Sleep plays an extremely important role in thinking and learning. It works to consolidate the memories of the day. The thoughts when awaking depend on part of what happens while you are sleeping. Not getting enough sleep, you will not remember what you have learned and done that day. Insomnia affects alertness, concentration, reasoning, solving problem. Its consequences may occur immediately or silently through a long time before onset. It is important for you to establish sleeping habits scientifically from now to minimize the risk of disease later. Here are some strategies to get good sleep that you can refer:
- Keep a regular and fixed sleep schedule
Sync body with sleep – wake cycle (circadian rhythm) is one of the most important strategies to achieve better sleep. Therefore, you should keep a regular sleep schedule by choosing bedtime when you often feel tired and waking up at the same time each day. Try not to break this habit on weekends when you do not have to work the next morning. If you want to change the sleep time, help the body adjust by changing daily in small steps, such as 15 minutes earlier or later each day.
If you are getting enough sleep, wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need a clock to wake up on time, you may have to compensate by going to bed early.
- Adjust the melatonin hormone production
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the brain and controlled by light exposure, helping regulate your sleep – wake cycle. Melatonin is known as the “hormone of darkness” since the production of melatonin increases after dark and decreases by lights. The brain must secrete more melatonin in the evening to make you sleepy and less during the day for you to work soberly. Therefore, an office far away from natural light often makes the brain secrete melatonin so you will feel drowsy. Bright lights at night, the light from the television or computer may stop producing melatonin, causing difficulty falling asleep.
You can adjust your sleep – wake cycle through the adjustment in melatonin hormone. There are many ways to inhibit melatonin in the daytime, such as increasing contact with daylight, removing sunglasses in the morning and feel daylight on your face, spending more time outside during the day: working in sunlight, taking exercise, walking with a pet… and letting as much natural light into your home or workplace as possible. To promote the production of melatonin at night, you had better turn off television and computer (Many people use the television to go to sleep or relax at the end of the day. This is a complete mistake) as well as avoid bright lights before going to sleep.
- Relax and comfort before going to bed
Relax before bedtime will help you sleep easily, and the sleep will be deeper. Sleep in your own bedroom to create familiar feeling. Prepare a comfortable sleeping space and keep the bedroom fresh. Use the bed only for sleeping, avoid reading, watching TV, working on the bed and limit noise. Practice relaxation techniques before sleeping: listen to soft music, read a book or magazine with soft light, take a warm bath…
- Eat right and exercise regularly
Avoid large meals at night. Try to eat earlier in the evening, avoid heavy foods within 2 hours before bedtime. Do not leave an empty stomach at bedtime, but do not eat a big meal and so full right before getting into bed.
To limit nocturnal urination, do not drink any liquids too much before bedtime. Avoid alcohol before going to sleep. Many people think of alcohol as a sedative, but actually, it just makes your sleep worse.
Besides, limiting caffeine during the day and do not use after 14h. Quit smoking. Nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant, disrupting sleep. Spend about 30 – 45 minutes exercising each day. Before sleeping, you can walk or do some physical activities to release tension, increase circulation.
- Control stress
If you do not know how to stop yourself from worrying, especially about things out of control, you will need to learn how to manage thoughts. For example, you may learn to assess whether your concern is really necessary or not, and replace the irrational fear with more positive thoughts. Dealing with stress effectively and thinking calmly, positively, you will be able to sleep better at night. There are some relaxation techniques for better sleep you can consult, for instance close your eyes and try to inhale deeply, exhale slowly; relax your body and stretch the entire muscular system, start with your toes and do until crown; close your eyes and imagine a quiet, peaceful…