Quick sleep is enhanced by ensuring the sleeping room is dark, lowering the room temperature, practicing breathing patterns, mindfulness, meditation, cool music, and exercise.
A good night’s sleep feels incredible and refreshing when you wake up. It makes your body and brain function at optimum. The body is like a machine, and it resets during sleep allowing your system to reboot for better operation when you wake up. Some people falling asleep is easy; however, some may find it problematic to fall asleep and sometimes stay asleep throughout the night. An irregular sleeping pattern and poor sleep could negatively affect several functions of the body and brain, including moods, emotions, learning, memory, and other biological functions. Below are some ways you can use to fall asleep faster and maintain sleeping.
During sleep, the body cools down, and during the day, it warms up. You can help your body cool down by reducing the temperature in your sleeping room between 15.6-19.4 degrees Celsius. A warm bath or shower could also facilitate the process of cooling your body to improve quality sleep. Sleep efficiency, which is when one stays asleep, is also improved by a warm shower before bed.
Use the 4-7-8 breathing method.
This breathing method developed by Dr. Andrew Weil is an effective breathing method that engenders faster relaxation and could also help one unwind right before bed. It follows the yoga breath control patterns aimed at relaxing your nervous system anytime you feel anxious. Here are the steps for this breathing.
- Ensure the tip of your tongue on your upper teeth.
- By making a “whoosh” sound, exhale completely through the mouth.
- Close your mouth and breath in by your nose as you mentally count to four
- Hold your breath as you count to seven
- Now exhale with your mouth open, making a “whoosh” sound as you mentally count to eight.
- Repeat this process three or more times
The above technique will relax your body, helping you to sleep faster.
Have a sleeping schedule
Several individuals have found that having a sleep schedule helps them fall asleep quickly. A schedule will align your body’s internal clock to keep a regular schedule. The body often has a sleep regulatory system, often called circadian rhythm, which keeps you awake during the day and sleepy at night. The body will adjust to the schedule, making it easier to fall asleep at the same time daily. You should wind yourself down for 30-45 minutes before heading to bed to relax your body and mind as you prepare to sleep.
Experience darkness during the night
Research shows that exposure to bright light could interfere with the body’s internal clock at night. Circadian rhythm is disrupted, making it difficult to fall asleep. According to some studies, darkness enhances the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleep. During the day, this hormone is rarely secreted; therefore, during the night, use blackout curtains, if possible, to make your room darker for sleep.
Incorporate the practice of yoga, mindfulness, and meditation
A stressed individual often has difficulty sleeping, and yoga and mindfulness are effective tools to help calm the mind and body. In addition, these tools have been recommended for improving sleep. The body movement and breathing pattern during yoga help the body release tension and stress, thus improving sleeping parameters such as sleep efficiency, quality, and duration. Meditation could help enhance melatonin levels and calm the mind for sleep. Mindfulness will help maintain your mind and focus on the present, leading to less worry and improved sleep.
Avoid the tendency of looking at your clock in the middle of the night.
Sometimes, people lose sleep in the middle of the night and want to sleep again. There is a habit of looking at your watch whenever you wake up to check what time it is and get obsessed with why you cannot fall back asleep. The behavior of clock watching can result in anxiety resulting in sleeplessness. Additionally, regularly losing sleep in the middle of the night can make your body develop a routine every night. Remove the clock from your bedroom if possible, to not watch it every time you wake up.
Avoid siestas during the day
A daytime nap, common with individuals having insomnia, helps compensate for sleep lost at night. Some studies have associated regular long daytime naps with impaired sleep at night, including sleep deprivation and low sleep quality. Napping late in the day and for longer hours, like two hours or more, will result in poor nighttime sleep quality. A study conducted in 1996 on adult children found that those who had frequent naps experienced low-quality night sleep, limited physical activity, and exhibited depressive symptoms. In addition, some of them were overweight than those who did not nap during the day. Therefore, eliminate daytime naps or limit the duration to a short nap of 30 or fewer minutes early in the day.
Control when and what you eat
Eating high-carb food could be detrimental to a good sleep at night. A high-carb diet leads to restless sleep, while a high-fat diet results in restful and deeper sleep. Some studies show that a high-carb/low-fat diet negatively affects sleep quality than a low-carb/ high-fat diet. If your family wants to eat a high-carb diet at dinner, consider having this meal at least four hours before bedtime so that it can digest.
Incorporate relaxing music
Cool music has been used in the past to promote sleep in people with chronic sleep disorders like insomnia. One study showed that using sedative music could promote deeper sleep. Hindi or Buddhist music is one such music that can reduce the amount of time one takes to fall asleep, normally called sleep onset. This music is used during meditation to relax the mind for sleep. one study showed that individuals exposed to soothing music before bed for 45 minutes registered deeper and restful sleep than those who did not listen to music.
Exercise during the day
Exercise boosts the production of serotonin hormone in the brain and reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol, thus improving the quality and duration of sleep. You want to keep your exercise routine moderate since excessive training could contribute to poor sleep. Additionally, the time for the workout is also important. Training in the morning improves sleep better than training later in the day. Therefore, you can incorporate activities like running, cycling, hiking, and tennis into your routine.
The bottom line
Sleep quality and efficiency are vital for your general well-being. Some find it easy to sleep while others struggle to fall asleep and to maintain sleeping. There are several tips you can employ to improve your sleeping parameters, such as lowering bedroom temperature, taking a warm bath, practicing breathing method, meditation, ensuring the room is dark, choosing what and when to eat, moderate exercise early in the day, and listening to soothing exercise among other things that could promote relation and sleep.