breathing. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up to the top of your head.
  • Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place that’s calming and peaceful. Concentrate on how relaxed this place makes you feel.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Sleep Better

How to Sleep Better

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/getting-better-sleep.htm/#

helpguide.org

9

Key Ideas

Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle

  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
  • Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating.

Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

Effects of exercising on sleep

  • People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. 
  • The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. But even light exercise improves sleep quality.
  • It can take several months of regular activity before you experience the full sleep-promoting effects. 
  • Try to finish moderate to vigorous workouts at least three hours before bedtime.

Be smart about what you eat and drink

  • Limit caffeine and nicotine.
  • Avoid big meals at night (within 2 hours of bed).
  • Avoid alcohol before bed.
  • Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening.
  • Cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs.

Nighttime snacks help you sleep

If you need a bedtime snack, try:

  • Half of a turkey sandwich
  • A small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal
  • Milk or yogurt
  • A banana

Relaxation techniques for better sleep

  • Deep breathing. Close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths, making each breath even deeper than the last.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with your toes, tense all the muscles as tightly as you can, then completely relax. Work your way up to the top of your head.
  • Visualizing a peaceful, restful place. Close your eyes and imagine a place that’s calming and peaceful. Concentrate on how relaxed this place makes you feel.

Improve your sleep environment

  • Keep noise down. Earplugs may help.
  • Keep your room cool (around 65° F /18° C).
  • Make sure your bed is comfortable
  • Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex. No TV or working in bed - it will be easier to wind down when the brain associates the bedrom with just that. 

Ways to get back to sleep

  • Try not to stress over your inability to fall asleep again.
  • Make relaxation your goal, not sleep.
  • If you’ve been awake for more than 15 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet, non-stimulating activity.
  • Postpone worrying and brainstorming.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Science of Sleep

The average adult spends 36 % (or about one-third) of his or her life asleep.

Purpose of Sleep:

  • Restoration
  • Memory Consolidation
  • Metabolic Health
Restoration

The first purpose of sleep is restoration.

Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. Sleeping restores the brains healthy condition by removing these waste products. Accumulation of these waste products has been linked to many brain-related disorders.

Memory Consolidation

The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation.

Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is responsible for your long term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to remember facts and feelings/emotions.

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Sleep stability

It's the key to a good night’s sleep. It means pinning your bedtime to the same time every night, even on weekends, and waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. ...

The "8-hour sleep" myth

8 hours of sleep/night is a useful goal, but it’s not true that everyone needs that. 

A lot of people get obsessed with this goal of getting 8 hours of sleep every single night, and because they’re someone who just doesn’t need that much sleep, or they can’t reliably sleep that long, they get anxious about it and that actually creates issues with insomnia.

Basic sleep hygiene
  • not drinking caffeine after midday;
  • not exercising too late;
  • not drinking alcohol before bed;
  • eating sensibly;
  • leaving mobile devices outside the bedroom (artificial light disrupts the brain).

If doing natural things like this doesn’t work, then it might be wise to consult with a specialist or a doctor.

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Make "power down" time a priority

Shut down those activities that stimulate your mind, such as work, emails, internet browsing and even watching TV. 

Try reading a book,

Try a brain dump

Dump it all out. Write some lists, or simply use the "worry diary" technique and jot down all of the things you’re stressing about. 

Do this before your "power down" time. This helps your mind let these things go. Once they're written down, you can relax; there's no chance you'll forget them.

Eat, drink and move mindfully

If you’re experiencing sleeping problems: 

  • Cut back on caffeine (particularly after midday). 
  • Avoid eating a particularly heavy meal late in the evening.
  • Meditation and supplements can also affect sleep so it’s best to get educated about what you’re taking.
  • Intense exercise late at night isn't recommended.

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5 hours of sleep is enough

Habitual sleep deprivation is associated with diverse and far-reaching health effects and none of them is good.

Between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night are recommended. You can get used to l...

Watching Television before bed

Cellphones, tablets, and all kinds of personal electronics are not a good idea when you’re getting ready for bed.

Researchers have increasingly focused on “blue light” emitted by screens and its effect on sleep and negative sleep-related health outcomes.

