A good night’s sleep gives more energy
A good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to have more energy during the day, to be more productive at work, have a healthy immune system, and enjoying better health in general. However, statistics show that fewer and fewer people are getting enough sleep at night, especially women. Even if a woman has no children, levels of the hormone estrogen drops during menstruation.
Estrogen helps promote sleep so when there’s fewer amounts of it, then there’s less sleep. Unfortunately, it drops even less during menopause.
In addition, don’t forget about their symptoms, which may include headaches, cramps, night sweats, and hot flashes. According to, psychologist Michael Breus who authored the book, Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, problems with quality sleep are at epidemic levels among women. He further surmises that feeling tired is not normal and should not ever be considered to be.
This means you shouldn’t give in to sleep deprivation and succumb to daily fatigue. Sleep is an essential biological need, like eating and breathing. It has a direct impact on your health and, of course, your quality of life.
There are things you could do to get you the sleep you need. These healthy sleeping habits are being referred to by researchers as ‘sleep hygiene’.
The 4 strategies of sleep hygiene to enjoy longer hours of deeper, healthier sleep.
1. 4 Strategies For Better Sleep
Set Your Internal Clock
Try to find a certain bedtime that best fits your routine. Then try sticking to it every night, even on holidays and weekends. Do the same thing for when you wake up. Soon, you’ll start seeing
your body adapt to its own sleep-wake cycle, which reinforces the whole concept of getting a better night’s sleep.
But there’s a catch: if you’re still struggling to fall asleep even after 20 minutes, then stop agonizing over it because that will only lead to frustration and an even longer, sleepless nights. If – and when – this happens, get out of bed and try to find something relaxing to do.
This is mainly up to you and your personal preference, but it could be anything from reading to listening to some light music. Your body will tell you when it’s ready to get back to bed.
One way to keep your sleep-wake cycle in check is to limit any daytime naps.
Limit naps to 10 to 30 minutes at most, and try to take them in the early to mid afternoon so that your body has ample time to recover from the nap when it’s time to go to sleep at night.
If you should feel tired later in the day and feel the urge to nap, try going for a short walk instead, or drinking a glass of ice water to overcome that sluggish feeling, or else that nap may end up interfering with your nighttime sleep.
Set Up Rituals
Another way to get your internal clock set is do the same things each night in ‘wind down’ routine.
Take a bath, read a few pages of a book, turn on your aromatherapy diffuser, or any other activity that suits you. Make this a habit that you follow every night as it will set your mind to know it’s sleep time
Dim the lights and turn down all sounds that may be coming from your TV, stereo or phone
Try to avoid physically or psychologically stressful activities, like work or dealing with problems before bedtime. These types of activities trigger the body to secrete the hormone cortisol, which is
associated with stress and anxiety, and has a negative effect on the quality of your sleep
Manage stress by organizing a set of priorities and, possibly, delegating tasks at work so you don’t have too much going on.
A great way to empty your mind from all the worry and the stress is to write down your thoughts, then leave them for the next day. You’ll feel calmer after putting down your problems on paper, and more restful
Make Sleep Time Conducive To Sleep
Make sure the environment in your bedroom is suitable for a good night’s sleep.
This applies to everything from your pillow, to the mattress, to your curtains. Choose bedding that is the most comfortable to you, even if you share your bed or have children or pets. Remember to get new pillows every 1 – 2 years and change your mattress every
Another important step to getting better sleep is to keep your room dark by using an eye mask or black out curtains.
Avoiding bright lights at night will help keep levels of melatonin elevated. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for giving you that drowsy, sleepy feeling. This naturally occurring hormone increases when it’s dark, your brain’s way of telling you that the day is done and it’s time to end it by going to bed. Melatonin also helps regulate your circadian rhythm (your sleep – wake cycle).
Also, keep the room well ventilated and cool by adjusting the temperature between 60F and 67F.
Use earplugs or “white noise” appliances to keep outside noises at a minimum.
A great tip to try is painting your room a relaxing shade in a matte finish, instead of a high-gloss one. Choose the shade that has the best calming effect on you, like Mediterranean-blue or a warm yellow.
Eating and drinking less than an hour before going to bed can wreak havoc on the quality of your sleep, especially if you’re eating a big or spicy meal; if you get hungry late at night, have a light
snack that will fill you up but won’t disrupt your sleep.
Drinking too much is also something you should avoid several hours before bedtime. It will save you the hassle of late night visits to the bathroom that could disrupt your sleep cycle.
Also, try to stay away from anything containing nicotine and caffeine for roughly 4 – 6 hours before going to bed. They’re known to have a stimulating effect on the body, which takes hours to wear off, and which, ultimately, affects your sleep. Caffeine can be found in several pain relievers, cola, chocolate, tea, and coffee.
Alcohol is also a major disruptor of sleep. Even though it might make you feel drowsy at first, it wi it will affect your sleep later on during the night.
The Right Exercise Choices
Exercising triggers the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which turns on the “alertness” mechanism in your brain. This is something you definitely don’t want before going to bed. In fact, you want the opposite effect.
This is why you should try to do your workouts at least 3 to 4 hours before bedtime, even better, work out earlier in the day before work or during the mid afternoon. It’s important to bear in mind that including regular physical activities in your daily routine can promote better sleeping patterns, as well as help you enjoy deeper sleep because it relieves both physical and mental
Even going for a walk will help improve the quality of your sleep. Just remember, timing is everything.
The key is to avoid vigorous exercise too close to sleep time
Use Calming Exercise Before Bed
If you do want to do some sort of physical activity right before going to bed.
Do gentle mind-body exercises like yoga that calm and soothe, many yoga poses are geared just for those purposes or other calming activities, like Tai Chi for a relaxing end to your day.
When To See Your Doctor
If you’ve been having trouble sleeping for more than a couple of months, then it’s time to seek
Insomnia is very common, and when severe can really interfere with your general health and
quality of life.
Your doctor can help you by recommending additional changes to your lifestyle, or certain medications that can help you get the sleep you need.
You could be suffering from something you don’t even know you have, like acid reflux or stress related insomnia. However, knowing the hidden reason behind your lack of sleep could be the end of what’s keeping you up at night, and the beginning of better sleep and a healthier lifestyle.