By Anu Jarvinen
There are many factors that have an effect on a good night sleep. If you are going through a stressful time, you may not sleep well as your mind is thinking of solutions to your problems. Also, sometimes we do sleep through the night, but wake up tired as our quality of sleep wasn’t good – for some reason you may not have had a deep sleep.
Our need for sleep also varies throughout our lives and as babies we sleep much more than we do when we are older. We also may have a different natural rhythm: some like to wake up early and others function better at night. Most of us still work similar kind of hours no matter how much sleep we get, which may not be suitable for our own natural rhythm.
For you to experience the most energy and feel rested when you wake up you need to listen to your body. How much sleep do you need? What is your natural rhythm? Do you go to bed when you are tired? How many hours do you sleep? Do you feel rested in the morning?
By analysing your sleeping patterns and adjusting your lifestyle to it, you may find the quality of your sleep also gets better. Find the right amount of hours you need to get to feel rested and go to bed when you are tired. Make sure you get enough sleep and you will find that you’ll wake up naturally when your body has fully rested. It will be much easier for you to wake up at the end of your sleep cycle as you’ll be sleeping lightly.
So, here are a few practical tips you can try in order to improve your quality of your sleep…
Get your daily dose of fresh air and exercise. You will feel more relaxed and tired by evening when your body has had a good dose of fresh air and exercise.
Avoid coffee. If you’re a coffee drinker, avoid it after 3pm. It’s a stimulant which may affect your body more than you think.
Don’t take naps during the day. Save the sleep for night time, you will get a better quality of sleep if you sleep long enough to go through a sleep cycle, which would take you 90 to 120 minutes on average. If you do feel like you need a nap, make sure it’s no longer than 30 to 60 minutes.
Go to bed early. Most people tend to stay up and watch TV and don’t go to bed early enough. If you don’t get enough sleep you’ll feel a lot more tired in the morning. There are however some people who only need very little sleep and are able to function well.
Avoid alcohol and heavy foods. Most likely you will not get a good night sleep if you are full of food or alcohol – or both! Some people feel they need a glass of wine after a long day to switch off, but this may actually have a negative affect on the quality of your sleep.
Take a few moments to relax before going to bed. Avoid TV as it is very stimulating to the brain. Listen to some relaxing music, meditate, read a book. These will all help your body to calm down and get into a more relaxed state.
Keep your bedroom cool and dark. Cool temperatures usually gives you a better night’s sleep. You will breathe better and feel fresher when you wake up in the morning. Darkness also gives your brain a signal that it’s time for sleep.
Anu is an Aromatherapist and beauty therapist specialising in relaxation and facial treatments. She has a clinic in Marylebone, London. She has also just launched her own aromatherapy range of products which currently includes candles and essential oil blends. You can find Anu over at www.anuukaromatic.com and on Twitter here.