How to sleep or 5 meaningful habits to improve your sleeping routine

Health,
November, 2020

There are many studies and books proving that sleeping is really meaningful for our physical and mental health. However, not everyone is able to go to bed and fall asleep within a few minutes. Or sometimes people fall asleep immediately but wake up in the morning still tired. What about you? Do you know how to sleep better? And why do people need to sleep? Let’s find out!

Why we sleep?

As it’s written in an amazing book Why we sleep by Matthew Walker, ‘routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.’ According to this book, two-thirds of adults from developed countries are not sleeping for eight hours a night as it’s recommended. But short sleeping doesn’t only have a bad influence on our physical health, it also makes our mental condition worse. If you’re not sleeping long enough, you will more likely experience anxiety, bad moods or develop depression.

If you would like to learn more interesting facts about sleeping and why is it important I really recommend you to read the previously mentioned book Why we sleep by Matthew Walker. And you can also watch a funny Netflix TV show Awake, where it’s shown what it looks like when people are 24 hours awake.

As we’ve learned in the previous paragraph, sleeping has an important meaning for us so improving our sleeping habits can be really life-changing. Let’s get some tips on how to sleep better.

1. Arrange the ideal bedroom

As it’s written in Rudy Mawer’s article, your bedroom could be a key to better sleep. It is important to have a comfortable bed and pillow. Also, make sure your bedroom is completely dark at night because the light coming from outside has a negative influence on producing a sleeping hormone called melatonin. What is the temperature in your bedroom? Don’t you feel warm or cold at night? The ideal bedroom temperature is 20⁰C (70⁰F) Is your room ready? Let’s move on!

2. What should you do during the day

Your activities and habits during the day are having a huge influence on your sleep. Eric Suni’s article confirms this statement and shows some examples of what to do during the day to have better sleep at night. If you want to sleep better do the following:

  1. Don’t be a vampire. Daylight will help stabilize your biorhythm. Just go out for a walk and draw the curtains. This way you will help your organism set day and night time.
  2. Drink coffee only till 4 pm. Caffeine can stay in our body for 4-6 hours.
  3. Avoid naps during the day. Studies show it’s bad for your night sleeping if you have naps that are longer than 30 minutes.
  4. Move! If you want to sleep better try to do some physical activities, you can run, work out, dance, or just go for a nice walk.
  5. Get out of bed. Of course, spending a day in bed could be very romantic and relaxing. However, from a long-term perspective, it makes your sleep at night worse. If it’s possible don’t spend additional time in your bed. Don’t work from bed etc. This way, your bed will become a special place for sleeping.

3. Before you go to bed- evening routine

As it’s written in the articles mentioned above, it could be really helpful for you to have an evening routine. There are few tips which can lead you towards a perfect night's rest.

  1. Have a shower or a bath. If you take a shower or have a bath before you go to bed, you will relax and get ready for sleeping.
  2. Don’t eat too late. If you need an evening snack, choose something healthy, light, not fatty and spicy.
  3. Be offline. Phones, computers, and other digital devices could make falling asleep much harder if you use them at night. It’s recommended to download apps for eliminating blue light which is produced by digital technologies. This type of light blocks melatonin and keeps you awake. Try to put away your phone before you go to bed and exchange scrolling on Facebook for reading books.

It is important to really create a routine- sequence of activities that will connect your brain with the evening, with time to go to bed. It could look like this:

  1. Shower, brushing teeth…
  2. Self-reflection routine (feel free to use the VOS Journal: Daily Diary App).
  3. Reading your favorite book for 15 minutes
  4. Sleeping

However, it’s really up to you. Create your own customized evening routine which you will be able to do every evening and which will make you satisfied.

4. What to eat for better sleep

There are some foodstuffs that are having a positive effect on sleep. Nutrition specialist Brianna Elliott talked about it in her article.

Among the miraculous foodstuffs, you can find for example almonds. Almonds are well known for its health benefits such as preventing diabetes and heart disease. But did you know that almonds can also help you sleep better? These nuts are a source of the sleeping hormone melatonin! This hormone signals to your body that it’s time to sleep and prepares your organism for it.

Another sleep-promoting foodstuff is kiwi. Except for the fact that this exotic fruit contains a lot of vitamin C, it’s also a perfect food to eat before bed. Kiwi increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical messenger in the brain which helps regulate the sleep cycle.

What to drink before bed? Go with a cup of Chamomile tea! This tea contains antioxidant apigenin which may help fight insomnia.

Another good tip for a light sleep-promoting dinner is Turkey meat with white rice. Turkey meat increases the level of melatonin and studies have shown that eating white rice one hour before bed could also help you sleep better.

5. Rule out the sleeping disorders

Sleep problems don't always have to be caused by bad sleeping habits. You can also have them when you’re going through a difficult situation in your life and you’re stressed. When your lack of sleep has a negative effect on your life, in the long run, you should see a professional. Please don’t hesitate to contact your GP, psychologist, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist and talk to them about your sleep problem.

If you would like to learn more interesting facts about sleeping and why is it important I really recommend you to read the book Why we sleep by Matthew Walker which is mentioned above. And you can also watch a funny Netflix TV show Awake, where it’s shown what it looks like when people are 24 hours awake.

I wish you all to find a way to your perfect sleep. Whether you had a good and chilled day or a hard and difficult one, let a good night's sleep bring you bright tomorrow. As it’s written in the book Why we sleep, ‘The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.’

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