Everyday, your body is exposed to pollutants around you. At night, when you rest, your body repairs itself of the damage caused by pollutants during the day. Studies show that an average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep a day for the body to get sufficient rest and repair. However, most of us find it difficult to obtain the necessary hours of sleep. Worse, some of us resort to making do with as little as 4 to 5 hours of sleep daily, not knowing what a detrimental position we are putting ourselves in. Besides not allowing the body to repair itself from daily wear and tear, not having enough sleep can also risk our personal safety and the lives of others (e.g. driving with your loved ones in the car), lower the quality of work put into our jobs (e.g. making mistakes while drafting a detailed proposal) or even negatively affect our relationships with others.
In view of the importance of having the right amount of rest to us, here are 10 pointers on how you can achieve better sleep quality and quantity:
1. Drink less caffeine. This means drinking less or avoiding altogether tea, cola and non-decaf coffee. Caffeine takes up to 8 hours to wear off (so, yes, drinking decaffeinated coffee is also a way to get around this). Drink less of or avoid drinking completely caffeine about 6 hours before bedtime. This will help you fall asleep more easily.
2. Avoid alcohol. For some people, drinking alcohol may induce sleepiness to set in, but it can also cause one to have less restful sleep. Consuming alcohol can cause you to more likely wake up during the night.
3. Chill out before bedtime. Stress makes it harder to sleep. Putting aside some time to wind-down each night can help separate the stresses of the day and the bedtime. For most people, 10 minutes is sufficient. Alternatively, write down the thoughts that are stressing you. This will allow you to get a better sleep at night. Deal with the problem only the following morning, when you are fresher and have better ability to think straight.
4. Exercise. Ever heard of a the Beatles song that went *Its been a hard days night, I should be sleeping like a log*? Lack of physical exertion leaves you with unspent energy and little motivation to fall asleep. Regular exercise (requiring actual physical exertion) increases the chance of you getting deeper and more restful sleep. Just avoid exercise right before bedtime.
5. Have a good sleeping location. The bedroom should be cool, quiet, dark and comfortable. To achieve this, use window blinds, curtains, air conditioner or any other item that can help create the ideal environment for restful sleep. Choose room colours that help reduce stress and allow you to sleep more easily. Colours such as blue are usually good choices. Colours like red and orange tend to have the opposite effect.
6. Eat sufficiently. Avoid going to bed hungry, but do not eat anything heavy before bedtime. Eating too much will keep you awake. Allow at least 3 hours after meals before going to sleep. Certain foods contain a high level of tryptophan, a substance which promotes sleep. These include milk, tuna, bananas, turkey, yoghurt, ice cream and peanuts.
7. Restrict smoking. Although having a smoke may feel relaxing before bedtime, it actually increases stimulants in your bloodstream. Nicotine has the same effect as caffeine; it should be avoided as it can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. This means it is advisable to reduce or even avoid smoking in the evening so that you get some uninterrupted sleep during bedtime.
8. Avoid long naps. If you do need to nap in the afternoon, keep it short to about 20 minutes, this is usually sufficient to feel rejuvenated. Anything longer could potentially disrupt your nightly sleep routine.
9. Keep pets off the bed. Do your pets sleep in the same bed as you? If they do, their movements or allergic reactions might awaken you at night. Pets are better kept off the bed and on the floor.
10. Dress comfortably. Choose to wear loose-fitting pajamas made of material which are highly air-permeable. Avoid wearing tight clothes, as this will affect your blood circulation and can cause you a restless night.
Just as much, how you sleep also plays an important role in getting the right number of sleep hours. Avoid odd sleeping positions which result in stiff necks and strained shoulders by having proper support. This can be answered by specially designed pillows such as the tempurpedic pillow.
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Sean Green provides solutions for people searching for better restful sleep via his tempurpedic pillow site which gives plenty of information on what a tempurpedic pillow is. Visit tempurpedicpillow.info Visit 10 Steps To Get A Good Nights Sleep.
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