A good night’s sleep is vitally important to allow us to function at optimum performance and deal with our busy life schedules. A restless night’s sleep leads to us feeling tired, agitated and unable to concentrate the next day. A number of restless nights’ sleep can lead to poor eating habits, too much caffeine, irritable moods, weight gain, depression and so on. Patients with poor sleeping habits take longer to heal than those who sleep well. Here are some tips on ways to improve your sleep and rest your mind.
- Get natural light throughout the day to help encourage normal circadian rhythms (internal sleeping: wake clock)
- Eat dinner earlier and no sugar after 5pm. Later dinners depress melatonin, which is an important hormone produced by the body to regulate sleep cycles allowing you a decent night’s sleep.
- Exercise earlier in the day as it raises the heart rate, stimulates brain and muscle function and raises body temperature. If you exercise before bed it can disrupt your natural temperature pattern causing restless sleep habits.
- Go to bed earlier or at the same time each night. This allows your body to get into routine. Similarly, waking up at the same time each day allows for deeper sleep cycles.
- Avoid iPhones, ipads and computers with backlights before bed. They stimulate the brain into an alert state and the blue light can suppress melatonin production. Blue light tricks the body into thinking its day time and disrupts normal cycles.
- Use bed only for sleep; don’t spend large amounts of time there watching TV or studying.
- Get into a nightly routine; reading books, relaxation techniques, stretching etc