#HealthBytes: Five tips to sleep better and wake up refreshed
Sound sleep is essential for the optimal functioning of every living organism. It is a state where the metabolism and mental activity slow down, giving our body ample time to rejuvenate. A good night's sleep also helps the body recoup from the day's labor. Read on for a few tips that will help you sleep peacefully and wake up more energized and refreshed.
Hard initially, but follow a fixed sleep and wake-up routine
The circadian rhythm of the body regulates the sleep-wake cycle and sleeping on time is an integral part of sustaining this rhythm. Setting a fixed time to sleep and wake up is a great way to fall in sync with the rhythm. Though following the routine might be hard at first, you will eventually be able to stick to the schedule.
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and smoking before bed
Consuming foods with stimulants will tamper with the quality of sleep and it is important to avoid them before bedtime. Stimulants in coffee and tea are known to push sleep by hours, even if taken as early as 4:00PM. Alcohol, too, contrary to popular belief, doesn't make sleep any better. Similarly, the nicotine in tobacco affects the sleep cycle adversely and should be avoided.
Do not go through your phone prior to dozing off
Electronic screens and gadgets emit blue light and this is detrimental to quality sleep as blue light is a signal for daytime to our brain. Our body hence tends to get active due to this signal and no amount of blue light filter will help correct this. Hence it is important to keep away gadgets and electronic devices away before bedtime.
Exercising regularly produces 'happy' neurotransmitters in the brain
Engaging yourself in light to moderate exercises regularly, during the day or early evening, is a great way to get a good night's sleep. This is because exercises not only tire out your body but also produce "happy" neurotransmitters in the brain, which help in improving the quality of sleep. Thus, workouts help you get a relaxed night's sleep and wake up rejuvenated.
Practice meditation and mindful breathing techniques before bed
Studies prove that practicing meditation and breathing techniques before going to bed helps in getting peaceful and calm sleep at night. To get started, you can practice the easy Shavasana, which is simply laying comfortably on your back, with your hands and feet relaxed, while focusing on your breath. This also helps remove distracting thoughts from your mind and aids in peaceful sleep.