Many of us think nothing of not getting enough sleep and regularly stay up late at night to complete unfinished office work; take in a late movie; do a bit of reading; down bottles of beer or even to dance the night away. Yet not getting enough sleep causes us to become irritable and perform below par the next day.Regular lack of sleep also affects one’s appearance, causing the eyes to become sunken and the skin around them to become dark and puffy. While long-term sleep deprivation increases the risk of developing a host of serious health problem. These tips will help you sleep better.Have a sleep schedule.
The World health Organisation recommends that adults get seven hours or more of sleep, so set aside eight hours for sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time daily, including weekends. Being consistent allows the body to programme itself to naturally fall asleep and wake up at a certain time. So if you get up at 5am, you should be in bed by 9pm or by 10pm latest.Quality sleep mattersThe quality of your sleep is as important as the amount of sleep you get.
Signs of poor quality sleep include: not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep; repeatedly waking up during the night and sleep disorders such as snoring or gasping for air while sleeping. In these cases, managing stress better; not drinking too many liquids before going to bed and seeking treatment for any sleep disorders may help.Create a relaxed environment.
This could be taking a warm bath or playing soft, soothing music. Make sure your bedroom is dark, well-ventilated, quiet and relaxing. Your mattress should be firm for good support and your pillow and bedding comfortable. Turn off your television set, computer and the light on your phone an hour before going to bed, as these devices emit a blue light that suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin.
Pay attention to food and drinkEat light and early as consuming a lot of food and drink a couple of hours before bedtime, may cause discomfort and keep you up all night. The same applies to going to bed hungry. Avoid taking coffee, alcohol and other stimulating drinks as these too can rob you of sleep.Exercise during the dayAccording to studies, people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep better at night. However, exercising too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep. Exercise at least three hours before bedtime.