Sleeping
Sleeping

4 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Your body needs sleep to function well. A good sleep pattern will provide several benefits such as alertness, productivity and help with managing stress.

Issues that can cause a toss-and-turn night are bad relationships, finances and pressure at your job. You may not be able to change your current situation but losing sleep will not help it. If you’ve been experiencing problems with sleeping at bedtime, some lifestyle choices can help encourage a good night’s rest.

Exercise and Activity

Actively moving your body during the day will encourage better sleep at night. Spend at least 30 minutes or more a day exercising. You can break up the exercise time by doing 15 minutes here and there. It also doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise like weight lifting or advanced aerobics. For example:

  • Ride a bike: Take a bike ride around your neighborhood or on a trail at the park.
  • Take a brisk walk: Walking around your neighborhood or with your dog is a great way to exercise. Try to get a steady pace when possible to get your heart rate up.
  • Work around the house: Stay active around the house by doing garden work or chores.

Manage Stress

Unwinding and letting go all of the negative things that occurred during the day before bedtime are ways to help get a good night’s sleep. However, nighttime can produce a new set of worries. For example, while you’re in bed, you can think about things such as whether the burglar that’s been reported in your neighborhood will strike your home or if the cat repellent you put in your yard will work.

  • Banish negative thoughts: Don’t focus on your job’s shortcomings or how you’re going to pay the bills right before you go to bed. You will lie down with this on your mind and prevent sleep.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Right before or during bedtime, take several deep and slow breaths to calm your nerves. Relax your mind with thinking of a peaceful and calm place or activity.

Eat and Drink Right

What you eat and drink in the hours before bedtime can affect your quality of sleep. Choose good consumption habits during the day to ease discomfort during the night.

  • No drinking before bed: Avoid heavy foods in the few hours before bedtime since this can cause stomach trouble. Don’t drink liquids, especially water, right before your bedtime to avoid waking up in the middle of the night for an unplanned trip to the bathroom.
  • Avoid alcohol: Once the effects of alcohol wear off you can find yourself wide awake at an inconvenient hour of the night. If you desire to have a drink in the evening, it’s best to do it a few hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine: Put down that coffee cup in the afternoon. Work may demand caffeine but it’s an enemy to a good night sleep and it takes hours to wear off.

Keep a Regular Schedule

Keeping a regular schedule as to when you go to bed and rise is imperative to a good night’s sleep. Your body gets into a rhythm and when that’s disturbed, it can alter your sleep pattern.

  • Set a regular bedtime: Go to bed and rise up about the same time every day. Try to keep this routine, even on the weekends. When you are on a consistent routine your body will be more revived and fresh each day.
  • Don’t nap if you don’t need to: Napping during the day can interrupt your sleep at night. Avoid dozing off if you can, particularly in the evenings or right before bedtime.

A. Erin
LGBT Network

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