Getting enough rest, and sleeping an average of 8 hours, is essential to stay healthy while enjoying a good quality of life. Sleep fulfills a restorative function in the whole organism, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. The most severe sleep disorders, such as chronic insomnia or sleep apnea, may require specialized medical attention, but in the mildest cases, in which we simply have a hard time falling asleep or wake up too frequently, there are some tricks to sleeping in one go that should be tried. If you’re going through a streak in which you don’t get a good night’s rest when you go to bed, take note of the tips to sleep soundly, because perhaps the solution to that nocturnal disorder will be easier than expected.
Establish a routine
Seeking regularity in the times of going to bed and getting up is one of the main recommendations given by specialists in sleep disorders. Establishing a routine, always taking into account the needs of each person, helps to keep the natural cycle of wakefulness and sleep in balance. If, as a rule, you go to bed at a different time every day, with very marked margins, that is, one day at 10 and another at 3 in the morning, it is quite likely that at a certain time you need to sleep (for example , that you want to put me to bed early because tomorrow you get up early) it’s hard for you to get it.
Have a light dinner and control your fluid intake
Eating a large dinner, eating especially heavy foods, and a short time before bed is an almost certain bet that you will have a bad night. The active digestive process can make it difficult to fall asleep. If you want to sleep in one go, have a light dinner and do it at least one or two hours before going to bed. Also, it’s not a good idea to drink too much fluids before bed because, obviously, the need to go to the bathroom will cause you to wake up and stay up all night.
Relax before going to bed
Sleeping deeply and pleasantly means getting rid of everyday worries as you close your eyes. Each one must find a way to leave behind the day-to-day problems to favor that, little by little, a dream that will not be interrupted and that will fulfill its repairing function begins to arrive. A few minutes of reading, some soft music, a hot bath before going to sleep … are simple gestures that can help.
Check the mattress and pillow
What if the problem is that the mattress and pillow do not promote a good and comfortable posture so that you can rest? If you can’t sleep straight away, think about it, because a mattress that is too soft, hard or that curves your back excessively, as well as a pillow that is causing discomfort in your neck may be to blame for the poor quality of your sleep.
Try to choose these materials well to make it easier for you to sleep through every night. Here we tell you how to choose a good mattress and how to choose a good pillow .
Avoid long naps
Daytime sleepiness is a common consequence of not getting a good night’s rest. If you haven’t slept enough, a little nap can come in handy while you get to establish your sleep routine, but be careful! as long as it does not exceed 20 – 30 minutes, because if you sleep ‘hours’ you will enter a loop, that is, again you will not be able to sleep through the night and, the next day, you will pay the consequences again.
Create an appropriate environment
Environmental conditions that encourage sleep are also essential to promote uninterrupted rest. Before going to bed, check curtains and blinds to prevent excess light from preventing you from sleeping. Of course, try to avoid any source of annoying noise (if this is not possible, earplugs can help). Finally, make sure that the room temperature is pleasant. Sleeping with too high a heating or being cold because you have not put enough blankets, can make you not rest well.
Avoid stimulating substances
It is a basic rule if you want to sleep straight. Before going to sleep, avoid stimulating substances, such as ginger, coffee, tea, or caffeinated or cola drinks. Also avoid tobacco and alcoholic beverages that, although apparently, they can make you sleepy, in reality, are not going to favor a pleasant and effective rest. To sleep soundly, opt for an infusion that helps to relax, such as lime blossom, valerian, lemon balm, or chamomile.
Be careful with electronic devices
Falling asleep with the television on or having your mobile phone, computer or tablet on the nightstand is not a good idea if you want to sleep through. The light emitted by electronic devices affects the sleep process, being able to alter it even if it does not wake you up. That artificial light inhibits the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. This is without counting the possible entries of emails and messages at late hours that, if they ring or vibrate, can wake you up. In addition, more and more people say that during the night they look at the mobile that they have next to their bed, almost as a reflex action, without realizing it. Disconnecting, in all senses, is important to really rest at night.
Exercise at appropriate times
Exercising is always a healthy practice. Also for people who have trouble sleeping, increasing physical activity has positive effects for the simple fact of being more tired and wanting a good sleep that repairs muscles, joints, and the brain. The problem is to do it shortly before going to sleep, late in the afternoon, because exhaustion itself (and possible physical discomfort) can hinder the sleep process. Therefore, do sports in the morning or in the afternoon , but avoid doing them late or at night.
It’s a little trick that helps you sleep through those nights when it’s hard to fall asleep because some worry is on your mind. Experts point out that when sleep does not arrive, it is not advisable to spend too much time tossing and turning in bed. It is preferable to get up, do something that clears your mind (drink a glass of water, or an infusion…), and try to go back to sleep. Another option is to practice diaphragmatic breathing, to try to relax. Inhale slowly through the nose with the mouth closed, noting how the air enters the body and reaches the lungs. Hold your breath for a few seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth.
Here you can learn more Relaxation exercises to sleep well and How to fall asleep in 1 minute with the 4-7-8 technique.
Aromatherapy can also be a good ally when it comes to helping you rest. Adequate ventilation of the room to renew the air and, then, resorting to a diffuser, where you have dissolved a few drops of lavender, chamomile, or orange essential oil, can help you relax and sleep soundly.
We tell you more about the best essential oils for sleep in this other post.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that favors the production and synthesis of serotonin and melatonin in the body, both hormones that help to fall asleep . Dairy products are one of the natural sources of this element, so the lifelong remedy: a glass of warm milk before going to bed, can be a good and practical solution to sleep at once.