There are many secrets to a good night’s sleep. The following are simple tips to help get a better night’s sleep:
Going 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 comfortable
Make 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 ritual
Rituals 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 much
Avoid 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 caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol has a similar effect. It is actually a stimulant and it disrupts sleep during the night.
Stress 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.
Some common sleep disrupters are:
- restless legs syndrome,
- sleep apnoea, and
- gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
If these symptoms are keeping you up at night or making you sleepy during the day, it is important to see your doctor for an assessment.