It is World Sleep Day, and by now, we should all know that sleep is vital for our physical and mental health. As the UK Mental Health Foundation stated, good sleep does not mean lots of sleep, but it means the right kind of sleep.
By: Aliaa ElSherbini
Here are 8 tips to help you get a good night’s slumber.
1. Get a comfortable mattress and pillows:
Other than easing and preventing back and shoulder pains, having a comfortable mattress and pillows can improve your sleep quality by 60%. No wonder we sleep better at hotels tucked into soft sheets and fluffy pillows. Turn your room into your personal dreamy oasis to help your quality of sleep.
2. Avoid caffeine and sugar before bed:
Caffeine and sugar are known to boost alertness, which is the opposite of what you need when you are having trouble falling or staying asleep. Opt for warm herbal teas for their antioxidant features that help relax your body and promote drowsiness, and can help relieve stress.
Herbal tea options: Chamomile, lavender, peppermint, Valerian root, and passionflower
3. Eat healthily and exercise regularly:
One of the top 5 tips from the sleep doctor, Dr. Colin Espie, leading authority on sleep at the University of Oxford, is to set a fit plan to promote better sleep. By eating healthy and exercising regularly, you will keep a healthy body and mind, which in turn will help your sleep quality and reduce stress.
Avoid big meals and intense workouts before your bedtime as they will interfere with the quality of sleep and might add stress to your digestive system.
4. Use soothing essential oils:
Natural ways are the best ways. A number of essential oils have been proven through studies, to not only promote sleep but relieve stress and improve the quality of rest.
There are several oils to use and several methods. You can find use as sprays, rubbing oils, brewed in teas and drinks, and steamed in facials.
Soothing essential oils:
- Ylang Ylang
5. Optimize your sleep schedule:
We are adaptable creatures, and so is our sleep. Countless doctors advised sticking to a sleep routine to create a habit that the body would want to stick to. This self-reinforcing method is advised and followed by expert Dr. Sam J. Sugar, MD, FACP, director of sleep services at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Doral, Florida.
Dr. Sugar told Oprah how sticking to a routine helps falling asleep faster and waking up more refreshed. You should try it too.
6. Avoid napping:
Naps make it harder to fall asleep at night and disrupt your sleeping schedule. Unless you are extremely tired to the point where you cannot open your eyes, avoid napping and get busy instead.
And if you are one of the lucky ones that can nap and still get a good night’s sleep, we wish we were like you!
7. Take a warm bath or shower:
What better way to end the day than to take a warm bath or shower before cozying up in bed? No wonder that taking a warm shower 90 minutes before bed helps people fall asleep faster. It helps the body to relax.
8. Rule out sleep disorders:
It is very important to rule out sleeping disorders as the effects of long-term lack-of-sleep can be dangerous. It increases the risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, mental health conditions, and obesity in children.
If your sleeping problems persist or worsen with signs of sleepwalking, extreme night terrors, or sweats, we highly recommend you book an appointment with your physician/doctor.