ExerciseGoing for brisk walk daily is not only good for your physical and mental wellbeing, it will also support better sleep. Exercise boosts the effect of melatonin which is a natural sleep hormone.
A study in the journal Sleep found that postmenopausal women who exercised for about three-and-a-half hours a week found it easier to fall asleep than women who exercised less often. It is important to refrain from exercising too close to bedtime as this can be too stimulating.
Keep it comfortableMake sure your room is as comfortable as possible. This can be done by ideally ensuring the television, mobile phone, lap top are not distractions in your bedroom. You also want to make sure your room is a quiet, dark, cool environment.
Start a sleep ritualRituals can help signal the body and mind that sleep is coming. Drink a glass of warm milk, take a bath, read a book or listen to calming music to unwind before bed.
Eat—but not too muchAvoid eating a big meal within two to three hours of bedtime. If you're hungry right before bed, eat a small healthy snack (such as an apple with a slice of cheese or a few whole-wheat crackers) to satisfy you until breakfast.
Avoid alcohol and caffeineCaffeine is a stimulant and alcohol has a similar effect. It is actually a stimulant and it disrupts sleep during the night.
De-stressStress is a stimulus. It activates the fight-or-flight hormones that work against sleep. Give yourself time to wind down before bed. To relax, try deep breathing exercises.
Get checkedSome common sleep disrupters are:
- restless legs syndrome,
- sleep apnoea, and
- gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.