Adequate sleep and rest can be an elixir for life; it is just as important as a balanced diet and a healthy mind, body, and soul. For centuries doctors and scientists have emphasized the importance of a healthy sleep cycle.
An adult is usually advised to sleep a minimum of 6-7 hours a day; however, this has to be peaceful and uninterrupted sleep. Unhealthy sleep would include waking up at odd hours, tossing and turning in bed, breathing uncomfortably, or even suffering from frequent nightmares. This doesn’t just ruin one’s sleep cycle but also makes waking up a rather lethargic affair!
People who don’t sleep well end up waking up tired, groggy, irritable, and even feeling physically unmotivated to take on the rest of the day. If this continues and becomes a pattern, it eventually leads to slower cognitive skills, lack of focus, and an unhealthy body and mind.
Hence, the aim is to avoid all these unpleasant outcomes and get your sleep cycle on track. Monitoring and regulating sleep aren’t too much of a task, as long as you’re familiar with the needs and requirements of your own body.
Below, we’ve listed five ways that you can ensure a sound sleep cycle, and wake up refreshed every single day!
1. Create a sleep schedule
A timetable can help you better understand when and where you’re using up the time that you would rather direct towards sleeping properly. Sometimes we tend to waste time on frivolous activities like using social media or watching movies late into the night. While these provide temporary entertainment, they do more harm than good in the long run.
While creating this schedule, you need to ensure that you’re sleeping at a reasonable hour and waking up on time to attend to your daily chores. For example, if you need to be up at 7 am each day, it makes sense to ensure that you finish all your activities before midnight. This gives you enough buffer time to get yourself ready for bed and achieve at least 6-7 hours of peaceful sleep.
2. Stay physically active
A redundant lifestyle contributes in many ways to an erratic sleeping pattern. When your body isn’t exhausted enough, you tend to feel sleepless for longer hours. Since the body hasn’t burned enough calories, you might feel compelled to stay up late into the night. And while your body is trying to get its fill of activity, your mind is overworking itself past its saturation point.
The result? An imbalance between the mind and body which leads to disturbed sleep. People with redundant lifestyles are also more susceptible to broken sleep and bad dreams, which leads to stress, anxiety, and even bad mood swings in the long run.
The solution to all these issues is to engage your body in a sufficient amount of physical activity every day. Take the stairs whenever you can, opt to walk for short distances, and also enroll yourself into an exercise program (or just workout at home) for at least 30 minutes every day. This is bound to make a huge difference to your sleep pattern!
3. Meditate and detox
When you’re constantly trying to get things done, your body runs out of fuel and motivation. Taking a breather and just a few moments to pause and relax can help boost your energy now and then. People who engage in meditation and relaxation activities usually sleep very well.
There are several breathing and meditation techniques which help soothe the senses and give you a sense of calm. Sleeping with an overworked and stressed state of mind can result in sleep that is hardly satisfying or rejuvenating. Even exercises like yoga that help with flexibility have been known to release calming hormones in the body, leading to a relaxed sleep.
4. Eat wise
A healthy diet can help you maintain a more balanced lifestyle, but timing is an essential factor too. Eating at an inappropriate time can mess the digestive system, and when your body is still in the process of breaking down complex food compounds, getting sound sleep can be that much tougher.
Eating heavy meals just before sleeping doesn’t give the body enough time to complete all its essential processes. It can also cause bloating and acidity in the stomach, which can be uncomfortable while sleeping. As a result, the discomfort continues to bother you even when you’ve woken up the next day. This becomes a cycle over time and leads to many other serious health issues.
Moral of the story? Eat right, eat wise, and always eat on time.
5. Comfort and cleanliness
The environment that you sleep in can affect the quality of your sleep in a significant way. It’s not about how large your room or bed is, but more about how comfortable your mattress is, and if the temperature in your room is optimal. Choosing the perfect bed for yourself has a lot of benefits, and can result in good quality sleep. You can check out Mattress Insider’s full size mattress chart to get a better idea of bed sizes and suitability.
Keeping your room clean is also important, and a cooler room is more suitable than a warmer one, so choose items that will help your body cool (especially during summer nights). Comfort also includes sleeping in a healthy position. Sleeping on your side is considered the best while sleeping on your stomach for prolonged hours can cause many health problems.
It’s ultimately up to you to create the best possible sleeping environment for yourself, without compromising on any factor.
Sometimes we tend to lose out on the basic comfort of life while chasing the larger picture, but the smaller details matter just as much. Sound and comfortable sleep can make so much of a difference to your life; you’ll wake up fresh, feel active and motivated for the rest of the day, and also notice that your body and mind are both healthy and happy. Overall well-being can be achieved only when you pay attention to all the details, and good sleep happens to be an important one!
Hope these tips help you correct your sleep cycle, and you truly enjoy your nights of ‘sweet dreams.’