We all strive to get more and more productivity out of our day, don’t we? When the hours in the day aren’t enough, we turn to skimping on sleep time at night, to wriggle out more hours to spend on work that we deem more important. However, trading off sleep this way can actually prove to be quite counter-productive. Sleeping well each night is vital in keeping you at the top of your game. In this article, we’ll explore the ways in which lack of sleep can be harmful for you, and what tips you can use to create a good sleep routine for yourself.
What can lack of sound sleep do to your body?
Quality sleep is right at the core of good physical and mental well-being, you can’t afford to ignore it if you want to live a truly healthy life. Unhealthy sleeping patterns or sleep deprivation can lead to a number of health issues such as:
- An increased risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart illnesses, stroke, certain cancers, high blood pressure, depression, just to name a few.
- Weakening of your immune system which means you might be falling sick more often.
- Lethargy, troubles with memory, and inability to focus resulting from improper sleep can hinder your ability to function at your best in daily activities.
- Various skin problems like dark circles, dullness, wrinkles, etc.
Tips You Should Follow to Enjoy a Sound Sleep
Fix your sleep timings and follow religiously
We’re all guilty of forgoing sleep on the weekdays and then making up for it by dozing off for extra hours over the weekend. It doesn’t matter if it’s weekday or weekend, you must reward yourself with quality rest every night. One good way to ensure this is by fixing the time you sleep at night and the time you wake up the next morning. Try to follow through with this personal schedule regardless of which day of the week it is.
Avoid doing anything stressful right before bedtime
Slipping into sleep can become a challenging task if your mind is too stressed out. As bedtime approaches, you want to avoid engaging in any activity that might trigger or increase stress for you. Whether it’s reading any negative or unpleasant news, constantly checking up on work-related stuff, or thinking excessively on a personal matter, stay away from anything that could possibly disturb the equilibrium of your mind.
Work on reducing your stress before bedtime
Had a particularly stressful day? To be able to sleep quickly and soundly, it’s vital that you don’t carry this stress with you to the bed! Engage in relaxing activities that can ease the stress that’s been building up for you through the rough day. Think about what can lighten up your mood, it could be playing with your pet, talking to your favorite person, or just treating yourself with a foot rub. Some calming breathing exercises and yoga stretches can also work wonders in minimizing the stress. Try to alleviate your stress as much as possible so that you can go to sleep with a peaceful mind.
Ensure your room and bed are cozy enough
Does your room have enough air ventilation or does it feel stuffy? Are your pillows too harsh on your neck? Does your mattress provide you with the right comfort and support? Are there any sources of exceptionally loud noise nearby making it hard for you to sleep? You should ask yourself questions like these and more when evaluating just how comfortable is the space that you’re sleeping in. If you find that there are things you can do to make your room and bed cozier, then go ahead and make those upgrades.
Avoid using electronic devices before bedtime
The production of melatonin, a hormone that helps us with sleep, is impacted because of the blue light from the electronic devices we commonly use. These include television, laptop, computer, mobile phones, etc. If you’re in the habit of using these devices right up till your bedtime, then you might find it difficult to fall asleep. Minimize your exposure to any sources of blue light before it’s time for you to hit the bed.
Do some exercise to get a sound sleep
Exercising has several benefits to offer for your body, one of which is better sleep. Incorporating some type of workout into your daily lifestyle can help you achieve quality sleep during the night. Your exercise doesn’t have to be too intense for you to get its sleep-related benefits, devoting even just a few minutes of your day to fast walking can be sufficient. Make sure that you finish your strenuous workouts at least a couple of hours before you want to sleep. Such workouts when your bedtime is near can actually have a disruptive effect on your sleep.
Plan your caffeine intake smartly
The stimulating effect of caffeine can be desirable when you’re starting with your day, but not so much when you’re getting ready to close your day. Caffeine and its effects stay with the body for a couple of hours after consuming it. So, if you decide to have a cup of coffee in the late evening, there’s a good chance that you’d find sleep far, far away when lying in bed at night. Keep a gap of minimum 6 hours between your last cup of tea or coffee and your sleep time.
Take a nap, but not too much also!
Napping can help us renew our energy levels, but be careful about when and how much you’re napping. If you’re taking naps here and there throughout the day, then your sleep at night is bound to be affected. Keep your nap time short, 20 minutes or so. Also, it’d be better for you to take your nap earlier rather than later during the day. Going for a nap when it’s almost evening is not the best idea when you want your nighttime sleep routine to be on point.