Tips for Great Sleep
By MIND CARE CLINIC
Having quality rest has a profound impact on our day-to-day lives. It is important to maintain good hygiene – the way we deal with sleep and our habits.
Try some of these tips to achieve refreshing and invigorating sleep!
1. Develop a routine
Develop your own relaxing routine before bedtime. This can be initiated 30 to 60 minutes before bed each night. Do relaxing activities like reading a book quietly, enjoy slow or relaxing music, or take a warm bath. This routine should ideally be kept the same every night, so that your body and mind starts to associate the routine with bedtime.
Dim the lights. The earth doesn’t turn from bright to dark in an instant, so why should our bedroom? During the pre-bedtime routine, turn down the lights. Alternatively, use a small bedside lamp to create a soothing ambience.
2. Create a good sleep environment
Ensure that your bedroom is conducive for sleep. Good quality sleep requires a quiet, dark environment. Ensure that there is enough ventilation and that your mattress/pillows are comfortable. Perform a “distraction check” of your room to identify sources of noise, stray lights or other distractions.
Technology can be useful. Make the best use of gadgets to help! During hot spells in Singapore, the air-conditioning will be a welcome addition. Other options include evaporative coolers, or even simply just ensuring that your room receives enough ventilation.
3. Associate your bed with sleep
Avoid working in bed. The bed should only be used for sleep (and sex). Our minds can quickly associate the bed with non-sleep activities like work – and subsequently come to link stressful emotions with lying in bed.
4. Be Consistent
Keep the same sleeping and wake times, even on weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s internal clock. Even if you feel like sleeping in a little longer on weekends, try to get out of bed for an activity (breakfast, maybe?) instead of lying in bed awake.
Things to avoid
Don’t over-indulge. Although a light snack or warm drink can be useful in preparing yourself to bed, avoid binging on food or drinking too much fluids just before bed.
Alcohol. Although it could be tempting to enjoy a nightcap, alcohol use actually worsens the quality of sleep – in particular the REM phase.
Caffeine. Everyone knows to avoid caffeine in the evenings, but did you know that caffeine comes in many other sources? Other than coffee, tea (even green tea) and some carbonated drinks also contain caffeine.
Too much excitement. Stay away from activities that evoke heightened emotional states – action movies, horror shows, even gripping story books. And of course, avoid work-related activities just before bed!