8 Simple Habits to Get Rid of the Sleeping Problems That Annoy Us
The nature of sleep is a very broad field of research, and scientists discover new and interesting facts every year. For example, a new brain-decoding technique was developed that allows scientists to predict our dreams with up to 60% accuracy. Another experiment involving 60 married couples showed that fights and intolerance toward a partner are directly connected to the quality of your sleep.
Do you wake up tired because during the night you've been thinking about everything that happened the day before? What should you do if you can't get a good night's sleep?
Bright Side wants to share with you several simple secrets for healthy sleeping and waking up.
1. Keep your feet warm and your thoughts cold.
Research has shown that keeping your limbs warm might help you fall asleep faster. You don't have to wear mittens to bed, but you can put on a pair of your favorite socks. Those who wear socks in bed don't need extra blankets because no sudden changes of body temperature means no awakenings in the middle of the night.
What about cold thoughts? A person feels very comfortable and relaxed only in a well-ventilated room. But be careful of draughts! No more still air, nightmares, and tossing and turning in your sleep. No discomfort, just healthy sleep. All you need is a temperature balance.
2. Prepare for your sleep.
Fitness coach Craig Ballantyne developed a unique system of preparing for sleep that helps restore energy during the night, leaving you feeling fresh for the new day. It's a simple "10–3–2–1–0" formula that motivates you to limit the number of things that can spoil your sleep.
- 10 hours before bed: no caffeine.
- 3 hours before bed: no alcohol or food.
- 2 hours before bed: no work or business tasks.
- 1 hour before bed: no electronics, only paper books.
- 0 "Snoozes": wake up when you hear the first alarm clock signal.
It's not that hard to turn this formula into a habit. After 21 days, it'll become a routine.
3. Find your sleep position.
Do you feel limb stiffness, back or neck pains, or have a puffy face in the morning? It's time to change your position.
Doctors consider sleeping on your left side to be the best sleep position for your body. Sleeping on your left side improves blood circulation, lymph flow, and the work of your digestive system. If you prefer this sleep position, you might avoid many problems with the immune system.
However, if you're not ready for changes, try at least to maintain the natural physiological curve of your spine. Use a pillow to ease the tension in your knees and other parts of your body. A pillow will help you feel more comfortable during the night, despite your usual sleep position.
4. Consume melatonin.
As you know, melatonin is the sleep hormone that regulates our biorhythms. A constant lack of this hormone can lead to insomnia. Our bad habits have a negative impact on the production of melatonin in our body. It also slows down the aging process.
To prevent a melatonin deficiency, add to your daily ration foods rich in tryptophan: bananas, turkey, cheese, nuts, and seeds. Lastly, as a preventive measure, you can consume melatonin in a pill form, but you should visit your doctor first.
5. Fall asleep and wake up with your partner.
Who else would encourage us better than our love partners? Why don't you encourage your partner to fall asleep and wake up together? You can even get up a bit earlier and spend a wonderful day with your family.
Hugs, kisses, good nights, and good mornings arouse only positive emotions in you, which greatly influences your sleep. Scientists say that sleeping with your love partner lowers the level of the hormone cortisol, an excess of which can have a bad influence on your body.
6. Count your light sleep stage.
An average person passes through 5 stages of sleep: the introduction to sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, slow-wave sleep, and REM sleep. The first 4 stages refer to actual sleeping, and the 5th one is close to awakening.
However, scientists found out that during the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stage, the brain processes a lot of information. An unexpected awakening during this stage can badly influence a person's mental state. That's why after the whole sleep cycle ends, a comfortable awakening will happen between the REM sleep stage and napping.
The first 4 stages last from 1 to 2 hours. The REM stage lasts from 5 to 15 minutes. It means that a comfortable awakening is possible every 2.5 hours. Count and sleep well.
Remember: the best awakening happens without an alarm clock. Your body knows when it's best to wake up. Too bad our working schedules aren't based on this information!
7. Discover the wisdom of the East.
Tibetan monks believe that your spirit can influence your whole health. Gymnastics will help you strengthen and direct the energy flow. Basic stretches in bed will boost your brain activity, wake you up, and even have a healing effect on your body.
- Carefully massage your eyeballs with your thumbs. You'll improve the work of your nervous system.
- Breathe deeply, and pull your belly in and out. Repeat this at least 20 times to prevent bile from coagulating in your body.
- Hold your knees to your chest, and stay in this position for a minute. This position will activate the work of your stomach and stretch your back muscles.
8. Create a morning ritual that will make you want to wake up early.
We know that changes can be hard, but they're totally worth it. To be happy, healthy, and cheerful, you have to put in some effort. Motivation is important too, of course.
You can prepare stickers with encouraging phrases and words, and put them in your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Only you know what you need to write on them to improve your mood. If "I'm so great!" doesn't work for you, write down your own inspirational quote.
Another good idea is to spend some time with yourself in the morning. Drink a cup of coffee, and make plans for a day while your family is still sleeping.
We hope that these 8 simple pieces of advice will help you improve the quality of your sleep and change your life for the better. What are your tricks for getting a healthy sleep and easy waking up? Share your ideas in the comments.