Sleep is an important aspect of our day-to-day lives. Not only does it help restore our energy levels, but sleep supports healthy brain function so you can protect your mental and physical health. In fact, ongoing sleep deficiency is related to a number of chronic health problems while also having negative effects on your thoughts, behavior, and concentration.
In other words, without proper sleep you risk problems at work, in relationships, and with your health. Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your sleep so you are well rested and ready to take on anything that comes your way. The following tips for better sleep are easy to follow and effective.
Listen to your Body
Mostly, you should go to sleep when you feel tired, but you also want to move toward a stable sleep and wake cycle. Especially if you're a night owl, you should try to gradually move your bedtime earlier so you get sufficient sleep. Most experts recommend about 8 hours of sleep per night, but it's actually more important to get good quality sleep than a particular quantity of sleep.
Avoid your Clock
Clock watching usually exacerbates sleep-related stress when you're not able to sleep. So set your alarm to wake up, but turn your clock or watch away from you while you sleep. This way you'll avoid staring at the clock and you'll be less likely to stress about when you are going to finally fall asleep.
Many insomniacs are shocked to learn that their own behavior is a leading cause of sleep disturbances. Avoid caffeine drinks for at least 6 to 8 hours before bedtime.
Try Breathing Exercises
Concentrated breathing exercises can bring about a state of relaxation and promote sleeping. At the same time, breathing exercises can distract an overly active mind that prevents you from sleeping. Most importantly, breathing exercises needn't be difficult. Simply concentrating on long, slow breaths in and out may be enough to put you to sleep.
Regular exercise helps you to burn calories during the day so your body doesn't have to do it overnight. Also, exercise helps to drain you mentally and physically so you feel more tired at night. Research shows that even morning exercise can help you sleep at night. Plus, exercise can ameliorate many conditions, such as restless leg syndrome, that are known to prevent a restful sleep.
Finally, sound therapies have also been shown to be highly effective in promoting sleep. In fact, sound products can reduce the time required to fall asleep while also concentrating the amount of restorative sleep you receive. Individuals who suffer from stress, anxiety, and pain may benefit from the relaxing nature of sound therapies that serve to reduce mental activity that may prevent sleep.