Sleep is essential for us to function efficiently throughout the day. Photo credit: Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee
This article raises awareness of International Sleep Day, the benefits of sleep, and how to get better sleep by suggesting solutions that are commonly overlooked.
Did you know it was International Sleep Day on the 17th of March? Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Sleep? Boring!” But trust me, there’s nothing better than a good night’s rest. It helps us maintain a healthy weight, improve our immune system, and enhance our cognitive abilities.
Unfortunately, not everyone experiences great sleep because of overlooked factors such as mood and stress. We keep hearing the same solutions: avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, eat healthily, and exercise regularly. Yes, these can help, but if you are not in a good mood or aren’t motivated to follow any of these, you’ll just get trapped in an endless cycle of insomnia.
Not getting enough quality sleep can lead to various negative consequences, such as impaired concentration and memory, higher stress levels, decreased productivity, and a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Insomnia and anxiety feed each other, creating an endless circle. Photo credit: Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock.com
So what’s missing? What do you have to fix? There are two answers: your mind and your body. Sounds familiar, but not quite. Here are some tips on how to create a more sleep-friendly home.
Tip #1: Whoosah – Relax!
Sharing your day with others can help you stay stress-free. Photo credit: freepik
Sometimes, all you need to calm down and release your whole day’s stress. And the best way to do that is to talk with others. Communication is key! Have a heart-to-heart, watch a movie, or have dinner together with your close ones. It will surely brighten up your mood before you call it a day.
Internal communication is another beneficial activity that can be done through meditation. By comforting yourself and your controlling the thoughts that keep your mind buzzing, you will feel relaxed. Studies have shown that meditation helps reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, and increases the natural melatonin levels to help with more peaceful and deep sleep.
Tip #2: Clean and declutter your bedroom
Does it make you feel stressed just looking at it? Photo credit: Lisa Clarke
Our brain interprets visual stimuli as tasks that need to be completed. Even if we might ignore an untidy bedroom because it’s been there for a while, our brain is unconsciously registering it as a job to be completed (even if there is no task to complete!)
A neat and tidy bedroom creates a calming and peaceful environment to set you in the right mood for sleeping. You spend about ⅓ of your life in your bedroom; it should be a sanctuary for you – not another source of stress. So get to cleaning today!
Tip #3: Find Suitable Furniture & Posture
I myself had this issue for a while. I used to wake up with a sore neck or a backache. I ignored this for a while until the pain became unbearable. I consulted an orthopaedic who advised me to find a different pillow and showed me recommended postures. Now, my sleep has never been better; once it’s lights out, I mean it.
If you also wake up in the middle of the night with your body aching, you probably have an issue with your furniture or need to fix your posture. Try a comfier mattress/pillow that suits your body, consult with a professional, or follow the ideal posture to sleep better. Yes, you have to spend some time and money, but trust me – your neck will thank you later.
Well, you know the secrets now. It’s time to stop tossing and turning in bed and get your daily dose of sleep. So don’t sleep on these tips! (see what I did there…?)