Losing even a night’s sleep can make a person confused and disoriented while sleep loss on a regular basis can produce a host of health problems. Hence, it is important to get proper sleep for six to eight hours every day. Most of the factors which affect sleep are manmade. By taking suitable corrective actions, one can achieve satisfactory sleep.
A heavy meal before bed time is not conductive to good sleep. It is always better to eat a light meal at night. It would be also useful if this meal is consumed three to four hours bed time.
Alcohol has two effects on sleep. Initially, it introduces drowsiness. The problem starts later when the blood levels of alcohol fall. When the alcohol levels fall, wakefulness returns. Subsequently, it becomes difficult to get back to sleep. Therefore, drink alcohol in moderation. Two glasses for males and one glass for females would be ideal. Of course, it would be even better not to drink alcohol at all.
Exercise is another factor which profoundly influences sleep. Exercise is a good idea to maintain good health and also prevents the onset of many diseases. Exercise also can have two types of effects on sleep. It all depends on when you exercise. When you exercise, your body becomes tired and sleep comes to you easily. But, if you exercise just before going to bed, the effect would be opposite. Exercise increases alertness levels and therefore, sleep is difficult to achieve. So, any exercise must be carried out well before bed time.
The television is probably the biggest spoiler of sleep. If you want to sleep well, keep away from TV at bedtime. The same thing applies to the use of computer at bed time. Anything which provides light can disturb sleep.
Caffeine in coffee is a stimulator of the central nervous system and has the ability to increase the alertness levels. Thus, caffeine is to be avoided. This means coffee, cola drinks and even chocolates should be shunned at night.
Anxiety and the stress arising out of this can put off sleep. One should learn to leave problems where they should be. A calm mind is the ideal tonic for sleep.
The wrong type of pillow may produce problems like headache, neck pain and numbness in the arms and shoulders. Ideally, pillows should be replaced after two years. How you sleep determines the type of pillow you need. If you sleep on your back, the pillow should be a thin one with a tendency to sink with weight. When you sleep on the side, a firmer pillow which does not sink is ideal. For people who prefer to sleep on their stomachs, very thin and nearly flat pillows are useful.
- Be regular in Your Habits
Go to sleep at around the same time every day. This would induce sleep at the same time every day.