Who doesn’t love that time of the day when the hectic hustle and bustle of everyday life can be swept aside for the evening and replaced for the calm and serenity of a decent night in bed with nothing but dreaming to the heart’s content? It can be a thing of beauty when you wake from slumber, fresh and ready to face the tribulations of whatever the day may throw at you. It can also too often be the most stressful and annoying piece of trivial mind overthinking of times. But what contributes to these potential downfalls? Of course it all depends on varying factors and more often than not is directly linked to the activities, or in some cases inactivates, of the day.
Sleep Patterns & Routine
The most potent advice anybody could be given when it comes to sleeping well during the dark hours would be to plan and strategise routines. Granted this may not sound the most fun of activities but a well-rehearsed and carried out course of action is always the route to go down for any problem in life. A regular schedule will help you sync with your sleep-wake cycle. Retiring to the bedroom and arising at the same time each morning will leave you feeling a new person, invigorated with energy and erasing those demons who exist to make you lethargic and fatigued. Not everything is as easy as it seems and unforeseen circumstances may result in a previously well drilled routine going awry. You may wake up due to noise outside, a bad dream or even the beautiful cries of an attention hungry baby. Not to worry as napping, as well as being a favourite pass time for many, is also invaluable for making up on lost sleep. Napping is always the better option between that and sleeping later. It can help get those lost minutes and hours of sleep and rest back into your system with a lower chance of short term insomnia which sleeping late has been known for. Limit naps to no longer than half an hour and try to nap only in the early afternoon to again avoid the threat of insomnia. Another battle that you should try and win is after dinner drowsiness. If you feel tired after eating, aim to do something that will keep you awake before bedtime. There are countless tasks that always need doing around the home that you could be getting on with before bedtime.
Light exposure tells the brain that it is time to be awake. During the day try and get as much light into the area or room as possible. Not wearing sunglasses, spending more time outside and ensuring curtains and blinds are open during light hours are generally good things to think about doing.
A trap that many people fall into is those factors that come in to play at night. Many electronic entertainment devices supply light and can actually end up stimulating brain cells rather than encouraging them to call it quits for the day and recuperate ready for tomorrow’s challenges. Ensuring the bedroom is as dark as possible is another sure fire way of increasing the chances of not only falling asleep, but actually staying asleep. Group this with keeping bedroom noise down to a minimum, keeping at a comfortable temperature (around 18˚c) and making sure the mattress
and bed are as comfortable as can be, firm or soft will ultimately result in a better night’s sleep.
Don’t forget that many aspects of leading a healthy life also impact the ability to have a decent snooze once the sun has gone home for the day. Eating well, exercising regularly and keeping hydrated are definite lifestyle choices that have a positive effect on the way you set up for the night. The other big thing is to keep stress and anxiety levels in order. Although sometimes easier said than done, keeping these in check will only see you reaping benefits and all in all set you off on the train to the land of nod.