how to get a good nights sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is just what is deserved after a hectic workday or just any day.

A good night's sleep is incredibly important as it keeps the body recharged, and prepared for the next day.

If the sleep cycle is altered, that can be bad for your health in the long run.

The first process in ensuring you get quality rest begins with your day-to-day routine.

Your actions during the day set the pace for just how much sleep you will be getting that night. Here's a rundown on how you can get proper rest:

  • Your nutrition is important for how you sleep. If you practise eating healthy meals and getting all the right nutrients you need, your body would be able to perform proper metabolism. You wouldn't have to worry about nutritional deficiencies and metabolic  dysregulation, both of which can hinder your sleeping process.
good nutrition can help you sleep
  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule: This way your body naturally eases into it, and your weekends shouldn't be an exception as that could disrupt the sleep routine.
write down any worries to help you sleep
  • Find ways to relax before bed. Take an hour or two where you stop all your work and wind down.
relax before going to bed
  • Make your bedroom sleep-optimised. If your bedroom feels like a safe haven, there are increased chances you are going to sleep better. So keep your bedroom comfortable, cool, dark, quiet, stress, and distraction-free.
buy quality bedding
  • Have a physically and mentally active day. If you move and think around a lot during the day, you will be exhausted when night comes, and that would make transitioning towards the sleep realm a much easier process.
exercise can help you sleep better
  • You should take out any constant source of worry in your life so you should sleep better.
  • Strengthen your circadian signal. The circadian signal is the body's internal clock over  24 hours, kind of cues your body into when to sleep and when to wake. It is primarily controlled by light and darkness. So if you get your body to associate darkness with sleep and bright light with waking up times, that would greatly help in sleeping better.
  • Your bedroom should be strictly for sleeping, and maybe sex, but your focus should be to associate your bedroom with sleeping and make sure it's optimised for better sleep. Invest in quality silk bedding, a silk pillow case,  eye masks, comfy nightwear, light blockers, curtains, and noise cancelers.

Calming Down and Falling Asleep

The body has two main nervous states: the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous states.

The sympathetic nervous state is often referred to as the “fight” or “flight” response, and it is activated in times of stress, danger, or excitement.

The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, is the "rest and digest" or "feed and breed" response.

It is activated during periods of relaxation, rest, and digestion. It's really important that you are in the parasympathetic state hours before bed because this is a period where you are calm, stress-free, and this is the only way rest can happen.

There are a couple of ways which can stimulate being in a relaxed state before bed and here are some of them!

Mental Relaxation Ideas:

  • Pen down all of your feelings, ideas, content ideas, and everything that has been brought up on the forefront of your mind. When that's done, you'll be able to let go and finally hold the hands of sleep and let it guide you.

  • Learn to put your phone on airplane mode. It would help psychologically disengage you from the rest of the world and leave you in the world of your own.

  • Music is destressing, and that's what you need to get your body in a relaxed state. However, the kind of music that would induce sleep is one that is calming and low-toned.

  • Just be a little bored: Allow yourself to be by yourself before bed.

  • Read or listen to that book you have been holding out on. Reading books can be a great way to separate yourself from thoughts about your problems and let you focus on something else.

  • If you are into podcasts, it is a great way to calm a restless mind, and there are tons of options out there to meet your preferences.

 

Physical Relaxation Ideas:

  • Working out during the day can help make the sleep process come faster.

  • Practice breathing techniques to slow down your breathing, doing this helps calm down the mind and ease you into sleep.

  • Take a warm water shower, bath, or foot bath before bed.

  • Yoga can be very effective in calming the mind, as it is meditative. Find a flow that works for you and one that you are good at, paying special attention to your form and breath and how they relate.

Final Thoughts

Your day-to-day routine guides how much sleep you would get to have, so you want to make sure you are doing the right things during the day and also ensure that your bedroom feels like that safe space for you, as this would allow sleep come easily to you.

June 11, 2024 — Michelle Fletcher Smith