There are three components of our lifestyle that we need to regularly work on in order to stay healthy and in shape.
Diet, exercise and sleep.
However, sleep tends to be low on the priority list for most people, and a lot of us fail to get a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep not only heals and rejuvenates our body, but also helps prepare us mentally and physically for the following day. So here are 8 simple tips I want to share with you to help you sleep better:
1. Light Yoga Before Bedtime
Yoga has always recognized the need for sleep and is probably unique in having a resting pose (Corpse pose) as part of the physical routine itself. Doing some lighter poses, with an emphasis on holding the stretch, calms and relaxes the body and is perfect for prepping the body for sleep.
2. No electronic devices one hour before sleeping -- read a book instead.
It is a question of how bad you want to sleep better. If you really do, then sacrifice the time you spend on your smartphone or any other electronic devices just an hour before going to bed. This is because it helps for our eyes to start getting used to the darkness before sleeping. Instead, you can read a book or create some kind of a bed-time ritual.
3. Sleep at the same time each day.
Our biological clock runs based on a 24-hour clock. Therefore, sleeping at the same time everyday means it becomes a habit for our system. This helps us fall asleep at the same time each day without even trying.
Similarly, it also helps to get up at the same time each day.
The best way to do this is to wake up with the sun. Waking up with the sun is not only a natural way to get up, but it’s also very refreshing (and gives you time for a morning yoga sesh!).
4. Avoid caffeine close to Bedtime.
Drinking caffeine and alcohol close to bed-time really messes with our sleep. Therefore, it is best to avoid them 3-4 hours before bedtime. The same goes to eating big meals close to when you're about to get some zzz's.
5. Use your bed only to sleep.
You should program your mind to think of your bed only as a place for sleeping. If you are struggling to sleep, this is even more important. Try not to bring your work (or do your taxes, go online shopping, etc.), or anything that requires a lot of mental activity, to bed. This will condition your mind to associate the act of getting in bed with sleeping and it'll help you fall asleep faster.
6. Remove stress in your life.
Stress is probably the biggest source of people’s sleep problems. When you are stressed, you tend to think about your problems all night and this makes sure you don’t get much sleep. And if you do manage to get some (or any) sleep, it's a 'poor quality sleep'. So, start removing stress in your life slowly with the help of yoga, meditation, etc. and you will notice that you’ll sleep better too.
7. Take naps but keep them below an hour.
Some people choose to see naps as a sign of laziness. But, short naps of 30-45 minutes are actually helpful for us to sleep at night. If you find yourself exhausted when getting up in the mornings, naps might be the answer to your sleep problems.
8. Feng Shui tip: remove clutter in your bed-room.
Make sure the room in which you sleep is clutter-free, since this helps you go to bed with peace of mind. Another tip is to avoid directly facing the bedroom door when you sleep, as this is supposed to subconsciously make us feel insecure of an intruder walking in.
It goes without saying that exercise, diet and sleep all work together to create a healthily functioning body. Without proper sleep, no amount of dieting or exercising can help someone stay healthy. So, if you're tossing and turning in bed and fail to get any good quality sleep, try these tips and let us know which ones do the trick for you!