When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day? How about falling asleep in a snap, without the unnecessary worry or effort? Or have you been waking up tired and groggy, not being as focused and motivated as you would want yourself to be? These might be signs that you need better, quality sleep.
A good night’s sleep is something to celebrate. The world may be testing you right now, with all the enormous stress and anxiety that come along, your sleeping habits can inevitably take a toll. Poor sleeping patterns can affect your overall wellbeing. Always keep in mind that quality sleep is a foundation of good health and a happier mentality. Being in a better state, physically and mentally can help you function better in your day-to-day life.
So how do you sleep better? You can try starting with the right balance of quantity and quality. Eight hours of sleep isn’t necessarily "the" requirement for everyone. It all depends on your needs—some need longer hours and some short. What sufficient amount of sleep is for someone doesn’t really have to apply to you.
Here are some tips we’ve gathered to destress and have a restful sleep that won’t make you drag yourself out of bed in the morning.
Unwinding & de-stressing as the day ends
Going through the whole day busy and tired, it’s essential to have your own down time at the end of the day before you completely lie down.
Do an easy transition and calm your mind. Play soothing music rather than watching television, dim the lights, and burn your favorite scented candle to reduce the stress and create a serene environment. Try to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol at night or afternoon and just let your mind start winding down naturally. And since you are chilling out, try not to do work after dinner (and that includes checking your emails!)—this may cause anxiety and stress that can keep your mind awake longer than needed.
You can also increase your relaxation by having a warm bath before going to bed, this will calm you down physically and mentally, alleviating your tense and tired muscles while lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
Most people would say that a mind full of running thoughts and emotions is the main thing that keeps them up at night. Relieve tension by doing restorative yoga poses and meditate before you go to bed if you can, get lost and escape the world with a book (an actual book, avoid reading from a tablet or Kindle), or write and reflect on your own journal.
Photo: Courtesy of Ditch the Label
A relaxing atmosphere
Your bedroom should feel like a sanctuary, and a sanctuary means it has to be free from stress and disturbance. Sleep hygiene is a science-backed concept of setting up the right environment to sleep in. So listen to your habits and create the ideal ambience that is up to your preference.
Make it dark and peaceful.
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to some people, the darker and quieter, the better. Depriving one of your senses (in this case, sight), is one way to convince your mind to feel sleepy. For this you can try to use shades, dark curtains, or blinds to obstruct any light to seep through.
Your room doesn’t have to be completely noise-free as well, you can also try listening to “white noise”, a type of vibration that helps cover disturbing noise (especially if you live in the city) and sleepcasts (a genre of podcasts that help you sleep).
Declutter your place.
Being surrounded in clutter can make you at risk of having sleep disorders1. A messy room may influence your thinking and cause unconscious worrying that makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
Slip into something comfortable.
Pillows, mattresses, beddings, and other accessories are an important consideration in having quality sleep. Make sure you look for materials that are hypoallergenic and can support your sleeping position properly.
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1A. (2015, June 08). People at risk of hoarding disorder may have serious complaints about sleep. Retrieved from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/aaos-par060815.php
2How to sleep better. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2021, from https://www.headspace.com/sleep/how-to-sleep-better