I AM SO TIRED. The 3 o'clock blues. Dozing off. We have so many terms and names to choose from but all steam from the same thing. You didn't get a good night's sleep.
We have long known the benefits of a good night's sleep, you feel better, you are more alert and according to a study from the Portland State University that suggests that a good quality night's sleep can lead to a longer life.
In today's high paced world we seem to think that the less sleep the better, the more productive we will be. Ever heard the phrase "not enough hours in a day?" â€“ suggests that you should work into the night doesn't it.
To put it as a simple example, think of a car that needs an oil change, yes it will run but you run the risk of serious long term damage if the oil is not regularly changed. It is the same with your body and sleep. While you sleep your body is still active and is doing all sorts of biological maintenance. So if you starve your body of a good night's sleep you are not giving your body enough time to "service" itself and will wake up in the morning feeling lethargic, un-alert and maybe even ill.
So here are 5 quick tips to a better night's sleep
Keep your room dark â€“ a fairly simple tip that gets overlooked all too often. Our bodies have developed to go to sleep when it is dark, therefore it makes sense to keep your bedroom dark (and cool) while you are sleeping. You can't undo millions of years of evolution telling your body to fall asleep and then doing its job best when it is dark, and if you wake up to even a dim light in your room, it will be much harder to get back to sleep again. So lights off, curtains shut, electronics off and off to a good night sleep.
Make sure your bed is comfortable â€“ although it may seem like a time wasting exercise because you don't seem to have much waking use for it (wellâ€¦.not as much waking use), it is always a good idea to try a few beds when you choose a mattress to make sure you get the most comfortable. If you are not comfortable at night you will toss and turn which can only lead to a bad night's sleep (or a move to the couch).
Turn off all electronics â€“ I mentions this before in "keep your room dark," but electronics play a major role in a bad night's sleep. Not only do they have lights that flash or shine bright but they also emit electrical currents which can affect your circadian rhythms and keep you from a good night sleep. Many people have a TV in the bedroom, although this may seem like a great idea (and I will admit that I do think it is a great ideaâ€¦.sometimes) this will actually stimulate your brain, if you are watching before bed, and keep you up longer.
Get into a sleeping schedule â€“ go to sleep the same time every night and get up the same time every morning. This is a great way to get your circadian rhythms back in sync (getting back in sync with your body's natural sleep cycle is the best way to get a refreshing night sleep). Make sure you sleep the same number of hours each night and you will wake up feeling much more refreshed and energized in the morning.
Stress less â€“ ok so we can write a whole other article on this one, but if you are stressed when you go to sleep, chances are that you will not get a good night sleep. When you are stressed you will keep yourself up because you are keeping your brain active and stimulated by thinking and stressing. There are some great methods out there to de-stress your life, and it is well worth finding the one that is right for you.