Sleep is perhaps the most underrated activity. It is very important to have good sleep, something that today’s lifestyle makes difficult for a lot of people to achieve.
I will share with you some secrets of good sleep that will make you a better sleeper, and in turn make you healthier and more attractive.
Work hard enough, exhaust yourself
You sleep best when you’re tired to death.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s physical tiredness or mental tiredness. There is certain amount of physical as well as mental activity that is exhausting. When you’re exhausted, you’ll have no trouble sleeping.
For most people who have trouble sleeping, I would say the reason is as simple as them not working hard enough through the day.
If your day involves lazying around or working where you don’t have enough physical or mental strain, and you can’t sleep well, then here’s what you need to do: Play sports or exercise, read books, write, solve puzzles, work hard.
Find physical and mental activities of your interest and do them to exhaustion. More physical exhaustion, the better. It will not only help you with sleep but also improve your physical and/or mental abilities.
Don’t plan your next day in bed
Thinking about the next day is the worst mistake you could do that would ruin your sleep.
Some of you will be grateful today especially for this tip. Here’s why: Thinking in bed about what you’re going to do tomorrow happens so innocuously that it’s hard to realize that it’s a problem. It’s very easy to explain it away by saying that you were doing it because you weren’t able to sleep.
No. I say you weren’t able to sleep because you were thinking about the to-do’s for the next day.
Remember how you can’t sleep the night before you have planned a picnic, or have a job interview, or some super important event? That happens because when you have something important coming, your mind busies itself thinking about and preparing for it. That keeps you awake.
Planning the next day is, albeit less intense, essentially the same process for your mind. In an effort to plan, you keep arranging and rearranging things in your mind, and that keeps sleep away.
Planning your next day is good, but do it before the bed time. Once in bed, you can think about the pleasant experiences from the past, but don’t plan your tomorrow if sleeping well is important to you.
Don’t check your phone in middle of sleep
Sometimes you have to get up in middle of your sleep to go the bathroom or to drink water. If you check your phone’s notifications then, it’s almost certain that you won’t sleep as well after that.
We live in the era of smart phones where we have various apps constantly sending notifications. Seeing notifications excites the mind; and some of them may call for action. Thus, they will drag your mind out of sleep and you’ll find it difficult to go back to sleep.
You must keep the phone on silent mode and away while sleeping. And at any cost resist temptation to check the phone until after your sleep is complete. Whatever the notifications may be about, it can wait.
Use bed only to sleep, or sex
This point may not seem terribly important, but it’s a fact that our bodies adapt to the environment. So if you can do it, you want to associate bed to sleep and sleep alone. Or sex.
Don’t use bed for any other activity other than sleeping or “sleeping”. Reading, watching TV,.. should ideally be done outside of the bedroom. I personally don’t have a very large house, so I do a lot of those things in my bedroom, but not on the bed.
I’ll give you an example of body adapting to the environment. If you have a boring office job, you may not feel like going to work when you wake up. But once you’re in the office, you’re ready for work. That’s your body adapting to the environment and changing your energy level for doing what you’re supposed to do at the time.
Likewise, once you associate bedroom, or at least your bed with sleeping, your body will automatically get ready to sleep when it’s in that environment.
Keep the room dark
You should keep the room you sleep in as dark as possible.
Some would consider this a preference and not terribly important for good sleep. But there’s a reason why it is important to sleep in dark.
For thousands of years we have been sleeping in the dark of night. So our bodies are best adapted to sleeping in the dark.
When the room is dark, it’s relaxing to eyes and there are no distractions for mind. Definitely better for sleep.
Wake up at the same time everyday
I always used to think that sleeping at the same time every night was very important for good sleep, and it is, but until recently I never thought that waking up at the same time everyday was terribly important.
Waking up at the same fixed time everyday has multiple benefits for the body. Chief among them are: regular bowel movement and right distribution of energy throughout the day.
We have an internal clock which we call body clock. The body clock starts at the time you wake up, and determines your biological functions and energy levels at different times of the day.
Starting the body clock at the same time everyday means that you’ll feel tired at the same time. The body will let you know exactly when it’s time to sleep.
If you wake up everyday at 6am and go to bed at 10pm, then waking up at 8am would disrupt your body clock and you may not be quite ready for sleep at the usual time of 10pm. It will be 2 hours too early for the body to sleep, and you’ll wonder why you aren’t able to sleep.
Even if you sleep later than your usual time, wake up at the same time. The next day your body clock will make you feel tired and sleepy sooner than your usual time to compensate for the lost sleep. And that sleep, you can bet, will be good.
Have early dinner, and keep it light
Have your dinner at least two hours before going to bed.
What you eat for dinner is also important. Sometimes you may have felt burning sensation in the stomach, or dry throat in middle of the night. That’s because you may have had spicy-oily food for dinner.
Your dinner should be light and non-spicy, non-oily food.
Don’t sleep during day
If you must, you can take a short nap of 20 to 30 mins. But sleeping for long during the day is not recommended as it may affect your night’s sleep.
The body needs to get tired and exhausted through the day, so that it is best prepared to sleep at night. Sleeping during the day will obstruct that process.
Day is for work, night is primarily for sleep. Keep it that way.