It doesn’t matter when you sleep

Our bodies tend to follow a natural rhythm of wakefulness and sleep that is attuned to sunrise and sunset for a reason.

While some missed sleep here and there isn’t necessarily a big deal, shifting your sleep schedule long term isn’t healthy.

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Creating a sleep-inducing environment
  • Turn the temperature between 60 and 72 degrees.
  • Turn off the lights. Artificial light suppresses your body’s production of the sleep hormone melat...
Snoring isn’t harmful

Although snoring may be harmless for most people, it can be a symptom of a life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea, especially if it is accompanied by severe daytime sleepiness. 

You can "cheat" on sleep

Sleep experts say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health, and safety. 

The resulting sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the job, and on the road.

Turning up the radio

... opening the window, or turning on the air conditioner are effective ways to stay awake when driving.

These "aids" are ineffective and can be dangerous to the person who is driving while feeling drowsy or sleepy. 

It's best to pull off the road in a safe rest area and take a nap for 15-45 minutes. Caffeinated beverages can help overcome drowsiness for a short period of time. 

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Avoiding caffeine

Don't drink caffeine after dark. If you have your last coffee in the early afternoon, most of the caffeine will have been flushed out of your body by 11pm.

Although avoiding coffe...

Sleeping diary

Keeping a sleep diary of your activity before bed, which helps to ensure you avoid the worst triggers. 

You should avoid doing anything strenuous or stressful within a few hours of sleep time

Reading devices

Many e-readers are backlit with blue frequencies of light, which can fool the brain into thinking that it’s still daytime.

Reading on these devices for a few hours before bed seems to suppress melatonin (the sleep hormone) and therefore makes it harder to doze off, compared to a traditional paperback. The same goes for tablets, MP3 players and smartphones.

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Stressing about sleep

Before a stressful work event, we tend to worry about what will happen if we don’t sleep well:

  • We worry that we’ll be physically tired.
  • We worry that ...
Sleep mistakes

... we make when it comes to sleeping well before a big day:

  • We try too hard to sleep and we end up making it harder to fall asleep.
  • We overestimate the negative consequences of poor sleep.
Sleep restriction

It's a technique for improving the quality of your sleep by using the power of Sleep Drive (the body’s natural need for sleep). Sleep Drive is built during the day: the longer you’re awake the stronger your need for sleep. 

Sleep Restriction temporarily restricts the quantity of your sleep so that you’re awake longer and therefore build up more Sleep Drive.

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Decompress from your day

The brain is preparing for sleep about two hours before our actual bedtime. That waking system has to slowly come down to allow the sleep system to take over.

S...

Don’t wind down with your gadgets
If you do decide to catch up on your favorite show, don’t do it on your computer or tablet. 

Even just a few seconds of exposure from a blue light-emitting device an hour before bed can disrupt the melatonin rhythm, a rhythm that is so critical to helping us fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Eat a light, pre-bedtime snack

In our perpetually dieting world, it’s not uncommon to lie in bed hungry, but not wanting to eat in an effort to save calories. However, hunger is stimulating and fragments sleep.

Eating a light carbohydrate or protein snack prior to bedtime will stave off hunger without causing you to crash and awaken later in the night. 

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The internal clock
The internal clock

All individuals possess what is called 'an internal clock', which has as main purpose to schedule sleep and wakefulness within one entire day of 24 hours.

Now comes the difference in re...

Get enough sleep in unusual times

Whenever we undergo a change in our daily schedule, our sleep tends to suffer a bit.

Simple facts such as not waking up and going to bed at the usual hour, not getting enough natural light or making less to no exercise can lead to sleep disorders.

Save your sleep

Especially during times of staying only in the house, one needs to make sure that the regular schedule is not too much disturbed, as this can lead, among other issues, to sleep disorders.

A good way to get your normal sleep is by maintaining a regular wake-up and bedtime, even through unusual periods of time. Furthermore, ensuring that your room gets enough natural light, or even better, that you get it, will definitely help. Among other helpful tips there are the fact of giving up on coffee or making as many indoor physical exercises as possible.

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