etting a good night sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and well-being. If you are having trouble sleeping, read this wikiHow to learn how to sleep better.
Getting to Sleep Quickly
1. Take a nice warm bath or shower in the evening. As well as relaxing you, afterwards your body will cool down, which helps you sleep better.
2. Sleep naked. According to sleep specialists at the Cleveland Sleep Clinic, sleeping in the nude helps you regulate your temperature. Get a comfortable temperature using blankets or duvet (of suitable warmth), sheets, and pillows. It is usually best to be slightly on the cool side.
3. Sleep in varying positions. Changing your sleeping position can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep. When you go to sleep, or if you wake up in the middle of the night, make a conscious effort to follow these guidelines until it becomes habitual
4. Use a suitable pillow. If it’s too thin, your head will tilt backwards, which is uncomfortable. Likewise, don’t stack your pillows so that your head is propped at an angle
5. Reduce your light exposure an hour or two before going to bed. Bright light before bedtime can disrupt your body’s internal clock. It’s one of the primary clues to the body that it’s either sleep time, or waking time.
6. Add gentle sounds. Use a white noise generator that generates various soothing sounds—–surf, wind, steam—–these are sounds that have no shape, and they can help your brain to de-focus on right now.
Moderating your Diet
7. Eat dinner at least three hours before bedtime. A full stomach may disrupt your sleep, and, the heavier the meal, the longer it takes for your stomach to settle down.
8. Avoid going to bed on an empty stomach. A completely empty stomach may interfere with your sleeping patterns just as much as going to bed with a full stomach.
9. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening. This includes coffee, black teas, cocoa, and caffeinated soda. Caffeine can keep you awake even if you drank it earlier in the day, as its effects can last up to 12 hours. This also includes other stimulants like those found in energy drinks even if they are not caffeine. Avoid tobacco products in the evenings as well.
10. Instead, drink a relaxing warm beverage. Highly recommended beverages include a warm glass of milk or chamomile tea. However, most herbal teas are fine, as long as they do not contain any caffeine.
11. Avoid drinking water or other fluids within one hour of your appointed bedtime. Ensure, though, that you drink at least two liters of water during the day.
12. Skip that nightcap. Alcohol will make you feel sleepy, but it will also reduce the quality of your sleep as your body processes the alcohol and sugars. Alcohol tends to produce broken, shallow sleep (even if you don’t notice the periods of waking during the night), which does not refresh
Making Your Bed and Bedroom Welcoming
13. Use your bedroom for bedtime. If your body is used to doing all sorts of things in the room besides sleep it may not make a smooth transition to sleep when it is time.Your mind should associate your bedroom with sleep and perhaps soothing, relaxing activities.
14. Make your bedroom a haven. The more comfortable your bed and bedroom are, the more conducive they are to a restful sleep.
15. Clean your room. Get rid of the cobwebs, dust the shelves, vacuum the floor. Empty the wastepaper basket. Remove dirty plates, cups, and water-bottles. A clean room sets the emotional stage for your room being a safe, healthy place, not a neglected dumping-ground to wallow in. Also, regular cleaning can alleviate allergies which can disrupt sleep. It also keeps pests like mice, rats, and cockroaches from invading your space.
16. Beautify your room. An aesthetically pleasing room will make you happier than one that’s displeasing. You do not necessarily have to have your room be a page from the Ikea catalog. But simple changes, such as getting rid of an ugly bedspread or repainting your walls can subtly shift your mood.
17. Maintain your mattress. Replace it after five to seven years of regular use. If you feel springs or ridges beneath the surface when you’re lying on the bed, or you and your partner tend to roll over each other a lot at night (unintentionally), it’s time to go mattress shopping!
18. Consider getting a new mattress. The newer types of mattresses that allow for adjustment or that mold around you may help you get a better night’s sleep.
Changing Your Daily Routine
19. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Varying your sleeping times by more than an hour can severely disrupt your sleep quality by breaking your circadian rhythm.
20. Consider allowing less time for sleeping. Different people need different amounts of sleep. If you take longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, or often wake up for long periods during the night, you may be allowing too much time for sleep. You need deep, continuous sleep, even if it’s shorter, rather than shallow broken-up sleep.
21. Develop a sleep routine. Try doing the same steps each night before you go to bed, to ready yourself for sleep. Consistency is the key. For a truly soothing evening
Try deep breathing relaxation before bed. Find a comfortable position. Make sure your environment is relaxed. Not much light, calm music and a space where you know you will not be interrupted are ideal.
Exercise regularly. If you have a sedentary job, a lack of physical exertion may contribute to reducing the quality of your sleep. The human body uses sleep to repair and recover. If there isn’t much from which to recover, your body’s sleep cycle could be disrupted.
24. Consider taking a nap. For some people (depending on work and your daily routine), a short rest in the afternoon can help alleviate drowsiness experienced during the day. Though naps are not for everyone – many people feel even drowsier after a nap.
Medication for Better Sleep
25. Try melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain. The pineal actively converts serotonin to melatonin when it is dark, but when light is present it does not do so, and the melatonin oxidizes back into serotonin.
26. Try plain antihistamine products that cause drowsiness. These are safe when taken “without extra ingredients”—–i.e. no pain relievers, decongestant, expectorant, etc., but only for a night or two, as tolerance to them quickly builds. They are not recommended as a long-term, ongoing solution––merely as a way to “kick start” you back into a good routine of regular bedtimes, relaxation techniques and managing stress.
Tell your doctor if you are concerned that you might have a sleep disorder. Some of the most common sleep disorders are insomnia, narcolepsy and parasomnias. If you are indeed suffering from and are diagnosed with any of these conditions, your doctor will recommend treatment accordingly.
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