Whether you call it getting some Z’s or a little shut-eye, sleeping is an integral part of a healthy person.
Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep for optimal health.
There are many factors that make a lot of people sleep-deprived. This source states that at least 37% of Americans say that do not get enough sleep.
Of that number, nearly half say it is because they lie down with worry and stress.
You know that awful feeling when you go to work without a proper night’s sleep. Your brain is all foggy and making decisions is difficult.
You might find yourself being short with your coworkers and looking for any opportunity to close your eyes for a couple of minutes.
Such sleep deprivation affects your job performance and your relationship with your family and others. If this lack of sleep pattern continues, you can be at risk for certain physical and mental illnesses.
One effect might even be weight gain. Here are 3 great bedtime ideas that can get you the nightly sleep you need:
In a medical study, the control group that exercised 20 minutes a day reported that they slept better and had less depression.
When you give your body a good workout during the day, it makes you pleasantly tired and sleep will come easier.
The type of exercise it is up to you. Just do not exercise too close to bedtime, because you will be revved up with adrenaline and will not be able to sleep.
One of the activities you can do both indoors and outdoors is cycling. A Sunny fitness bike can get your legs, hips, and abdomen in shape and you will get a great night’s rest.
Even if you take a brisk walk in the late afternoon, you can see benefits around your waist and at bedtime. Another gentle exercise to induce sleep is yoga.
Encourage your children to be active during the day.
Less time will be wasted on the television and video games while they have fun outside. Bedtime will not be such a dreaded chore, because they will be good and ready to go to bed.
Meditation and Mindful Breathing
Imagine problems and stresses as burrs that stick to your clothing when you walk through long grass. Throughout the day, these stresses keep building up on you.
When you get home, you feel their prickly annoyance all over your body. If you would go to bed with them, they would irritate you all night.
The only way to get rid of them is to brush them off your clothes.
Meditation is the brush that frees your mind from the burrs you collect during your day.
About an hour before bedtime, find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes, and gather all your thoughts. Acknowledge each thought, and just let it pass.
While you are clearing your mind, take deep cleansing breaths through your nostrils, and slowly exhale through your mouth.
This mindful breathing helps your body relax and feel sleepy. Brush all off from your mind and relax. Meditation gets easier the more you practice it.
Create an Environment Conducive to Sleep
We humans are creatures of habit.
When you create a relaxing environment in your bedroom and do certain bedtime routines, your brain will learn to bring you entire body into sleep mode.
Your bedroom needs three things to encourage restful sleep: quiet, darkness, and a cool temperature.
- Not everyone has the benefits of living in a quiet suburb or rural neighborhood. You may work night shift and have to sleep during the day. To keep noise down to a minimum, try a comfortable pair of earplugs. Some people need the security of white noise, which can be created by a fan or a white noise machine.
- When it comes to room temperatures, Goldie Locks had the right idea. “Just right” is a range from 65-70 degrees—depending on the individual. If you get too hot or too cold, you are going to lose sleep fighting with blankets.
- Keep it dark: You may not pay much attention to the little blinking lights from technology in your room or the bright numbers on the alarm clock. However, your brain associates any light with waking. If you cannot dim the lights in the room, try a silk eye mask.
- You also need a bed that sleeps “just right”. If you take a good look at your mattress, you may not have realized it is worn down and lumpy. An uncomfortable mattress is a sure way to create miserable, sleepless nights. Invest in the best quality mattress that is within your budget. You might consider dual adjustable beds so you and your sleeping partner can customize your comfort. Outfit your bed with the coziest quilts and fluffiest pillows you can afford.
- Speaking of your bed, never use it as your home office or as a theater. Reserve your bed for sleep and sex, and your brain will not think of anything else while you are in it.
With a few changes in your lifestyle, you will not have to count sheep again. Exercise, meditation, and creating a relaxing bedroom ensure that you will get the good night’s sleep you crave. Get into the sleeping habit and have pleasant dreams!