What you do during the day deeply affects how you sleep at night. Take the following tips to make sure that you wake up rested instead of groggy and exhausted in the morning.
Exercise: The importance of exercise can never be stressed enough, not only to keep you healthy but also to help you sleep better. Experts recommend about 30 minutes of varying activity, but it must be regular. Exercise releases endorphin in the body, which make you feel good and relieve stress, helping you sleep better. You can also break up your regimen into two to three short episodes of 10-15 minutes duration, but do it religiously every day.
People with sleep disorders should preferably exercise during the earlier part of the day to avoid too much stimulation later in the evening. If you have to, keep relaxing exercises such as Yoga and stress relieving bits for the evening.
Restrict smoking, caffeine and alcohol: Contrary to popular belief, while alcohol may make you fall asleep faster, you have a poorer quality of sleep and may stay awake later in the night. Caffeine is a strong stimulant and keeps you awake even 12 hours after you have taken a caffeine drink. Restrict your coffee, and for the same reason, avoid cola drinks. Smoking nicotine also stimulates the brain, leading to sleeplessness.
Eat right: Avoid heavy, oily food, especially at night. Remember the golden rule of finishing dinner at least two hours before going to bed. If you need a snack, take a glass of skimmed milk along with a small turkey sandwich, or a fistful of nuts. These contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps you to fall asleep.
Adopt a Routine: We are biologically programmed to follow routines. Help your body re-learn the lessons of childhood. Take a bath and relax in bed with a book or some soothing music. Avoid watching TV in bed. And stick to the same time every day. Slowly, your body will catch the ‘cues’ to fall asleep, and peaceful slumber will not be a fairy tale for you.